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The Final Hurrah: Reflections from a GA

By Jenna Renaud

My two years at Falvey Memorial Library and Villanova have officially come to a close. At the close of last semester, I wrote a similar post reflecting on the changes that Fall 2021 brought; however, now I am faced with a much more daunting task—reflect on the entirety of my GA experience.

tolkien books on map

Jenna’s personal Tolkien collection for celebrating National Hobbit Day

Thinking back to my first day at the Library, I’m struck by how different it is from the end in almost every way. My first day, I came down to almost an entirely empty office. I spent the semester in office only two days a week. My first semester was filled with time spent in the stacks helping Access Services and writing Cat in the Stax each week, discovering my voice and role in the Library. The post that stands out the most from that time was one of my first, talking about how to celebrate National Hobbit Day through Falvey’s collection. This was during a time where the majority of my inspiration came from items laying around my home office—including my husband’s new collection of Tolkien books.

Second semester, I focused on finding new ways to connect with the Villanova community and started the Read with the (Other) Jenna book club. Although short-lived, it was fun to dig deeper into books including Angela’s Ashes and Aftershock. Despite not being in-office with the team, our Zoom meetings were definitely a highlight of every week, discussing everything from Mosaic to upcoming events to the pros and cons of scrapple (don’t ask!).

GAs Jenna & Ethan outside of Falvey

GAs Jenna & Ethan at the Finals Stress Buster event

With the kick-off of the 2021-22 academic year came student workers, another GA, and the return of office work. It was definitely a transition going into the office four days a week, but it was a much needed change of pace. Passing off Cat in the Stax to Ethan, I looked for new recurring blogs to take on, settling on Peek at the Weeks and Weekend Recs. In addition to having another GA to collaborate with, we had student workers in the office again! Kelly showed Ethan and I the ropes for poster deliveries (something I had yet to experience) and Anna and I collaborated on what is to this day my favorite Weekend Recs following the drop of Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version) album. The semester flew by and was such a fun experience, getting into the swing of how things were pre-pandemic.

And with that, it was my final semester! Ethan and I had the opportunity to attend more Villanova Theatre performances, including their most recent production, Curtains, which you can read more about here. In addition, Ethan and I took on a new project introducing In Case You Missed Ita YouTube series where each month we broke down the top stories based on social media data. Our Wordle episode was probably my favorite, along with all of the bloopers when we forgot how to talk. The spring semester also brought more in-person events, including one with Lit Fest author Camille Dungy, where I was the point person. My final event of the semester was our baseball-themed stress buster, with everything from soft pretzels to Bundt cakes (Get it? Bunting? Like in baseball?).

Maybe the past two years haven’t been “traditional,” but I wouldn’t change anything! Big thanks to Joanne, Shawn, Kallie, Gina and Ethan for being the best team and taking my graduate student experience to the next level. 168 blog posts later—I’m out!

This isn’t good-bye, it’s just see you later (I definitely need to come back for updated Falvey swag)!


Jenna Renaud is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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Cat in the Stax: Spring 2022 Semester Rewind

By Ethan Shea

"Casette"

For this final ‘Cat in the Stax’ of the semester, I thought it would be fun to replicate the way I ended our winter semester, with some highlights of the blog from the past few months.

Altogether, there were a total of sixteen Cat in the Stax blogs published this semester (counting this one). Out of all of them, it’s hard to choose just a few standouts, but I’ll give it a shot…

"Red Fox"

To begin, one of my favorite blogs to write was actually last week’s piece on our local wildlife. I enjoyed researching the names of birds I see so often but never could identify. Besides, I’ll always take an opportunity to talk about foxes, one of my favorite animals.Wordle

I also had a blast writing “The Benefits of Wordle,” a blog about everyone’s favorite pastime. Wordle has become a part of my daily routine over the past few months, and I know I’m not the only one who has become addicted to this game. Learning that some are advocating for Wordle to be used in the classroom was fascinating and made me feel a bit better about spending so much time contemplating my guesses.

Tracing the Easter Bunny’s roots back to Pennsylvania was a lot of fun too.  This blog coupled with the Groundhog Day piece that was published not too long before Easter showed me just how important small, furry mammals are in Pennsylvania. Out of every Cat in the Stax of the semester, these animals were integral to at least three of them, but maybe that says more about me than it does about our state.

"Curtains Poster"Lastly, I was excited when the ‘Cat in the Stax’ that highlighted Villanova Theatre’s production of Curtains: A Musical Whodunnit was featured on The Yawp: Villanova’s Graduate English Program Blog. You can check out that blog here. I was happy to receive the shoutout, and looking through the past productions that led to Curtains was fun too!

Aside from this semester’s Cat in the Stax blogs, I’d like to bring attention to the return of The Curious Cat blogs this semester, which wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Elijah McDow and the willing participants we always find here at Falvey. Both will be back before long!

Anyways, I’m looking forward to summer vacation and my return to Falvey’s stacks in the fall! Enjoy your well-deserved break, and I’ll see you next semester!


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year graduate student in the English Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.

 


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Weekend Recs: Nostalgia

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

The end of the semester is upon us and the only thing standing between us and summer is a couple of exams and final papers. For many people, this time of year is a nostalgic one. Maybe you’re a senior and thinking back over your four years at Villanova and all the memories. Or maybe your nostalgic for your childhood home, knowing going back home for the summer will bring back a flood of memories. No matter what the reason, sometimes it’s just fun to take a stroll down memory lane. Keep reading for some ways you can play into that nostalgic feeling this weekend. 

If you have 2 minutes… read this article about what nostalgia actually is and the impact it can have on us and our mood.  

If you have 10 minutes… and are near Falvey, stop by between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to grab some baseball-themed treats, destress from finals, and reminisce on the school year with your friends.  

If you have 30 minutes… and want to go way back, spend some time digitally flipping through old Belle Air yearbooks, available in Falvey’s digital collection.  

If you have 1 hour and 28 minutes… watch the new Netflix documentary “White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch” that does a deep dive into the company’s exclusionary marketing and discriminatory hiring practices. Just thinking about the documentary, I instantly get transported back to wandering the mall with friends in middle school and coming across the strong scent of their store. 

If you have 8 hours… and a lot of papers to write, visit your favorite study spot in Falvey. The semester is coming to a close and though it may not seem like it now, you may miss grabbing a coffee from Holy Grounds and having a productive study session this summer!


Jenna Renaud is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.

 


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Cat in the Stax: Our Local Wildlife

By Ethan Shea

"Eastern Bluebird"

An Eastern Bluebird perched on a small branch

For this penultimate Cat in the Stax of the academic year, I’d like to take your mind off finals for a brief moment and encourage you to think of something much more relaxing…the great outdoors. Now that the weather is warming up, not only more people, but an increasing number of wildlife can be seen roaming about too. As birds return from their winter vacations, our mornings are full of song and beautifully painted feathers. Not to mention the increased presence of our favorite furry mammals!

Over the past few months, I’ve become a bit of an amateur birdwatcher during my morning runs. Almost every day, I run through Norristown Farm Park, which is about a twenty-minute drive from campus if you’d like to visit yourself. I’ve loved watching different birds migrate through the park recently, and some of my favorites are Eastern Bluebirds, Barn Swallows, and either Downy or Hairy Woodpeckers (I can never tell them apart). I even see some larger birds on occasion, such as the Great Blue Heron and Bald Eagle.

"Red Fox"

A Red Fox stands beside a tree trunk

Regarding the flightless inhabitants of the park, my absolute favorite animal to run into is the Red Fox. I’ve been lucky enough to get pretty close to a few because thankfully, they’re not aggressive. When a fox has to choose between fight or flight, it’s almost always going to choose flight. That being said, they’re still wild animals and should be treated as such.

There are also plenty of White-Tailed Deer and groundhogs around. In fact, this morning I must have scared a groundhog while running through the woods. I watched it scurry away then climb straight up a tree! I’ve always thought groundhogs stayed on…well, the ground, but I learned something new today.

If you’re interested in learning more about our local wildlife, Falvey Library is the place to be! For example, this book by Gerald M. McWilliams, titled The Birds of Pennsylvania, has everything you need to know about birding in our state.

To explore nature for yourself, you need not go much further than our campus. In addition to the scenic walks around our own Villanova neighborhood, just down the road, Haverford College has a great nature trail that is open to the public. I also recommend checking out the Schuylkill River Trail, which currently has about 75 miles of completed trail in different sections. There should be more than enough places to visit along that path!

If you can, try to take some time between exams to relax and enjoy the nature we’re fortunate to be surrounded by. Good luck on finals, Wildcats!


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year graduate student in the English Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


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Falvey Resources: Correcting the Scholarly Record Through Retractions

By Jutta Seibert

Scholarly monographs and peer-reviewed journal articles hold positions of trust in the academic community. This trust is grounded in the peer-review process and the editorial rigor of academic presses. Much has been written about the reliability and sustainability of peer review, but comparatively little is known about the ways in which academic communities deal with the fallout of retracted publications and the existing publishing record, particularly regarding monographs.

In 1997, a group of academic editors who were concerned about author misconduct gathered informally to discuss best practices and later formalized their collaboration with the foundation of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). It has published a range of guidelines to date, including their Principles of Transparency for Scholarly Publishing, Guidance on Predatory Publishing, a Code of Conduct for Editors, and Retraction Guidelines. Many academic publishers and their editors follow the COPE retraction guidelines, which include, among others, the following reasons for retractions: the fabrication, manipulation, or falsification of sources and/or data, plagiarism, and experimental or mathematical errors.

Academic journals follow widely shared and robust practices to identify retracted journal articles. Typically, a statement of retraction preceding the article itself informs the reader about the reasons for retractions as does a “Retracted” watermark in case the reader missed the statement. For example, the article about fraternal socialism by Charles K. Armstrong, published in volume 5 of Cold War History, is clearly identified as retracted for reasons outlined in the attached statement of retraction. COPE does not recommend to delete retracted articles, as they are part of the scholarly record, may have been cited, may continue to be cited, and, indeed, scholars may want to consult them.

Unlike in the case of journals, there appear to be no standard practices for dealing with disputed monographs. While scholarly journals are published mostly in electronic format, monographs are still widely acquired in print format for library collections. Once a library acquires a print monograph it is out of the reach of its publisher. In the past, libraries inserted retraction notices into issues of print journals in their collection, but no comparable practice existed for print books. Most academic publishers simply withdrew disputed monographs from their catalog.

However, new and used copies of “retracted” books continue to be sold through the independent book trade for years to come. Recent digital publication models for monographs offer publishers an opportunity to identify “retracted” works. So far there appears to be little appetite to do so, but the recently established COPE working group to support book editors and publishers may yet address this need.

The question of what to do with “retracted” monographs is one that Falvey Library recently had to address in the case of Tyranny of the Weak by Charles K. Armstrong. The author was accused of falsification, fabrication of sources, and plagiarism. Retraction Watch and Wikipedia offer detailed accounts of the affair. In 2019, Cornell University Press, which had first published the book in 2013, withdrew the book from its print catalog, but did not issue a public statement as to why it “retracted” the work. Amazon and other book vendors continued to trade in existing print copies and JSTOR continues to offer electronic access for institutions who purchased an electronic copy.

At the time, historians in related fields of study were widely aware of the scandal through professional communication channels. After all, Armstrong was a well regarded faculty member at Columbia University and had won the prestigious John King Fairbank Prize of the American Historical Association for Tyranny of the Weak in 2014. He returned the award in 2017 after first accusations of plagiarism and source fabrication surfaced in 2016.  Students and the general public continue to read and reference Tyranny of the Weak trusting in the pedigree of its author and the press that published the work. Readers can find it in well over 700 libraries according to WorldCat records. Amazon and other vendors continue to sell new and used print copies. And, once again, it can be bought in electronic format from de Gruyter. De Gruyter does not inform the public about the history of the book, but features numerous positive reviews that predate the scandal.

After weighing available options and consulting with history faculty, Falvey Library decided to keep the book in its collection but also informed readers of its history by inserting the following note into its print copy and the related catalog record: “Cornell University Press has withdrawn this book from its catalog after substantiated accusations of plagiarism and source fabrication. The Library decided to retain its copy but to alert its patrons to the issue. Details about the case can be found on Retraction Watch (https://retractionwatch.com/).” The main rationale for retention was the integrity of the academic publication record. Tyranny of the Weak is widely cited and scholars should be able to consult it. Those that consult the book here at Villanova University will find the inserted “retraction” note at the front of the book. Alas, the same cannot be said for copies requested through InterLibrary Loan.

Recommended Resources:

Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Library.

 

 


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Peek at the Week: April 25

By Jenna Renaud

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Word of the Week: Nudiustertian  

(adj) of or relating to the day before yesterday 

Maybe you’re thinking to yourself “Why wouldn’t I just say the day before yesterday or the name of the day?” And that’s a valid point. But if you want to impress your friends and family with your extensive vocabulary, throw nudiustertian into conversation.  

For example, “I really should have done more studying nudiustertian morning for my upcoming finals.”  


This Week at Falvey  

NOW–Wednesday, June 15 

“That Fairyland of Ice”: Polar Exploration in Mind and Memory Exhibit | Falvey First Floor & Virtual | Free & Open to the Public 

Monday, April 25 

Russia’s War on Ukraine: Historical Turning Points | 6–7 p.m. | Virtual | Register Here 

Wednesday, April 27   

2022 Falvey Forum Workshop Series: Bringing Historical Maps into GIS | 12–1 p.m. | Virtual | Register Here 

Thursday, April 28

Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella Endowed Distinguished Speak Series Lecture Featuring Poet Maria Famà | 2:30–3:45 p.m. | Register Here 

Friday, April 29

Falvey Library’s Semi-Annual Stress Busting Open House: Make Finals a Grand Slam | 11 a.m.–1 p.m. | Free & Open to all Villanova Students 


This Week in History 

April 29th, 2004– World War II monument opens in Washington D.C. 

18 years ago today the World War II monument opened in Washington D.C. providing recognition of the 16 million U.S. men and women who served in the war.  

The monument was formally dedicated by US President George W. Bush, although the memorial was inspired decades earlier by veteran Roger Durbin. Durbin served under Gen. George S. Patton and in February 1987 he asked US Rep Marcy Kaptur why there was no memorial on the National Mall to honor World War II veterans. Kaptur then introduced legislation to build one, initiating the 17-year journey until it opened.  

The World War II monument is my favorite memorial in Washington D.C. In high school, I spent part of one summer exploring Washington D.C. and taking a writing seminar. As part of the seminar, we had to choose a monument to visit, reflect on, and then write about. I have always taken an interest in World War II, in part due to my Jewish heritage and the atrocities my Great Aunt lived through as a young girl in Romania during the Holocaust. When it came time to choose a monument, I was immediately drawn to the World War II monument.  

What has always struck me about the World War II monument is all the symbolism and how each detail and piece represented something about the war and the many lives lost. From representing the war in Europe to the war in the Pacific to the hundreds of thousands of American lives lost, the monument produces a sobering effect. Read this article from the National Park Service talking about the various aspects of the monument to learn more. 

Read more about the monument’s opening from History.com. 


Jenna Renaud is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


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Curious Cat: Summer Plans!

By Elijah McDow & Ethan Shea

"Curious Cat Banner"

The hiatus of the Curious Cat was two years too long. When Elijah and Ethan were asked to revive this beloved series a few months ago, they were thrilled to take on the task. Over the course of the spring semester, they’ve enjoyed brainstorming several questions of the week, writing blogs, and getting to meet so many fellow Wildcats.

With the last week of classes and finals on the horizon, this week’s Curious Cat will be the last installment of the academic year. For their final question, Elijah and Ethan asked: “What are you looking forward to doing this summer?”

In total, they received six responses from a handful of Falvey patrons. Here’s what they had to say…

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“Driving to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, with my friends.”
— Deidra Cali ’23  MA

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“Taking time to relax and enjoy my last summer before the ‘real world.'”
— Katie Dahyun Park ’22

“Looking forward to golfing this summer.”
— Connor Hamel ’22

“I’m looking forward to going to the beach!”
— Alex Whang ’22

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“Lifeguarding at my pool and seeing my best friend Grace.”
— Neve Hehir ’25

“Going to Hilton Head Island with my family!”
— Sean Stepanek ’25

Thanks for tuning in to the Curious Cat this semester. We’re looking forward to returning in the fall!


Elijah McDow is a College of the Liberal Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Student.

 

 

 

 

 

Ethan Shea is a first-year graduate student in the English Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.

Headshot of Ethan Shea


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Photo Friday: The “Wright” Attitude

Coach Wright talks with former Villanova basketball player Randy Foye.

Image courtesy of the Villanova University Archives.


Thank you, Coach Wright.

Thank you for the wonderful memories these past 21 years. Thank you for your dedication to Villanova basketball and the Villanova community.

Over the past few days, many have commented on Coach Wright’s legacy; just ask Jessica Bianchi ’20, who quantified Wright’s greatness in her honors thesis for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. ‘Nova Nation is thankful for Coach Wright’s leadership and attitude—both on and off the basketball court. His values and principles have had a lasting impact on all Villanovans, inspiring us to be leaders in our own lives.

As the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova President, says, “Jay taught us all the true meaning of attitude.” That mindset will stay with us all, whether we’re playing for a team, learning in the classroom, or upholding Villanova’s Augustinian tradition.

Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.


Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Dig Deeper: Earth Day Video Offering

 Image courtesy of NASA Earth Observations. Image is of four world globes overlapping.

Image courtesy of NASA Earth Observations.


A brief sampling of Falvey Library online video related to Earth Day and our rapidly changing planet:

For Falvey Library video subscribed content visit an introduction to Streaming Video at Falvey or try one of the selected library subject headings below:

For more video dig further in:


""Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Virtual Event: Russia’s War on Ukraine: Historical Turning Points

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Russia’s War on Ukraine: Historical Turning Points

Monday, April 25, 6-7 p.m.

What were the turning points that led to Russia’s current war on Ukraine and its people? Join us for a discussion of the Ukrainian-Russian relationship, including: the Holodomor, WWII and its aftermath, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Budapest Memorandum, the Russian war on Georgia, and the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Speakers:

  • Dr. Adele Lindenmeyr, Historian of Russia and the USSR, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Villanova University
  • Dr. Mike Westrate, Historian of Ukraine and the USSR, Assistant Vice Provost, Graduate Education and Research, Villanova University

Co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova University

***EVENT CHANGED TO VIRTUAL-ONLY*** 

Click here to register


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Last Modified: April 22, 2022