Skip Navigation
Falvey Memorial Library
Advanced
You are exploring: Home > Blogs

Cat in the Stax: Leveraging Your Working Break

In lieu of our traditional Spring Break, this semester Villanova is giving us two working breaks, with our first one being this Wednesday and Thursday. Below I’ve shared three tips about how to make the most of your working break and ensure it’s both a productive and relaxing two days.

#1 Evaluate Your Priorities This time is supposed to be a mental reset, so it is important to make sure you are prioritizing your mental health on these two days. As we get into the semester, I’m finding more and more that my priorities for the day are focused around the assignments I have due in the following days or the readings I have for class that night. But this week, I’m restructuring my priorities and putting relaxing activities, such as going for a walk or reading a book for fun, at the top of my list.

#2 Actually WORK It can be tempting to see this working break as two days off, especially if you are lucky enough to have a professor who is not holding classes, but remember this is an opportunity to catch up on or stay on top of your work! As you’ll see through my other tips, your work can look a little different this week, but you don’t want to end this week feeling more behind and overwhelmed than you did on Monday. Make yourself clear goals then crush those goals!

#3 Build Connections with Professors & Librarians This week, I’m focusing on building relationships with more of my professors. Many professors are holding extra office hours this week to talk to students about projects, papers, or exams. Leverage that extra time and drop-in to form a relationship. Subject librarians are an additional resource that you can connect with this week! Whether it’s just to say hi and see if they have any thoughts on your research topic for this semester or to ask for help finding that last elusive source you need for a paper, Falvey’s subject librarians are ready and available to help. Find a lists of all subject librarians here.

#4 Focus on Relaxation & Productivity On my “days off” when I still want to make sure I’m being productive and getting work done, I find little ways to make the day feel more relaxing. Maybe usually you’re up at 8 AM every morning to start working. This week, instead, let your day start at 10 AM or 11 AM and still end at the same time. Or, instead of working at your desk, do some work from bed or the couch. Those little tweaks to your routine may make it feel more like a break while still letting you stay on top of your work.

This is the first of two of Villanova’s working breaks this semester. Use this one as a trial run to see what works best for you. If you have any other tips to share or your plans to make the most of today and tomorrow, share in the comments!


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


Like
1 People Like This Post

Cat in the Stax: Resolutions Reimagined

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that sometimes things happen and absolutely nothing goes according to plan. This lesson is something that we need to internalize and remember going into 2021 and beyond. Take a minute, stop reading, and think about all of the New Year’s resolutions you made last year that you completely forgot about when March hit. For my first Cat in the Stax of the year, I want to change the way that we think about “New Year’s resolutions,” especially with many of your resolutions potentially pertaining to the new semester that’s right around the corner.

According to Google, a resolution is, “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” In my opinion, humans just aren’t good at that, we’re wishy-washy and that’s totally okay. So let’s stop setting ourselves up for failure. If I make my New Year’s resolution to workout 5 times per week, the first time that I don’t do that, I’ve technically failed. Instead, let’s think of this new year as a time to reassess our goals.

By changing our mindset and making goals instead of declaring resolutions, we offer ourselves more grace and can celebrate the progress made. In 2020, I set my reading goal on Goodreads to 25 books, as of December 13 I had read 9. Instead of thinking of that as, “Wow, I failed!” I can focus on the fact that had I not set that goal, maybe I would have only read 3 or 4 and missed out on reading fantastic books.

Goals partially completed at the end of each year can be seen as progress markers. I now know that I read 9 books in 2020, and I wish that I had made reading more of a priority. In 2021, maybe my next goal is to read 15 books. It’s not that lofty 2020 goal of 25, but I took the progress I had made and can now work to beat that.

To encourage you all in crushing your goals for 2021, here are some of my goals for the Spring 2021 semester:

  • Get to know two Falvey librarians better
  • Engage Cat in the Stax reader’s by replying to every comment
  • Read 5 books off of the Falvey shelves
  • Take my own photos for 50% of my Cat in the Stax 

What goals do you have for 2021 and how can Falvey help you crush them?


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Figuring out how to crush my goals (& 2021)!


Like

Support Falvey Memorial Library During Giving Tuesday

Villanova Christmas OrnamentFalvey Memorial Library inspires students to challenge their minds and hearts by accessing expansive print, digital, and archival resources and collaborating with expert subject librarians and staff.

That is why we are asking you to consider supporting the Library this Giving Tuesday.

Make a gift of $25 or more through this link and you will receive Villanova’s 2020 Christmas ornament as a thank you. Be sure to restrict your gift to Falvey through this link by selecting the “other” option in the drop down of designations.

The ornament design is inspired by a stained-glass “rose window” in St. Thomas of Villanova Church.

The University is recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, and the Library is a critical component of student and faculty research and scholarship. In 2013, the Association of College and Research Libraries honored the Library with the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award for its outstanding accomplishments in furthering Villanova’s  educational mission – yet there remains opportunities for Falvey to do more in support of Villanova’s student-scholars.

Help the Library this Giving Tuesday to continue to evolve to meet the needs of modern students, acting as the campus’ academic and intellectual hub and a point of alumni pride.

Falvey Memorial Library by the Numbers:
Falvey teems with students seeking study space, essential resources and librarians to guide their research and studies.  But did you know just how much support the Library provides students and faculty?

In 2018-19 academic year:

  • Students, faculty, and community members visited the Library nearly 600,000 times.
  • The collection was used over 1 million times, including 1,179,576 downloads of digital chapters and journal articles.
  • Librarian staff provided more than 2,300 annual in-person and online consultations.
  • The Library hosted more than 1,200 academic and social events.

Falvey Memorial Library has never been more essential to the campus community, providing resources vital to student and faculty academic and research success.

Give to support the Library today!


Like

Elevator in Falvey Memorial Library Temporarily Out of Order

 


The elevator in Falvey Memorial Library is temporarily closed for repairs. Service is expected to return after the Thanksgiving holiday. We apologize for any inconvenience. All requests for Main Collection items must go through our contactless pickup service. Please email circ@villanova.edu for additional assistance.


Like

#TBT: Falvey During Finals

two pages from 1991 Belle Air yearbook, article entitled "All You Need Are Pillows"

With Reading Day right around the corner and classes coming to a close, let’s throw it back to the 1991 Belle Air and Falvey during finals. Author of this article and alumna, Rachel White, writes about how around finals time the library is filled with “thousands of last minute crammers and a number of truly studious people.” Maybe you recognize yourself in one of these two groups. And although in an ideal world the library is the perfect quiet place to study, between the thousands of books and hundreds of people around you, it can be fairly easy to get distracted. 

Falvey offers a productive space to study if you’re in the right mindset. Which is unfortunately the case for studying pretty much anywhere. If you want more study or presentation tips, check out some of my recent ‘Cat in the Stax! 

Although studying in the library looks a little different 29 years later, there are individual study seats in the Dugan Polk Family Reading room and on all floors of Old Falvey. Come in with a focused mind-set and you can still find a productive place to study at Falvey.


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: In the mind-set for a nap.

 

 

 

 


 


Like

At Your (Virtual and In-Person) Service: A Look Inside Falvey’s Successful Fall Reopening

By Shawn Proctor

When the campus closed in the spring, Falvey Memorial Library quickly adapted to virtual services and resources in order to meet the needs of students and faculty. And as the campus planned for reopening this fall, Falvey leadership and staff worked together to reimagine the Library so that it could offer in-person and virtual services and spaces while maintaining the campus community’s Caritas Commitment to safety.

“The Library is a fundamental educational resource, providing instruction, study space, services, tools, and materials that support the goals of teachers and learners. We are creating the safest possible physical environment for Library staff and patrons, and ensuring services and resources, both physical and virtual, are available,” says Luisa Cywinski, Director of Access Services.

The first floor of the Library has been dramatically changed. Speakers’ Corner has been reorganized as a socially distanced study space. Gone is the closely grouped furniture. In its place patrons will find carefully spaced queues for contactless pickup, printing, the UNIT TechZone, and the new virtual service desk. The latter substitutes for in-person interaction at the front deskvisitors with questions can converse with a staff member via an ongoing virtual connection.

“Many people seem hesitant when first approaching the service station, but quickly warm up to the experience,” says Abigail Cengel, Access and Collections Service Desk Coordinator. “This allows students to interact with Library staff ‘face-to-face’ in the safest possible way. Some visitors have commented that the setup is really neat!”

It enables staff to be located in their individual work areas, even while providing a friendly face for patrons.

Michael Sgier, Access and Collections Coordinator, adds, “This is a different Library environment–not quite as populous or lively–but we are still here to help support the academic endeavors of the community. We want to make sure that they feel safe when seeking help.”

Adaptable, Safe, and Human-Powered
Sgier and Cengel were integral to conceiving the new contactless pickup procedure. Villanova students, faculty, and staff can place holds on books, DVDs, and other circulating items from the Library’s online catalog. Library staff locate the items, place them in a bag on a shelf, and send an email when the requested items are ready for pickup. This avoids multiple people handling books, potentially transmitting the virus via surface contact. The process has required additional staff resources, but has proven a smooth operation over the first weeks of the semester.

“It’s a service that I’m very proud to have been a part of in crafting for the Library,” Sgier says. “Simply put, it takes a little longer to provide each of these Library services. A little longer to circulate materials, a little longer to respond to questions and problems, just because everything is dependent on humans to complete.”

For the same safety reasons, course reserves are not being circulated. Staff scan and send the digital pages to each patron upon request.

Patrons can also use the ILLiad and EZBorrow services to request electronic and physical copies of books, CDs, and DVDs from other library collections. They may also request e-books, but availability is not guaranteed. If the requested e-book is unavailable, the staff may be able to provide specific chapters instead.

When any physical item is returned to the Library, staff place it in quarantine. Gerald Dierkes, Access and Collections Coordinator, explained that this ensures no surface-to-surface transmission of the virus. “We researched the topic and, based on the findings, implemented a three-day quarantine,” he says.

Have you tried the new services at the Library? Like them? Love them? We want to hear about it! Email shawn.proctor@villanova.edu.


Shawn Proctor Shawn Proctor is a Communication and Marketing Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.


 

 


Like
1 People Like This Post

‘Cat in the Stax: Study Spots without Coffee Shops

The thought of starting a new semester without the option to camp out at your favorite coffee shop can be daunting (it is for me!), but here are four ways to make any space feel like perfect study space.

Tip #1: Set the mood with good music. I have a wide variety of music I listen to when I study depending on my mood – anything from The Little Women movie soundtrack to some throwback Fall Out Boy. But laid back folk music is what really gives me those small business, coffee shop vibes. Some go-to artists are Lord Huron and Mumford and Sons, but sometimes I need to listen to more obscure artists to ensure I’m studying and not just singing along. Accidentally writing your favorite lyrics into a research paper is not the move. If you’re looking for a good playlist you can check out my Coffee Shop Spotify playlist here.

Tip #2: Bring your coffee or drink of choice with you wherever you go. Make it at home in a travel mug or pick something up on campus before you settle in for the day. Refills can sometimes be tricky, but if you’re studying at Falvey, just swing by Holy Grounds. 

Tip #3 Sit at the right angle. So this one may seem a little odd, but trust me on this. Sometimes I work better when I can see other people around me also working. If I think they’re being productive then that’s more motivation for me to be productive as well. On the other hand, other times, I get completely distracted by everything and facing a wall or away from people is the only thing that will actually keep me focused. Don’t be afraid to change it up mid study-session – do what works best for you!

Tip #4 Scope out your spot ahead of time and have some back-ups. It can be hard to find a spot that fits all of your study needs, but with a little research ahead of time you can know exactly where to go. I also always recommend having a back-up spot, especially during busier points in the semester when everyone’s trying to get out of their dorm to study. Here’s a list of some places open for studying in Falvey that have the potential to be your new favorite spot:

  • Speakers’ Corner (1st Floor)
  • Old Falvey Classrooms
  • The Reading Room
  • Viewing Room 3 (Ground Floor)

The best part is that all of these Falvey locations are just a short walk away from Holy Grounds, so your coffee fix is just around the corner.

Do you have any COVID-friendly study spots we missed? Let us know in the comments!


Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Craving a hazelnut, oat milk latte from Holy Grounds.

 

 


 


Like
1 People Like This Post

Foto Friday: Celebrate Black History Month on Campus

By Kallie Stahl

Flyer of Black History Month events.


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


Like

This Giving Tuesday, Support Falvey Memorial Library

Photo of Villanova ornamentFalvey Memorial Library inspires students to challenge their minds and hearts by accessing expansive print, digital, and archival resources and collaborating with expert subject librarians and staff.

That is why we are asking you to consider supporting the Library this Giving Tuesday.

Make a gift of $25 or more through this link and you will receive Villanova’s 2019 Christmas ornament as a thank you. Be sure to restrict your gift to Falvey through this link by selecting the “other” option in the drop down of designations.

The University is recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, and the Library is a critical component of student and faculty research and scholarship.  In 2013, the Association of College and Research Libraries honored the Library with the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award for its outstanding accomplishments in furthering Villanova’s  educational mission – yet there remains opportunities for Falvey to do more in support of Villanova’s student-scholars.

Help the Library this Giving Tuesday to continue to evolve to meet the needs of modern students, acting as the campus’ academic and intellectual hub and a point of alumni pride.

Falvey Memorial Library by the Numbers:
Falvey teems with students seeking study space, essential resources and librarians to guide their research and studies.  But did you know just how much support the Library provides students and faculty?

In 2017-18 academic year:

  • Students, faculty, and community members visited the Library approximately 600,000 times.
  • The collection was used over 1 million times, including 370,000 digital chapters and 630,000 journal articles.
  • Librarian staff provided more than 2,300 annual in-person and online consultations.
  • The Library hosted more than 900 academic and social events.

 

Falvey Memorial Library has never been more essential to the campus community, providing resources vital to student and faculty academic and research success.

Give to support the Library today!


Like

The Curious Cat: #FalveyIncludes: Baldwin and Bechdel

Celebrating Pride Month, the Curious Cat asked Falvey Memorial Library staff,

“What is your favorite LGBTQ+ novel and/or who is your favorite author?”

Jesse Flavin, Acquisitions and Electronic Resources Coordinator: “James Baldwin.”


Caroline Sipio, Access and Collections Coordinator: “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel.”


Laura Hutelmyer, Acquisitions and Electronic Resources Coordinator: “Maurice Sendak.”


David Burke, Metadata Librarian: “Oscar Wilde.”


Chris Hallberg, Library Technology Developer: “Molly Ostertag, the artist and co-author (alongside Brennan Lee Mulligan) of the webcomic Strong Female Protagonist.”


Rob LeBlanc, First Year Experience Librarian: “It is a toss-up between Annie Proulx and David Sedaris.”



Kallie Stahl, MA ’17 CLAS, is communication and marketing specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. Share your favorite authors on Falvey Library’s Diversity and Inclusion Subject Guide! (This blog is was originally published June 20, 2018, in a slightly altered form.)

Like

Next Page »

 


Last Modified: June 26, 2019