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Flip or Flick: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Image is the cover of the novel, "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood."

Image courtesy of Google books.

By Allie Reczek

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood was written in 1996 by Rebecca Wells. This story shifts back and forth between telling stories from the youth of the Ya-Yas—Vivi, Teensy, Caro, and Necie—in 1930s Louisiana, and the current life of Siddalee Walker, Vivi’s daughter, in the 1990s.

After a slanderous review of her mother in a public journal, Vivi disowns Sidda, sending her in a tailspin that results in Sidda traveling across the country and breaking off her engagement with her fiancé, Connor. In an effort to rekindle the relationship between Sidda and Vivi, the Ya-Yas send Sidda a scrapbook, detailing their lives, so that Sidda could better understand why her mother is the way she is. This seemingly complex, yet rather simple story between mother and daughter forces readers to confront their own family relationship and realize that everyone has a past we cannot judge them for. 

The movie adaptation, directed by Callie Khouri in 2002, generally follows the meaning behind this story but fails to provide as much detail as the novel. Instead of isolating herself and traveling alone, in the movie, the Ya-Yas kidnap Sidda, played by Sandra Bullock, and bring her to their childhood cabin in Louisiana, telling stories about Vivi and her troubling childhood. Themes stay relatively the same, but significant details about Vivi’s life and Sidda’s relationship are missing. This movie lacks a certain emotional pull that the novel poetically conveys. This movie received a 44% on Rotten Tomatoes and is rated PG-13. 

So… Flip or Flick?

Flip! Every recount from the childhood of the Ya-Yas, every letter exchange between Sidda and Vivi, every interaction between the Ya-Yas, from youth to old age, provides readers with an understanding about the value of love and friendship over anything else.

This story teaches us that no matter what you have been through, family is forever and will always be by your side.

Allie Reczek headshotThis is the last Flip or Flick by Allie Reczek ’22 CLAS. She graduated with a BA in Psychology from Villanova University. Congratulations, Allie! Falvey Library wishes you all the best in your future endeavors. Rebecca Wells’ novel Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood was published 26 years ago on May 22, 1996.


Photo Friday: Rock of Love

Image of the Falvey Memorial Library building sign taken outside on a sunny day. On the top left corner of the sign is a small rock with a red heart drawn on it.

If you look closely, you’ll see that someone left a rock of love on the Library’s sign.

Have a lovely weekend, Nova Nation!

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





Celebrating, Supporting Nurses During National Nursing Week and Beyond

Sarah Hughes

By Shawn Proctor

National Nursing Week, May 6–12, celebrates and honors the sacrifices and many contributions of nurses to improving and saving lives. At Falvey Library, Sarah Hughes, Librarian for Nursing, Biology, and Health Sciences, supports the academic and research efforts of the students in the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing as they join the proud tradition of Villanova nurses.

We sat down with Hughes to learn more about her work with nurses, before and after joining Villanova University in 2019.

Question: Your experience working in the emergency department at University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro gave you insight into the role of nurses in that clinical setting. Can you tell me more about the work and challenges of those nurses?

Sarah Hughes: At Princeton Medical Center, I worked with nurses as both a medical librarian, but also in a separate role when I worked evenings at the emergency department (ED) assisting the front desk, basically as a glorified greeter. In both roles, I saw different sides to the nursing profession.

As a librarian, I helped with information-seeking behavior, mostly many of the nurses came to the library to get access to BLS, PALS, and ACLS books for recertification. I also did searches for nurses and doctors, provided patients with consumer health information, interlibrary loan services and maintained the nursing intranet page.

Working in the ED in a non-clinical role, but observing clinical practice really helped me to fully appreciate and understand what nurses do. I observed the triage process for the ED and also helped patients and family while they waited to be seen. Inside the ED, I watched first hand as nurses worked doing a variety of life saving measures including resuscitating patients, treating children that came in with significant burns, bedside assistance, and all sorts of things that the average person will never see with their own eyes.

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, my immediate first thought was with the nurses and other ED workers because their jobs were tough to start with, but the added layer of working through a highly contagious, deadly, airborne virus day in and out was simply unthinkable. The horrors that health care providers have seen over the past years is simply incalculable. Many nurses have chosen to leave the profession due to burnout and unsafe working conditions. Others have chosen to take early retirement because they were exhausted from seeing so much sadness and death.

This is why I personally choose to continue to masking indoors at all times in public, because I don’t want nurses to continue working through this pandemic forever. To me, masking is the most responsible thing a person can do in this moment. I mask to not only protect myself, but for all the nurses and healthcare workers out there.

Q: How would you describe Villanova’s nursing students and your work with them?

SH: I’ve found all students in Villanova nursing to be incredibly dedicated and hardworking. From the undergraduates to the DNP and PhD students, the vast majority of students are serious about their studies and ask me wonderful questions every day.

I tend to be involved early on in the NUR1102 course pointing students towards Falvey Library resources like CINAHL and PubMed for finding credible, peer-reviewed information. I come back again to the undergraduates in the Research Methods class and cover more advance searching and review things like PRISMA charting and use of citation management tools like Zotero. And I’m more deeply involved with long one-on-one research consultations with students in several of the higher level courses.

Asking the right research question and framing it in such a way is highly important to retrieve appropriate search results. I spend time also getting students familiar with citation management tools like Zotero, particularly if students are doing extensive searching and need to organize their search results for publication or group projects.

Q: Why is celebrating nurses and their work during Nurses Week important?

SH: National Nurses Week is an essential celebration and acknowledgement of those in the profession. It’s important to honor the varying roles of nurses and all the ways they make a difference in the different communities they serve. Since many nurses are struggling right now with what they have endured during the pandemic, it is more important than ever that they are commended and provided with safer working conditions in hospitals and health care settings.

These nurses must be recognized for their efforts, and it is imperative that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration implement a permanent safety standard for hospital and healthcare settings to protect our vitally important nurses and healthcare workers. Nurses are highly trained and skilled workers that tend to be in short supply, so it is vital they have a safe environment.

Q: You joined Falvey Library about 6 months before the pandemic. How has your way of engaging students during this time changed? Are there takeaways or practices that you would continue in the years beyond?

SH: I got to have one fully pre-pandemic semester so I had a glimpse of what “normal” was like. The majority of my research consults were conducted virtually on Zoom, even before the pandemic so not all that much has changed. It’s often easier to demonstrate searching techniques on a Zoom meeting than in person, so the student can observe what I do when I share my screen. Or conversely, I can watch what a student is doing and then take control of the screen if they have questions or cannot locate something right away. I also find virtual instruction sessions to be more conducive to online as well, since again students can watch and mirror my actions. We are fortunate to have such technology that allows for virtual instruction and meeting online when it is not safe to be together.

Students who wish to schedule a nursing, biology, or health sciences consultation, visit Sarah Hughes’ staff page or email

Shawn Proctor

Shawn Proctor is Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Library.


Falvey Memorial Library Service Hours: Summer 2022

Picture of the blue Falvey Memorial Library entrance sign with multiple red tulips surrounding the sign and library entrance.

Falvey Memorial Library Service Hours: Summer 2022

Villanova students, faculty, and staff may enter the Library building 24/7 with a valid Wildcard. Library services are available to the University community during posted service hours. Electronic collections (articles, e-books, and more!) are accessible through the Library’s website 24/7. For a full listing of service hours, visit our website. Have a relaxing and safe summer, Wildcats!

Saturday, May 7—Sunday, May 8

  • Service desk and book stacks closed.

May Intersession (effective Monday, May 9—Tuesday, May 31)

  • Monday—Thursday
    • Service desk: 9 a.m.—5 p.m. (book stacks: 9 a.m.— 4:30 p.m.)
  • Friday—Sunday
    • Service desk and book stacks closed.

Memorial Day—Monday, May 30

  • Service desk and book stacks closed.

Summer Sessions (effective Wednesday, June 1—Sunday, July 31)

  • Monday—Thursday
    • Service desk: 9 a.m.—7 p.m. (book stacks: 9 a.m.—6:30 p.m.)
  • Friday—Sunday
    • Service desk and book stacks closed.

Summer Exception Dates

  • Monday, June 20 (Juneteenth)
    • Service desk and book stacks closed.
  • Monday, July 4 (Independence Day)
    • Service desk and book stacks closed.

August Intersession (effective Monday, August 1—Sunday, August 14)

  • Monday—Thursday
    • Service desk: 9 a.m.—5 p.m. (book stacks: 9 a.m.—4:30 p.m.)
  • Friday—Sunday
    • Service desk and book stacks closed.

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. Her summer break reading recommendation is “Hello Molly” by Molly Shannon.


Cat in the Stax: Spring 2022 Semester Rewind

By Ethan Shea


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.



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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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…


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


“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


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


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.


  • 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


Click here to register


Falvey Memorial Library Extends Service Hours For Final Exams

Stock image of the entrance of Falvey Memorial Library.

Falvey Memorial Library is extending service hours for final exams. Library services are available to the University community during posted service hours, (bolded below are the extended service hours.) Villanova students, faculty, and staff may enter the Library building 24/7 with a valid Wildcard. Electronic collections (articles, e-books, and more!) are accessible through the Library’s website 24/7. For a full listing of service hours, visit the Library website.

Friday, April 22: 8 a.m.—10 p.m. (front doors lock at 5 p.m., book stacks close at 9:30 p.m.)

Saturday, April 23: 9 a.m.—10 p.m. (front doors lock at 5 p.m., book stacks close at 9:30 p.m.)

Sunday, April 24: 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. (book stacks close at 11:30 p.m.)

Monday, April 25 —Thursday, April 28: 8 a.m.—12 a.m. (book stacks close at 11:30 p.m.)

Friday, April 29: 8 a.m.—10 p.m. (front doors lock at 5 p.m., book stacks close at 9:30 p.m.)

Saturday, April 30: 9 a.m.—10 p.m. (front doors lock at 5 p.m., book stacks close at 9:30 p.m.)

Sunday, May 1: 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. (book stacks close at 11:30 p.m.)

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


Cat in the Stax: All About Boston

By Ethan Shea

"Boston Marathon Start Sign"

Photo by Sports Illustrated.

Just a couple days ago, on Monday, April 18, the 126th Boston Marathon took over the streets of Massachusetts. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the first official women’s field, when only eight women raced the prestigious marathon. On Monday, over 12,000 women took on the journey from Hopkinton to Boylston Street.

The 126th installment of the Boston Marathon was one of the most exciting in the race’s history, as the leading women, Peres Jepchirchir and Ababel Yeshaneh, went back and forth for the last couple miles until Jepchirchir pulled away to win by just four seconds.

In the men’s field, Evans Chebet earned a decisive victory, finishing in two hours, six minutes, and 51 seconds, only 30 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.

For a complete list of results, check out the official Boston Athletic Association’s website here!

Meb Keflezighi WIns 2014 Boston Marathon

Meb Keflezighi wins the Boston Marathon. Photo by CBS.

There’s so much to be said about Boston and marathon racing in general that someone could fill a book, and luckily for us, many people have. For example, one of the most decorated American marathoners, Meb Keflezighi, is the author of two books, most recently, 26 Marathons, his account of every marathon he’s raced.

Meb Keflezighi famously won the Boston Marathon in 2014, only a year after the bombing. Meb was the first American to win the race in 31 years, and no American has won since. Keflezighi retired from running just three years later.

If you’d like to run Boston yourself, check out Jeff Galloway’s book, Boston Marathon: How to Qualify! It’s full of training plans and advice to help you run your fastest marathon. Galloway’s training methods are beloved by many due to their accessibility. His walk-run method and emphasis on rest days is designed to guide even novice runners to the finish line injury-free.

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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Last Modified: April 20, 2022