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Happy Retirement to Jacqueline Smith, Finance & Administration Specialist

Photo of Jacqueline (Jackie) Smith, Finance & Administration Specialist.

Photo of Jackie Smith courtesy of Rob LeBlanc, First Year Experience & Humanities Librarian.

Imagine being greeted by a Falvey Library staff member every time you entered the building. In the late ’90s, patrons were welcomed by a door checker who would review credentials as Falvey Library was once a government documents depository open to the public weekdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Jacqueline “Jackie” Smith, Finance & Administration Specialist, recalls the layout of the Library when she began working as a part-time secretary in the Reference Department in 1994.

“Falvey’s first floor was the bulk of the Library. As you came in the main entrance (past the door checker), the Reference and Periodical departments were off to the right [where the Holy Grounds café is now]. The Reference office had one telephone and one computer in the office shared by three staff members. The Griffin Room was the office for periodicals and Speakers’ Corner [once referred to as ‘Tech Services’] was where we catalogued all of the books.”

Smith, currently the Library’s Finance & Administration Specialist, will be retiring on July 9, after more than 26 years of service to Villanova University. She first learned of a job opening at Falvey Library from a friend who saw the posting in the New of Delaware County newspaper. Smith, who was working for her local public library, decided to apply for the position. Working as a part-time secretary in the Reference department, Smith was offered a full-time position in 1995 where she worked in both the Reference department and Tech Services. “Falvey Library was very cohesive…everybody did everything. It was a really great learning environment.”

In 1996, Smith joined Head of Reference, Louise Green (Interim Director, Falvey Library, 1996-2000), in the Director’s Office where she worked until 2000. When Joe Lucia was hired as the new director (2002-2013), Green returned to Head of Reference and Smith returned to her split position, working in Reference and Tech Services juggling multiple projects for both departments. One of her favorite tasks was assisting librarians with class preparations. “When librarians would teach instruction classes, I would type up the exercises [the librarians] had planned to do to get students accustomed to using certain databases and academic resources. That was interesting because I always enjoyed the questions; what exercises the students were doing for different classes. I always learned something new. My entire Falvey career has truly been a wonderful learning experience.”

She also enjoyed her time spent in Special Collections. “I loved going up there. I assisted on the Sherman-Thackara Collection and often I would just sit there in awe looking at the handwriting of those beautiful letters—the language of the letters, the sentimentality that came through was just wonderful. Special Collections was my favorite place at Falvey. Working there was a treat.” In Tech Services, Smith worked on a number of projects—cataloguing books, managing supplies, and bill paying, to name but a few. “We had so many book orders that were all paid by check. We would order through our book vendors, and we would have huge stacks of invoices that would have to be sent for processing. And, of course, everything was on paper back then, so you can image how high the stacks of invoices were.”

In 2005, Smith began working in the Director’s Office as Finance & Administration Specialist, a position she’s held until her retirement. Smith aided in the Library’s transition of book vendors from Blackwell to Yankee. Additionally, she helped develop the current ledger structure in Voyager that Falvey has used since its implementation in 2009. The project, which took Smith and her colleagues years to complete, was a long process of trials and errors.

“It became obvious that the Library needed to have some kind of allocation for purchase orders in order to do a budget for various disciplines and that’s when the Voyager reports began. Trying to collaborate and coordinate the reports was a long ordeal. We had to determine how we wanted Voyager to function—dollar amounts, fund codes for disciplines, etc. It was mainly to get a budget in place because we [Falvey Library] do have bills to pay, so we needed some kind of accounting structure.”

After 26 years at Falvey Library, Smith is looking forward to spending more time with her family and grandchildren. She will be traveling to New Orleans in the fall with her husband and plans to drive to Washington state in the near future. “I’ve never visited the west coast, so I’d like to explore Oregon, Washington, California, and I would like to see the National Parks.” Smith is also the Vice President of the Father John J. Hickey Catholic War Veterans Auxiliary. Her father was a former member, so in his honor, she manages the auxiliary’s youth activities.

Smith enjoys playing board games, especially Scrabble, and plays Trivial Pursuit on Zoom with her cousins who live in England every other weekend. She frequently plays Mahjong with friends (originating in China, Mahjong is a rummy-like game played with tiles rather than cards). Frequently meeting her sisters for meals, Smith recommends visiting “Dining Under the Stars” in Media, Pa. (once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted). She recommends Hidalgo—”They have the best Mexican cuisine.” Catching up on some reading, Smith is excited to begin The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. The novel centers around “four Chinese American immigrant families in San Francisco who start a club [The Joy Luck Club] playing Mahjong for money.”

Reminiscing on her time at Falvey Library, Smith voiced her gratitude for her colleagues. “There are so many people responsible for helping me get to where I am today. From reference librarians, to tech services, to friends in the Library helping me along the way, offering their time and expertise…I just want to say thank you. Its been a wonderful learning experience. I thank everyone who has worked with me for their help and support over these 26 years. I would like to especially thank my fellow Finance & Administration team members. Their help, support, advice, guidance and friendship will never be forgotten and is truly appreciated.”

The entire Falvey staff thanks Smith for her 26 years of service to the Library and Villanova University community! Best wishes, Jackie, and enjoy retirement. Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat!


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

 

 


 


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Looking Back at 2020 and Continuing to Work Towards a Better 2021

December 21 image

 

By Regina Duffy

There is no denying it: 2020 has been difficult in so many ways. Even Time Magazine agrees. The cover of their December 14 issue boldly states that 2020 is “The Worst Year Ever.” It is hard to argue with that logic. With a worldwide pandemic, the contentious U.S. Presidential Election, as well as other national crises coming to a head, including social and racial justice issues, the unstable economy, and environmental problems, it has been beyond challenging.

The year has affected everyone in some way. If we take the time to reflect on the events of 2020, it can be hard to imagine a better 2021, but I think we should still be hopeful.

Looking for a bit of inspiration, in preparation for this blog I asked the Falvey staff to send “…thoughts about how we all persevered this difficult period and any positive wishes/words of encouragement for the Villanova community as we head into 2021.” When I look back at this, it is a hard task indeed. Did anything good come from 2020? What, if any, positives can we take from this year to make next year and the years that follow better for all?

I got a few responses from staff.

Demian Katz, Director of Library Technology, wrote that “2020 has been an incredibly challenging and exhausting year, but I am optimistic that some of the lessons we’ve learned will continue to benefit us in the future, even after the pandemic subsides. We have all been forced to come up with new strategies for communicating and meeting, and I think some of these things will actually help us to be more efficient and to stay more closely connected in the long term.”

Beaudry Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist, shared that “…my hope for 2021 is the Villanova community continues to examine and confront the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. That the Aequitas: The Presidential Task Force on Race brings forth meaningful changes for all members of the Villanova community.”

Sarah Wingo, English Literature, Theatre, and Romance Languages and Literature Librarian said, “I really don’t have anything to say about perseverance because honestly I think that narrative puts a big shiny bow on a pile of garbage. This year has been hard, it continues to be hard, and the holidays will be hard as many of us will not be able to be with our families this year, everyone is just trying to do their best and make it through. That’s not perseverance, that’s survival. Mostly what I feel as this year draws to a close is relief that so far at least the people I love are safe and well, and gratitude for the support we’ve all been able to give each other through this extremely difficult year.”

I appreciate their honesty and gems of wisdom.

Their words got me thinking. Maybe the best thing to say about 2020 is that it’s almost over and that we muddled through the challenges together. We can acknowledge that it was hard and give ourselves grace. We are doing our best during a time that feels unstable and uncertain on many levels.

We all know that things were different at Villanova this year—We had to ensure a safe semester on campus. Services were modified, mask-wearing was enforced, in-person events were moved to virtual platforms campus-wide. A lot of hard sacrifices had to be made by everyone. The positive news is that faculty, staff, and students worked hard to adapt to the changes for the common good. And it really showed. We were able to successfully complete the fall 2020 semester on campus. Everyone should be proud about that.

Things certainly looked different at Falvey with the book stacks closed for public browsing and some seating removed. However, the Library staff were able to reimagine ways to support the VU community through this time. Throughout the semester, Falvey staff worked to offer some new services, including Contactless pick-up, scanning, virtual service desk, virtual events, as well as virtual librarian consultations. We hope this was a helpful support to the community.

So, while we know that the pandemic and the other tough issues we face aren’t going to magically end with the coming of 2021, hope is not lost. The truth is, we inch closer by continuing to do our best by opening ourselves up to learning, adapting, making hard sacrifices, and always remembering that sometimes it’s OK to be a little easier on ourselves.


Gina's headshotRegina Duffy is a Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Falvey Staff Holiday Traditions and Memories

Gingerbread House

 

By Regina Duffy

There weren’t many things to celebrate in 2020; however, one thing that we can certainly celebrate is that the holiday season has officially arrived. Despite difficult times, we can take some comfort in sharing some safe and festive holiday traditions and even re-living memories of holidays past.

Like most people, I have some things that I simply must do to commemorate this time of year. Beyond admiring the colorful light displays in my neighborhood and taking my kids to visit Santa at Arasapha Farms, I have a couple days that are dedicated to wrapping presents. It’s just me, a large peppermint mocha latte, and some Christmas classics playing in the background as I tackle a giant pile of presents on the living room floor. No interruptions.

While I can’t say that the wrapping job I do is a great, the process is fun and makes me feel so accomplished.

Are you still looking for some seasonal inspiration? I asked the Falvey Library staff to share some holiday traditions they celebrate as well as their favorite memories.

Sarah Wingo, English Literature, Theatre, and Romance Languages and Literature Librarian: “We don’t have a lot of super specific Christmas traditions, just cozy fires in the fireplace and decorating the Christmas tree. My birthday is December 6, and growing up we’d always decorate gingerbread houses at my birthday parties, the gingerbread my mom and I would bake and assemble ahead of time. This always felt like the start of the holiday season.”

Demian Katz, Director of Library Technology: “It’s kind of ridiculous, but one of my favorite holiday traditions is cleaning out my personal inbox. I maintain a website as a hobby, and I receive a lot of email throughout the year from people with feedback and suggestions, but I never have time to act on them until the holiday break. Every year, I frantically catch up on all those accumulated messages, vow that I will do a better job of keeping up with communication, and then fail completely until the next holiday break.”

Susan Turkel, Social Sciences Librarian: “[I remember the] Christmas break during my first year in college. While I was home, I had all four wisdom teeth removed! So, I spent a few days over the holiday home recovering – watching TV, eating soft food, ice pack held up to my face.” (This is a tough way to spend a holiday break!)

Linda Hauck, Business Librarian: “Every year my kids have performed in Swarthmore Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker which ran for two weekends in December. Parents were asked to volunteer to set up the theatre, apply makeup to the youngest dancers, and bake and serve fancy cookies at intermission. I’ve been baking Christmas cookies for the occasion for something like 12 years. I’ve had a lot of fun baking cookies to correspond to my daughter’s and son’s roles, including snowflakes, spice cookies, Christmas trees, linzer hearts, and springerle ginger nutcrackers. This year the performance has gone virtual. My daughter is off to college and son opted not to perform, which is just as well because while he still takes class, we don’t have the room in our home for him to dance full out on video. I’ll still be baking cookies to share with the dancers. Some of the other bakers and I will individually package them, and we are planning an outdoor drive by pick up. Sweet memories.”

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who took time to share with us. On behalf of everyone at Falvey Memorial Library, we wish you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season, however you decide to celebrate this year.

Do you have any special traditions or memories? Drop your comments below to share some of your own holiday magic.


Gina's headshotRegina Duffy is Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library. 

 

 


 


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Last Modified: December 15, 2020