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Highlighter: Lesley Nneka Arimah

 

Welcome to “The Highlighter,” where we’ll be exploring the various new and old services and resources available through the Falvey!


On Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7pm, Lesley Nneka Arimah will visit Speakers Corner at Falvey Memorial Library. Arimah, who spent parts of her early life in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, is an up-and-coming short story writer. A contributor to Harper’s and The New Yorker, Arimah has just published her first short story collection titled What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky.

Arimah poses for a photo.

What It Means… covers important topics confronting women in the 21st century – from stigma surrounding depression to expectations on social media to complications in love and marriage. The library has a few other resources you might explore to prepare for Arimah’s event Thursday evening:

Buchi’s Girls
A heart-wrenching short story about the difference between slaughter and sacrifice, this one will undoubtedly bring several tears to your eyes. It recounts the harrows of Buchi’s destitute Nigerian motherhood. As family tensions rise, the charming yet emaciated chicken named Kano spurns this story toward an emotional and powerful yet profoundly sad ending.

GLORY
A curiously named young woman confronts the expectations of her parents, and of herself, in this short story. She meets the perfect man who makes her consider a less-than-ideal living situation. Showing off Arimah as one of the best sentimentalist writers of her generation and covering such hot topics as social media and suicide, “GLORY” will have you pondering why it might be better to trick the gods sometimes than to please them.

If these tastes of Arimah’s storytelling haven’t fully convinced you to check out What It Means…, then take a look at these reviews, which we also have available through our databases. This one from Publisher’s Weekly explains, “Arimah gracefully inserts moments of levity into each tale and creates complex characters who are easy to both admire and despise.” Another, from Book World, claims, “Arimah’s voice is vibrant and fresh, her topics equally timely and timeless.”


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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Highlighter: Black History Month begins

Welcome to “The Highlighter,” where we’ll be exploring the various new and old services and resources available through the Falvey!


Welcome to the first of a four-part “Highlighter!” All throughout the month, this column will be celebrating black history through the resources available to you at Falvey.

We’ll start this week by highlighting the black history display that our communication and marketing department put together, which will be up all month on the first floor. Rabia Koureissi (’19) inspired the display, and Special Collections and Digital Library Coordinator Michael Foight and Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement Librarian Susan Ottignon helped assemble the materials from the University Archives.

Here’s a photo of the full display. You’ll notice large portraits of prominent black community members – among them: doctors, Villanova faculty, and athletes.

One of my favorite spreads in the display is made up of these two pieces: a profile on Ben Ijalana (’11) – New York Jets tackle – and details on one Villanova scholar’s work in Cameroon.

Another great component of the display is this spread that includes a photo of Jerome Candy, M.D., in Villanova Magazine and a story covering Sydney Maree’s (’81) journey from South African apartheid victim to US citizen.

If scholarly pursuits are more your thing, (or if you happened to take Travis Foster’s “Racial Pathologies” course, the one with the excellent graduate instructor intern, ehem,) then check out some of the scholarly works available through Falvey’s databases.


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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Highlighter: Tyehimba Jess

Welcome to “The Highlighter,” where we’ll be exploring the various new and old services and resources available through the Falvey!


This evening, Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7pm, Tyehimba Jess will give a reading and a talk at the Connolly Center as part of the annual Lit Fest. Jess hails from Detroit and has a BA in public policy from the University of Chicago as well as an MFA from New York University. An associate professor of poetry and fiction at CUNY: Staten Island, Jess has also found the time to publish two acclaimed poetry collections and appear on such prestigious broadcasts as NPR and TED.

I personally admire Jess’ impassioned and matter-of-fact style of speaking as well as his ability to talk about complex social and literary issues in a clear and approachable way. Don’t just take my word for it though! Take a look at the the resources assembled below and be sure to confirm your opinion by seeing Jess here on campus tonight!

Jess poses for a portrait. More information on his event available here.

Jess’ Collections at Falvey

TED Talk – Jess talks conjoined twins and conjoined sonnets

NPR – Jess talks minstrel shows and his collection Olio

Jess’ publications in Ploughshares, “freedom” and “out

Lit Hub Interview


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Highlighter: Explore New Lands at Falvey

Welcome to “The Highlighter,” where we’ll be exploring the various new and old services and resources available through the Falvey!


“Many things appeal to me about antique maps,” said John F. Smith III, who donated a large antique map collection to Falvey’s Special Collections, “particularly the older ones: the left side of my brain likes the science that has gone into the map, the right side likes the beauty of the map (particularly the beautifully decorated maps made in the 17th century), and in any case I find the often-failed efforts of early mapmakers to get their geography straight because of the imperfect information at their disposal to be fascinating as a matter of history.”

Whether you’re left-side brained or right-side brained, the cartographic treasures from the John F. Smith III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collections on display now on the first floor of Falvey are worth your while.

“The Icy North”

You can take a trip to the unexplored regions of the “Icy North” and search for the elusive northwest passage. You can ponder the balance of the world with Aristotle and the “Unmapped Southern Continent.” The latter of these adventures will leave you with some interesting knowledge: people speculated about the existence of Antarctica from as early as the 4th century.

Other fun maps include the Curious Cartography display, where you’ll find a precursor to the modern jigsaw puzzle!

A two-part map of Ireland.

If history and aesthetics are more your thing, be sure to visit the Ireland, Japan, and Age of Exploration displays. You can admire the detail of a map produced shortly after Japan began trading with the West. You can see where Capt. James Cook’s adventures took him before a tragic mistake in Hawaii, or you can see a very detailed map of Ireland’s westernmost county, Connaught.

Japan, as viewed only shortly after admitting foreign traders.

This amount of travel hasn’t been possible in first floor Falvey since our “Around the World” display!


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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Highlighter: Stress Busting Edition

Welcome to “The Highlighter,” where we’ll be exploring the various new and old services and resources available through the Falvey!


’Tis the season, Wildcats! That means more assignments in seemingly less time than ever before. The coming weeks will test you. Yes, literally on the final exams for sure, but you’ll also be tested out of the classroom in how you can effectively manage the burdens of the end of the semester push.

Falvey can help; here are three resources available through the best campus library on the planet:

1). Stress busting events, Dec. 11 & 12. We’ll see you on Monday, Dec. 11, for our annual “open house” in the first floor lounge from 12pm-3pm. This year will include socializing, a raffle, a Will D. Cat appearance, and (drum roll, please!) … A hot tater tot bar with all the fixins’!

tots, tot, tot poster, tater tots, open house, finals, stress relief

We believe in YOU!

We’ll follow that up with a visit from Pals for Life from 1pm-3pm on Dec. 1 in Room 205. That day will also feature a study break with Provost Patrick Maggitti, Ph.D., from 3pm-4pm in the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room Lobby; hot chocolate will be served.

2.) Stress busting books. You’ll find articles and books in our databases that explore the scientific underpinnings of stress and even ones that look at the effects of stress on business. You’ll also find, however, a few books that explore the practical side of overcoming stress – like this one by the Harvard Medical School or “Managing Stress” by Brian Luke Seaward. A quick search might even turn up old blog posts, like this Curious ’Cat.

3.) Stress-free spaces. There’s some comfort in hunkering down for those long study sessions surrounded by other people pushing through along with you. You can find a number of collaborative study spaces here in the library from the first floor to the Learning Commons. If you’re more of a silent studier, the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room is also available 24/7.

Disclaimer: These resources can help you deal with the normal stress levels that accompany this time of year. If you are suffering, or you think a friend may be suffering, with what you believe to be beyond normal stress levels, do not hesitate to reach out to the Counseling Center.


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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The Highlighter: Three Books on World Hunger

Welcome to “The Highlighter,” where we’ll be exploring the various new and old services and resources available through the Falvey!


On Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 6pm, Falvey Memorial Library will host a Q&A Panel titled “Local Perspectives on Global Hunger” in Speakers’ Corner. While details of the event continue to come in, I’d like to take this week’s “Highlighter” as an opportunity to bring some of our resources on world hunger to you. Here are three books you might read to prepare for the event:

  1. World Hunger: Twelve Myths” by Lappé and Collins

Foremost among these myths: hunger in other parts of the world does not affect the people back here in the states. Give this book a read to see how two experts make the argument that solidarity with the hungry rather than distance from the problem may help bring about a resolution.

  1. Ending Hunger in Our Lifetime: Food Security and Globalization” by Runge, Senauer, Pardey and Rosegrant

Why is it that parts for my cell phone can readily be shipped from around the world, but food can’t be readily shipped to parts of the world that are suffering with hunger? This data-driven and factual account of world hunger might help you answer similar questions. Don’t be turned off, though, by its mathematical analysis; its prose is as easy to read as any book on such a heavy topic.

  1. The Atlas of World Hunger” by Bassett and Winter-Nelson

Not your typical atlas, this reference work combines startling visuals with concrete information to help you conceptualize the scope of the problem. If you find yourself pressed for time and want a couple of quick rundowns before the event on Wednesday, this might be your best bet.

If you find yourself particularly persuaded by the arguments and details in these books, you might consider researching more in-depth on Falvey’s databases, where you’ll find an almost innumerable amount of information on world hunger. Might we suggest a visit to Humanities Librarian Robert LeBlanc or Political Science and Geography & the Environment (and many other topics) Librarian Merrill Stein?


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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The Highlighter: Black Villanova Oral History Project

Welcome to “The Highlighter,” where we’ll be exploring the various new and old services and resources available through the Falvey!


Did you know that Falvey has a digital library? Did you know that it hosts various exhibits? Did you know that one of those exhibits is a Black Villanova Oral History Project? Well now you know all those things!

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, Falvey Memorial Library will be co-sponsoring a talk by Tom Mogan, Dean of Students at Boston College, tilted “The Social Significance of Villanova Athletes During the Civil Rights Movement.” Mogan’s dissertation on the same topic formed the foundation for the digital library page as it exists today.

This week’s highlighter is about bringing some of these resources to you in preparation for that event:

  1. The Digital Library Page: Black Villanova Oral History Project
  2. One of the exhibit’s histories on Dr. Edward Collymore, ’59; it is, as far as I can tell, the earliest oral record on the page.
  3. Another of the exhibit’s histories: Normadene Murphy, ’76 – the only woman to feature on the page.
  4. Mogan’s dissertation, titled “The Limits to Catholic Racial Liberalism: The Villanova Encounter with Race, 1940-1985.”
  5. A couple of pertinent news stories from the Washington Post and the Daily News. accessible via ProQuest Newsstream.

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    Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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The Highlighter: Banned Books Available for Borrowing

Welcome to “The Highlighter,” where we’ll be exploring the various new and old services and resources available through the Falvey!


In the past, we’ve brought you staff-picks of banned books, displays on banned books, topics in banned books, and even film-adapted banned books. With the topic of censorship taking over our Twitter feeds, however, I’d like to take the present “Highlighter” to remind you of the cultural import of banned books and tell you where they might be found in the library!

Here’s the thing with banned books: we often get a kick out of “why” a book was banned: “Harry Potter” for promoting witchcraft, for example, or “The Lord of the Rings,” for its Satanic elements. The list goes on and on, really. “Brideshead Revisited” was banned for elements of homosexuality – poor Anthony B-B-Blanche! – and “Fahrenheit 451,” itself an indictment on censorship, was censored for foul language.

If you are at all like Hunter here, you’re thinking “William! Why are you giving me more reading?” But stick with me; I promise it’s worth it!

In the curiousness (and even downright hilarity) of these accusations, we often forget to take the moment to think about how others might see things. Maybe it’s easy for us to see that “Harry Potter” is about friendship and coming of age, or simple for us to see the greater, yet fictional, powers at work in “The Lord of the Rings.” But maybe for others that distinction is not so black-and-white.

No book ought ever be banned. This week, as we mark ALA’s Banned Books Week to celebrate, “the freedom to read,” let us remember the great freedoms afforded to us through our Villanovan education. Let’s not forget to read these books critically, and, instead of laughing off those who have banned them before, let’s learn a thing or two about “how” others think. Perhaps a bit of old-fashioned well-rounded thought will go a long way as far as ensuring that our cherished tales of the future remain on the bookshelves for all to enjoy.

Me settling in with one of our banned books.

Here’s some of my favorites and where you’ll find them in the Falvey!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling – Why not start from the beginning and give the whole series another read?

Brideshead Revisited” by Evelyn Waugh – Melodramatic yet deeply profound, “Brideshead…” keeps you asking for more.

Watchmen” by Alan Moore – A comic? Yes. Comical? No.

Carrie” by Stephen King – Decades before my college roommates hung the creepy “Carrie” film poster in my dorm room, King wrote the original as a bone-chilling yet touchingly sad novel.

Lord of the Flies” by William Golding – My middle school teachers put this book in the hands of an all-boys class perhaps too soon; we admired the boys for their state-building acumen – not the case, now that I’m a bit older (and at least slightly more mature).


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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Tuesday Highlighter: Happy (Belated) National Read an eBook Day!

Welcome to “The Highlighter,” where we’ll be exploring the various new and old services and resources available through the Falvey!


 

Yesterday, Sept. 18, marked National Read an eBook Day. Last year, we celebrated the day by bringing you some recommendations on which eBooks to read. This year, recognizing the quantity and quality of eBooks available through the Falvey, I dug a little deeper. Description Management Librarian David Burke provided me with the just the information I needed:

WR: Just how many eBooks are available to those with access to the Falvey’s catalog and databases?

DB: We have access to nearly 300,000 unique eBooks available through several platforms and publishers.

Are these mostly contemporary novels and academic journals?

They come in many different types.  Some collections consist of digital facsimiles of old published works—for example, Early English Books Online is a collections of books, pamphlets, and other primary source material published in the late 1400’s (about when printing came to England) to 1700.

David Burke, Description Management Librarian and knower of all things eBook -related at the Falvey.

Are most eBooks, then, just digital versions of physical books whose copyrights have elapsed?

Well, others are published collections of specific publishers, including Wiley, the University of Oxford Press, and Springer (from this last we have over 37,000 titles).  And there are platforms featuring titles from various publishers including JSTOR, Ebook Central (a subsidiary of ProQuest), and Project Muse.

Are most historical in nature?

Subjects covered by these ebooks are all across the board, and vary from 2 page pamphlets to multi-volume encyclopedia to novels.

New hobbies!

Many historical books have been converted to the eBook medium for ease of access!

Can I access some of the materials in our own Special Collections as eBooks?

Of course! We also have our locally-digitized collections of eBooks within the Digital Library, especially our dime novel collection.


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

 


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Tuesday Highlighter: Novel Adaptations

Welcome to “The Highlighter,” where we’ll be exploring the various new and old services and resources available through the Falvey!


“The Highlighter” typically focuses on updates either interior to the library or updates accessible through the library, but this week I’ll be writing about something a little different: adaptations. As it turns out, some of our favorite books here at the Falvey will hit the screen at the end of this year and beginning of next. Here’s our top five, the book versions of which happen to be available through the catalog:

1. “It” by Stephen King:

Cover to Stephen King’s “It.”

Already grossing nearly $200 million worldwide, “It” has taken horror films to new heights, and industry insiders are already talking about how its September release may indeed sway how studios approach marketing their films in the future. The story of Pennywise the clown, of course, comes from a Stephen King novel of the same name released in 1986.

You can find it through the catalog here. We recommend taking advantage of Falvey’s 24/7 hours pilot and reading it in the dark of night.

2. “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls:

“The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls cover.

This 2009 OneBook Villanova selection has also already been released. In theatres now, “The Glass Castle” tells the harrowing story of Jeannette Walls’ own childhood and adolescence of extreme poverty. Originally a memoir, the filmic adaptation stars Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson. Make sure to bring your tissues for this one, and get your inner-social-justice-warrior persona geared up and ready to go.

3. “The Vietnam War: An Intimate History” by Geoffrey C. Ward:

A page within the companion volume to “The Vietnam War: An Intimate History.” (Courtesy of Google Books’ preview of the same.)

Starting this Sunday on PBS, “The Vietnam War: An Intimate History” will be a 10-part series by esteemed director Ken Burns. The idea of the project is to tell stories of the Vietnam War that differ from the standard narrative. This one is less of a strict “adaptation,” and more of a companion reader, but you won’t want to miss out! Geoffrey C. Ward wrote the screenplay and companion book, which you won’t find on the stacks in the Falvey, but it is available through Inter-library Loan.

4. “Looking for Alaska” by John Green:

“Looking for Alaska” 10th Anniversary Cover. (courtesy of johngreenbooks.com)

Break out another box of tissues for this John Green young adult novel. If the central drama of this tearjerker does not evoke strong emotions for you, then I simply don’t know what will. It doesn’t look like we’ll get to see this film before the new year, but that gives you plenty of time to check out the novel and give it a read before testing it against the adaptation.

5. “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie:

“Murder on the Orient Express” cover, courtesy of Wikipedia.

A star-studded cast, including Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp, and Daisy Ridley, will bring this Agatha Christie novel to life on-screen in November. Before then, you can check out our copy of the novel (which includes another four novels!). You should also be aware, however, that this is not the first adaptation of this installment of the Hercule Poirot series. It came to life three times before on screen and once as a BBC Radio series.

These are the adaptations we’re looking forward to the most at the Falvey! Which adaptations did we miss, ’Nova Nation? Are you Wildcats looking forward to seeing any of your favorite books on the big screen this year? Let us know in the comments below or via Twitter and Facebook.


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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Last Modified: September 12, 2017