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Try These Books Turned Hallmark Movies This Holiday Season

Poster of the Movie Guide—Countdown to Christmas 2021. Image courtesy of Hallmark Channel.

Movie Guide—Countdown to Christmas 2021. Image courtesy of Hallmark Channel.

Who doesn’t love Hallmark movies…Okay, I know not everyone likes Hallmark movies. So if you don’t like cheesy holiday cheer, this isn’t the blog for you. If you’re one of the people who likes Hallmark’s holiday classics (or someone who doesn’t publicly share their Hallmark fandom) you’re going to want to keep reading.

Now, before I continue with this article, I fully acknowledge that Hallmark movies are not Oscar-worthy films. Almost all of them feature over-the-top acting, quirky characters, overused clichés, and the same predictable plotlines. However, that formulized narrative is what makes them so appealing. “The human brain loves patterns and the predictability is cognitively rewarding,” explains Pamela Rutledge, Behavioral Scientist, Director of the Media Psychology Research Center and Media Psychology faculty at Fielding Graduate University. “Those predictable story arcs that draw on the standard patterns we recognize from fairytales offer comfort by presenting life as simple and moralistic…The movies provide simplistic solutions to all those stressors that the holidays can bring: family conflict, isolation or financial pressures.” 

That suspension of reality, as with any entertainment, is a form of escapism for viewers. So, while I may not inherit millions of dollars from a long-lost relative and move to a small town, and then proceed to save said small town from from financial difficulty, all the while meeting the love of my life during the Christmas season—I can reduce my stress level by getting lost in a fictional reality full of hopeful optimism.

While Hallmark is famous for its “Countdown to Christmas,” and Lifetime for “Its a Wonderful Lifetime,” many streaming platforms have also begun to produce holiday-themed films and mini-series that mirror Hallmark’s movie format. We all celebrate the holidays differently, and if Hallmark movies, or similar films, are part of your festivities—embrace and enjoy the cheesy cheerfulness. If not, make some hot chocolate, change the channel, and find another movie that will help you decompress.

If you prefer the page to the screen, try reading a book (or two) that Hallmark films are based upon this holiday season:

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. Her favorite Hallmark Movie is The Christmas Card.



References: Page, D. (2019, November 16). Here’s why it feels so good to watch those Hallmark holiday movies. NBC News. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from




Remembering Ray Heitzmann, PhD


Headshot of Dr. Ray Heitzmann.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Heitzmann’s family. Featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Professor, coach, academic adviser, and all-around Wildcats booster,” Dr. Ray Heitzmann, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Education and Counseling at Villanova, passed away on July 11, 2020. Author of more than 50 books, Dr. Heitzmann was a faculty member at Villanova University for 40 years. Celebrating Dr. Heitzmann’s life and legacy, the Villanova community is invited to a memorial mass on Friday, Oct. 22 at 12:05 p.m. in St. Thomas of Villanova Church. A reception will follow in the East Lounge of Dougherty Hall.

Dr. Heitzmann‘s obituary can be found here.

Explore some of Dr. Heitzmann’s works at Falvey Memorial Library: 

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






Foto Friday: Coffee and Course Guides


Alfred Fry, Science and Engineering Librarian, collaborates with Villanova faculty.

Alfred Fry, Science and Engineering Librarian, collaborates with Villanova faculty.

Partnering with the Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL), Falvey Memorial Library co-sponsored an orientation breakfast on Wednesday, Aug. 18, in Falvey’s Speakers’ Corner to welcome new Villanova faculty to Falvey Library. Gathering according to discipline, subject librarians like Alfred Fry, Science and Engineering Librarian, highlighted library services and initiatives for the Villanova community.

Are you a science major? Engineering major? Contact Alfred Fry for a research consultation. Find your subject librarian here.

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




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Post-Quarantine Cooking with Kallie

Thank you for joining me for the next installment of Post-Quarantine Cooking with Kallie. In case you missed my previous four-part video series, I selected recipes from the Villanova University Digital Library and provided viewers cooking demonstrations and step-by-step instructions for crafting the delicious dishes. While I am no longer in quarantine, I had a great time brining a few historical recipes to life. In that spirit, I plan to continue the blog series this summer with a few new delicacies.

This month, I’ve selected a lasagna dish from Anonimo Toscano, Libro della Cocina (late 14th or early 15th c.) The original text can be viewed here. The Italian cookbook, penned by an anonymous Tuscan author, features 184 recipes with a variety of ingredients and helpful preparations. Below is the translation:

(147) Take good, white flour; dilute it with warm water, and make it thick; then roll it out thin and let it dry: it must be cooked in capon or other fat meat broth: then put it on a platter with grated rich cheese, layer by layer, as you like.

The recipe was one of many featured during the College of Professional Studies virtual mini-course: “The HistoryCulture and Language of Italian Food.” In partnership with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Mary Migliozzi, Ph.D., Assistant Teaching Professor at Villanova University, shared Italian culinary traditions by “tracing Italian food from Roman and Etruscan origins through the myriad transnational influences of the middle ages and Renaissance and into the regional and globally-influenced food traditions of the 21st century.” See below for cooking tutorial. View the noodle recipe here

Some of my Falvey colleagues attended the virtual course and we reviewed a few primary sources:

For more Italian recipes, check out these resources from Falvey Memorial Library:

The next featured recipe: Philadelphia vanilla ice cream.

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




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Welcome to Falvey: Emily Poteat Joins Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement

“I’m very happy to be working with Distinctive Collections and Irish Studies. With this graduate assistantship, I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds.”

Emily Poteat recently joined the Falvey Memorial Library staff as graduate assistant for Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement and Villanova’s Irish Studies Program. Working primarily with the Irish American Collection in Distinctive Collections, Poteat has discovered many voices of Irish-Americans living in the early 20th century and has begun transcribing their stories. She is currently examining a travel diary by Joseph McGarrity.

“He [McGarrity] brings so much nuance to his diary. I’ve read works by him for an audience and this diary is clearly just for him because he’s not taking care with his handwriting, its very scrawly. In some instances, he may have been writing while traveling the Irish countryside because there’d be a mark across the entire page where the pen just dragged. Delving into the history of Ireland, its really interesting to hear that perspective from an Irish-American who was so involved in Irish Republican activities.”

Another project Poteat has been working on is Mary Linehan’s Irish-American Poetry Commonplace Book. “We couldn’t tell which poems were written by Mary and which poems were commonplace. The only two we were able to identify as not penned by Mary was a poem about Mary Queen of Scots and a newspaper clipping that Mary had cut out and pasted onto a page of her book. It has been very interesting hearing the voices of different people and getting a small glimpse into their lives.”

Graduating from Elon University with a BA in history and minors in political science and German studies, Poteat has conducted a variety of archival research throughout her undergraduate career. Working as a intern with The MacArthur Memorial, she researched the Korean War and worked alongside their archival and curatorial department doing exhibition research where she had the opportunity to transcribe General Douglas MacArthur’s communique’. “The end result of that project was a research paper focusing on journalism during the Interwar period and how MacArthur’s communique’ was discussed throughout WWI and WWII.”

Her senior thesis focused on British identity at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the Indian Rebellion of 1857: She examined cartoons of both events published in Punch Magazine, analyzing aspects of British identity that were put on display for the public. For another project, she traced the history of the Red Army Faction (the Baader–Meinhof Group) and documented its transition from student-led operation to German militant organization.

A graduate student in the Department of History at Villanova University, Poteat plans to continue her study in modern German. Fluent in the language, she will focus her research on Nazi propaganda. “I want to focus on Volksgemeinschaft (people’s community) and examine the ways propaganda emerged and how it was distributed and communicated to the German public. I’m hoping to continue exploring geo-politics between Russia and the United States with the atomic bomb during the Cold War.”

In her free time, Poteat enjoys watercolor painting, copperplate calligraphy, and modern script calligraphy. She is looking forward to transcribing meeting minutes of the Irish Republican committees and societies in the United States. “I have a passion for special collections and archives. [This job] is a joy…This is always what I dreamed of doing.”

Follow Poteat’s work on the Falvey Library blog:

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




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Everything But The Shark Week—Dive Deeper: Octopus

Everything but the shark week banner

Still of a maroon octopus from the Netflix documentary, "My Octopus Teacher.” Image courtesy of Netflix.

“My Octopus Teacher.” Image courtesy of Netflix.

This week, many individuals are celebrating the return of one of summer’s favorite pastimes…Shark Week.

At Falvey Library, we’re spotlighting a few unsung sea creatures on the blog. Should octopuses have their own week on the Discovery channel? Of course they should. I mean, they have three hearts! For additional information on octopuses (yes, that is the plural of ‘octopus’) check out the resources below.

Octopus Fast Facts:

  • Venomous.
  • Taste with their skin.
  • Can solve puzzles and use tools.
  • Change color and texture—excellent camouflage abilities.
  • Good hunters on and off land (they can leave the water for minutes at a time).
  • Octopuses can fit through any opening larger than their parrot-like beaks.
  • Can squirt deadly ink at predators.
  • Their arms (not tentacles) can even react after they’ve been completely severed.
  • Have blue blood.
  • Most species only live between one and two years.
  • Can change their body shape to mimic other animals.

Recommended Resources for Cephalopod Fans:

Check back tomorrow for some fun facts on narwhals!

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




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Dig Deeper: Remembering Diana, Princess of Wales, on Her 60th Birthday

Photo of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Photo courtesy of Julian Parker/UK Press/Getty Images.

“I think the biggest disease the world suffers from in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved. I know that I can give love for a minute, for half an hour, for a day, for a month, but I can give. I am very happy to do that, I want to do that.” –Princess Diana

Today, July 1, 2021, a statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, commissioned by the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, will be installed on what would have been her 60th birthday. One of many memorials crafted in tribute to Princess Diana, the sculpture, created by artist Ian Rank-Broadley, will be placed in the garden of the London palace. Prince William and Prince Harry hope “the permanent sculpture will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to ‘reflect on her life and her legacy.'”

In 1995, Princess Diana stated in a TV interview with Martin Bashir (BBC) that she wanted to be a queen of people’s hearts. Twenty-four years after her death, “The People’s Princess,” [an endearment first issued by former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair] has left a legacy that continues to resonate with people today. One of the most influential figures of 20th century, Diana is remembered for ability to connect with all people, valuing “authenticity over protocol, and humanity over prestige.”

Diana, Princess of Wales, formerly Lady Diana Frances Spencer, was born on July 1, 1961, at Park House near Sandringham, Norfolk. She was the youngest daughter of Edward John Spencer, Viscount Althorp and Frances Spencer, Viscountess Althorp. She and her three siblings, sisters Sarah and Jane, and brother Charles, grew up at Park House on the Sandringham Estate, owned by The Royal Family. Diana’s parents separated in 1967; she briefly lived in London with her mother, until her father won custody after the marriage dissolved in 1969. Her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975, and moved the family from Park House to Althorp, the Spencer seat in Northamptonshire.

Initially home-schooled, Diana began her formal education at Silfield Private School in Gayton, Norfolk, before enrolling in preparatory school at Riddlesworth Hall in Diss, Norfolk. She then joined her sisters at West Heath Girls School, in Sevenoaks, Kent. She also attended finishing school at the Institut Alpin Videmanette in Rougemont, Switzerland, which she left after just a few months in 1978. Returning to London that same year, Diana lived with her mother and began a number of part-jobs including nannying for an American couple and working as a kindergarten assistant at the Young England school in Pimlico. When she turned 18, Diana’s mother bought her a flat where she lived with friends until she began her life as Princess of Wales.

Diana first met Prince Charles in 1977, when he began dating her sister Sarah. Though the families had known each other for many years, Diana crossed paths with Charles again at a polo match in 1980. They began their courtship soon after and officially announced their engagement on Feb. 24, 1981. They married a few months later at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on July 29. “The Royal Wedding was broadcast worldwide on television and was watched by nearly 750 million viewers.” The couple had two sons, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, born June 21, 1982, and Prince Henry (Harry) Charles Albert David, born Sept. 15, 1984.

After her wedding, Princess Diana quickly became involved in many official duties: “Although the Princess was renowned for her style and was closely associated with the fashion world, patronising and raising the profile of younger British designers, she was best known for her charitable work. The Princess was president or patron of over 100 charities and did much to publicise work on behalf of homeless and also disabled people, children and people with HIV/AIDS.” Throughout her turbulent marriage to Prince Charles, Diana devoted her time to raising her children and supporting causes close to her heart. Even after her separation from Prince Charles in 1992, and subsequent divorce in 1996, Diana remained devoted to her charities and philanthropic efforts.

Diana’s last official engagement was on July 21, when she visited the children’s accident and emergency unit at Northwick Park Hospital in London. Princess Diana passed away on August 31, 1997, from injuries she sustained during a car accident in the Place de l’Alma underpass in central Paris. The crash also resulted in the deaths of the driver, Henri Paul, and Diana’s companion Dodi Fayed. Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, survived the crash. “The Princess’s body was subsequently repatriated to the United Kingdom and her funeral was held on September 6, 1997 in Westminster Abbey. Diana is buried in sanctified ground on an island in the center of an ornamental lake at her family’s estate at Althorp.”

At Diana’s funeral, her brother Charles described the connection she shared with so many individuals:

“Diana explained to me once that it was her innermost feelings of suffering that made it possible for her to connect with her constituency…And here we come to another truth about her. For all the status, the glamour, the applause, Diana remained throughout a very insecure person at heart, almost childlike in her desire to do good for others so she could release herself from deep feelings of unworthiness…The world sensed this part of her character and cherished her for her vulnerability whilst admiring her for her honesty.”

For additional information on Diana, Princess of Wales, explore the resources below:


50MINUTES.COM. (2018). Princess Diana: The tragic fate of the nation’s sweetheart. ProQuest Ebook Central.

BBC. (2020, August 28). Princess Diana statue to be installed to mark her 60th birthday. BBC News.

Goodey, E. (2020, March 31). Diana, Princess of Wales. The Royal Family.

Hallemann, C. (2018, June 6). Looking Back at Princess Diana’s Brother’s Controversial Eulogy. Town & Country.

Hare, B. (2020, August 31). How Diana became known as ‘the people’s princess’. CNN.

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



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Falvey Library Staff Offer 2021 Summer Reading Recommendations

Last week, we shared summer reading recommendations by the faculty of Villanova’s English Department.

This week, we’re happy to share reading recommendations by the staff at Falvey Memorial Library. Once you’ve explored the list below, check out some summer reads suggested by Falvey’s Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement. Hope you’re having a great summer, Wildcats—See you in August!

Shawn Proctor, Communication & Marketing Program Manager

  • One Jar of Magic by Corey Ann Haydu: A middle grade fantasy book dealing with an abusive parent and a child who could never live up to unrealistic expectations. Lush and beautiful prose. Poignant and timely story.
  • Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson: In this young adult novel, a ne’er-do-well woman reunites with her childhood friend and must watch over her two adopted children…who just so happen to burst into flames whenever they are upset.
  • Small Spaces by Katherine Arden: A chilling and engaging middle grade novel in which a girl and her two friends must channel a ghost to survive a cursed night filled with evil scarecrows.

Linda Hauck, Business Librarian

Regina Duffy, Communication & Marketing Program Manager

  • I’ve been on a bit of a Stephen King kick lately. One of my brothers is a big King fan, so I go to him for recommendations. Currently, I am reading The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands. There are a lot of books in the series, so I had to brace myself before starting. It’s about a gunslinger on a quest for a mythical dark tower and his experiences on his long journey. The series combines elements of western, fantasy, science fiction, and horror. It’s been a fun way to escape the everyday and it’s going to be a long time before I run out of material.
  • View all books in The Dark Tower series here. Books can be requested through other libraries via EZ Borrow or ILLiad.

Darren Poley, Associate Director of Research Services

  • The Aeneid by Vergil. Translated by Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer, PhD, Helen A. Regenstein Distinguished Service Professor in Classics and the Program in Gender Studies, University of Chicago.
  • Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages by Holly Ordway, PhD.
  • Person and Act and Related Essays by Karol Wojtyla. The English Critical Edition of the Works of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, volume 1.

Caroline Sipio, Access & Collections Coordinator 

Danielle Adamowitz, Resource Management & Description Coordinator

Mike Sgier, Service Desk Coordinator

Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication & Marketing

  • There is nothing like reading about the beach while you’re actually on the beach, so I’m not hesitant to admit that I’ll be loading my waterproof kindle with Elin Hilderbrand‘s (the queen of the smart beach read) latest: The Sixth Wedding: A 28 Summers Story. This is a one-sitting, 76 page sequel to 28 Summers, a romance inspired by the old Alan Alda movie “Same Time, Next Year”.
  • And, since that one shouldn’t take more than an afternoon to tackle, I’m also looking forward to exploring two upcoming design books which sound fantastic. The first, Black Designers in American Fashion, describes dressmaking as one of few professions available to Black women after emancipation, and discloses how fashion can uncover hidden histories of activism, especially among designers who went unrecognized due to race.
  • The second is Extra Bold: A Feminist, Inclusive, Anti-racist, Nonbinary Field Guide for Graphic Designers. Ellen Lupton, its author, has written dozens of seminal texts in the field; this latest one is being described as “part textbook and part comic book, zine, manifesto, survival guide, and self-help manual.” Both are must reads!

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. She plans to readThe Octopus Museum: Poems” by Brenda Shaughnessy.




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Mindfulness Monday: Resources for Summer Meditation

mindfulness mondays banner

Thank you, Nova Nation, for joining Campus Ministry and Falvey Library for Mindfulness Mondays this academic year. Linda Jaczynski, MA, MS ’88, Director, Center for Worship and Spirituality, who led the virtual meditation sessions has compiled a list of resources to aid your mindfulness practice this summer.

Looking for more mindfulness? Check out these Falvey Library resources!

Have a great (and safe) summer, Wildcats! Be sure to join us for mindfulness meditation this fall.

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




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Students—Please Return All Library Materials By Tuesday, May 11


All library materials borrowed by students, especially graduating students, must be returned to Falvey Library by Tuesday, May 11. Students will be billed for materials not returned by this date. Click here to login to your library account and view your checked out materials. Questions? Email



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Last Modified: May 3, 2021