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Chat with Librarians and Access Services Staff Via the Library Website

By Shawn Proctor and Migena Rrapushaj

Patrons who access Falvey Library remotely now have the option of connecting with live assistance via the website’s live library chat.

Librarians are available to assist with various reference questions students and faculty may have, such as research help and finding resources in our databases. Begin a chat by clicking the “Ask Us: Live Chat” button on the bottom right and top right of Falvey’s website.

Similarly, Access Services staff can assist with questions about circulation of Library materials, access to the Library, Interlibrary Loans, Library user accounts, and more. Staff can be contacted directly on pages relevant to Access Services (for example, the “Borrow from Falvey Library” page) by typing a message in any of the chat boxes that are visible.

Live chat assistance is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., on most weeks during the semester.

This service will be a help to patrons, helping them navigate the Library’s robust resources and databases from on campus or around the world!

Shawn Proctor, MFA, is Communication and Marketing Program Manager, and Migena Rrapushaj is Access and Collections Specialist at Falvey Library.



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Happy Easter Season!

Easter Cross


“We are not alone: Jesus, the Living One, is with us, forever. Let the Church and the world rejoice, for today our hopes no longer come up against the wall of death, for the Lord has built us a bridge to life. Yes, brothers and sisters, at Easter the destiny of the world was changed, and on this day, which also coincides with the most probable date of Christ’s resurrection, we can rejoice to celebrate, by pure grace, the most important and beautiful day of history.”
-Pope Francis


Cat in the Stax: Easter Break Movie Recs

As Falvey’s Cat in the Stax, Rebecca writes articles covering a broad range of topics, from academics to hobbies to random events. All the while highlighting how Falvey Library can enhance your Villanova experience!

Happy Wednesday, Wildcats! Today marks the beginning of Easter Break at Villanova. Enjoy the long weekend and use these days off to rest, relax, and recharge because once we come back, we’ll be in the final stretch of the semester. Read a book, watch a movie, binge watch that Netflix series you’ve had your eye on, or just catch up on some much-needed sleep. Here’s a list of fun and uplifting movies to watch if you’re looking for a way to pass the time:

Movie Poster from IMDb


Mamma Mia!

Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried star in this 2008 musical featuring a free-spirited hotelier in Greece and her young daughter Sophie. As she prepares to get married, Sophie invited three of her mom’s past lovers to the island in the hopes of finding her father and having him walk her down the aisle. This film is available at Falvey through their DVD Collection and is also currently streaming on Netflix.



Movie Poster from IMDb



A League of Their Own

Based on a true story, this movie tells the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which formed during World War II after all the male baseball players went off to war. Tom Hanks stars as a washed-up baseball player who is enlisted to coach one of the new All-Girls Teams. Falvey has this film on DVD, but you can also watch it on Hulu and Peacock.



Movie Poster from IMDb


Big Fish

This film directed by Tim Burton is based on the 1998 novel about a dying father and his son. Edward Bloom’s fantastical tales have always put distance between him and his son Will, who now wants to make an effort to understand his father better. You can watch this movie through Falvey’s streaming service.

Movie Poster from IMDb





Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

This movie follows its titular character and his friends on their many adventures after they skip school one day, available at Falvey on DVD.





Rebecca AmrickRebecca Amrick is a first year graduate student in the English Department and a Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.

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Curious Cat: Early Bird or Night Owl

"Curious Cat Banner"

Happy Thursday, Wildcats! This week, the Curious Cat team asked students, “Are you an early bird or a night owl?”

“Early Bird”
-Jafet A. Beltran ’25 COE


“early bird”
-Hannah Slattery ’25 COE


“Early Riser”
-Nicholas Grieco ’26 CLAS


Rebecca AmrickRebecca Amrick is a first-year graduate student in the English Department and a Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.




Julia Wagner ’26 CLAS is a second-year Economics major and student worker at Falvey Library.





TBT: Celebrating the 2019 Falvey Scholars

Upcoming deadline alert, faculty and students!

Each academic year, the Library welcomes nominations from faculty across campus in order to highlight the undergraduate research at Villanova. Here are the 2019 winners, known as Falvey Scholars, who presented their work at a celebration event and were featured in the Library’s publication Mosaic.

Nominations for the 2024 Falvey Scholars Awards deadline Sunday, March 24.




Cat in the Stax: Author Spotlight: Jane Austen

As Falvey’s Cat in the Stax, Rebecca writes articles covering a broad range of topics, from academics to hobbies to random events. All the while highlighting how Falvey Library can enhance your Villanova experience!

Happy Wednesday, Wildcats! Spring is officially here! Yesterday, March 19, was the first day of spring. We’ve already had some warmer weather, and flowers are starting to bloom. Take some time to sit outside this week and enjoy the spring weather.

There’s nothing I love more than sitting outside reading a good book. Villanova’s campus is great because there are so many benches and chairs to sit on as well as large green spaces perfect for pulling out a blanket to lie down on. If you don’t have any books to read, might I suggest any novel written by Jane Austen?

This month’s Author Spotlight features renowned English novelist Jane Austen. Born on Dec. 16th, 1775, Austen wrote six complete novels during her lifetime before her death in 1817 at age 41. Her literary works are distinctly modern in their creation and exploration of ordinary characters and daily life in 18th and 19th century England.

Image from Archive Photos/Getty Images

Austen was the seventh out of eight children and only one of two daughters. Her father was a reverend who fostered an environment of learning. Although her family was large, they were close and affectionate with one another. Creating and acting out plays together was a favorite pastime for the family. By the time she was 12, Austen began writing her own stories. This collection of writings filled three whole notebooks and became known as her Juvenilia.

The first of her works to be published was Sense and Sensibility which was published in October 1811 and received immediate success and praise as the first edition completely sold out by 1813. This book tells the story of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, who move into a relative’s country estate after their father’s death.

Perhaps Austen’s most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice (1813) was another instant success. This story follows Elizabeth Bennet, the daughter of a country gentleman, and the hate-to-love relationship she has with wealthy landowner Mr. Darcy.

Mansfield Park was the next book to be introduced to readers. Published in 1814, this novel was not received as well by critics as Austen’s earlier novels, but it was still incredibly popular with the public and actually became one of Austen’s best-selling books at the time. Mansfield Park is the most serious of her novels as it incorporates a discussion of religion and religious duty through the moral strength of its heroine, Fanny Price.

Austen’s Emma (1815) was the last novel to be published during her lifetime. A more comedic tale, Emma tells the story of its namesake, Emma Woodhouse, and the successes and failures she experiences in her attempts at matchmaking.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the 1995 film Clueless was actually inspired by Emma and is a contemporary take on the novel?

Image by Leah Newhouse from

Jane Austen’s final two finished novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, were both published posthumously in 1817. Northanger Abbey satirizes Gothic novels through its heroine Catherine Moreland, whose love of Gothic thrillers influences her interpretations and clouds her rational judgement. Persuasion is about reawakened love and second chances when Anne Elliot meets her old love Captain Wentworth after rejecting his marriage proposal seven years prior.

Jane Austen’s literary masterpieces are still incredibly popular today, inspiring numerous movie adaptations and television shows and cementing their place in the English literary canon among the classics. Her stories all feature strong women engaging in journeys of self-discovery and finding enduring love in the process. Witty, light, realistic, and written in elegant prose, these novels have entertained readers for centuries. If you’re looking for something fun to read this spring, I definitely recommend a novel by this much beloved author.

Rebecca Amrick

Rebecca Amrick is a first year graduate student in the English Department and a Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.


Foto Friday: Spring Blooms at Falvey

A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period –
When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.

 “A Light Exists in Spring” by Emily Dickinson


Everywhere you look around campus, the first signs of spring have taken root. Tree branches bud with leaves, and new flowers splash color at the edges of Falvey Library. So, drink in these long, warm, days, students!

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





Curious Cat: Favorite Study Snack

"Curious Cat Banner"

Happy Thursday, Wildcats! This week, the Curious Cat team wanted to know what students liked to munch on while doing schoolwork. We asked library patrons, “What’s your go-to study snack?”

“Peanut M&M’s + Popcorn”
-Liah Osborne ’25 COE


“Smart Food”
-Maris Lindley ’27 VSB


“Holy Grounds Muffin”
-Lily Matranga ’25 COE


Rebecca AmrickRebecca Amrick is a first-year graduate student in the English Department and a Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.




Julia Wagner ’26 CLAS is a second-year Economics major and student worker at Falvey Library.





Flashback to BIG EAST Tournament 1968-69

By Abby Stinson


Get ready to rally behind our Wildcats this week as the men’s basketball team gears up for the BIG EAST Tournament! As a flashback in the spirit of the season, above is the front cover of the media guide for the 1968-1969 basketball season. These guides, utilized by various media outlets, provided valuable insights into the team and the upcoming season. This historical team was ranked 10th in the final AP poll of the season, boasting an impressive 21-5 record. (They lost in the First Round of the NCAA tournament versus Davidson.)

In this year’s tournament, Villanova, seeded 6th, plays against 11th seed DePaul on Wednesday, March 13 at 9 p.m. Sporting a 17-14 record, our Wildcats promise to make this March Madness season an interesting one.

Tune in to support our team during the most thrilling time of the year for college basketball! 


Abby Stinson ’26 VSB, is a Marketing and Business Analytics major and a student worker at Falvey Library.






Meet Dr. Teresa Rose Osborne

By Nancy Foasberg


Rose plays with dead Pacific Island land snails in lab.

Rose plays with dead Pacific Island land snails in lab.

“I want as many people as possible to know about this research that I’m so proud of and to read and understand it for themselves.”

-Terese Rose Osborne


Welcome to the Villanova Author Interview Series! In this series, Nancy Foasberg, MLS, Falvey’s  Scholarly Communication Librarian interviews authors who have benefited from Falvey’s Scholarship Open Access Reserve Fund (SOAR), which provides financial support to members of the Villanova community who plan to publish in high quality open access publications.


Dr. Teresa Rose Osborne

Department: Biology

Title: Postdoctoral Scholar

Article Title: “Flying snails: immigrant selection and the taxon cycle in Pacific Island land snails

Research Interests: Evolutionary ecology of terrestrial invertebrates, particularly land snails, and abiotic challenges to Neotropical ant locomotion


Can you tell me more about what inspired your research?
This research started as a term project for my Biogeography course in graduate school, the study of which organisms live where, how they got there, and trends in organism traits over broad spatial scales.

I chose Pacific Island land snails as the focus of my term project. The general assumption among island land snail researchers is that snails travel between islands by being blown by wind or carried by birds and other flying animals. Before my research, I’m aware of only one paper that systematically evaluated the plausibility of wind- and bird-mediated inter-island travel using multiple Pacific archipelagos and multiple land snail groups—and that paper was published back in 1975!

For my term paper, I decided to follow up this previous study using a somewhat different approach. My findings agree with Joseph Vagvolgyi’s—land snail species that occupy multiple archipelagos have smaller shells on average, indicating that land snails that travel great distances between Pacific archipelagos are typically small, consistent with wind and bird transport of land snails.

Later, I decided to turn my term paper into a chapter of my dissertation and eventually a publication. I met with my then committee member (now co-author) Mark Lomolino to discuss how to present my idea in the most scientifically compelling light.

He suggested that I use the concept of the taxon cycle to strengthen my research questions. The taxon cycle hypothesizes that for any given island species and its descendent species (a.k.a. a single taxon), when the taxon is new to an archipelago, it can’t be very picky about the habitats it uses, because it isn’t yet adapted to that archipelago.

In many Pacific Islands, habitat quality increases with island elevation. The taxon cycle predicts that new species will be excluded from high-quality habitats by other locally adapted species, but as the taxon of interest spreads throughout its new archipelago and becomes more locally adapted, it becomes more specialized in its habitat use and can better compete in high-quality, high-elevation habitats.

The taxon cycle predicts that widespread species found on multiple archipelagos would occupy several different kinds of habitats, but only at low elevations; whereas species unique to a single archipelago or single island would each occupy a single kind of habitat and would be found at higher elevations.

My co-author Mark was a big fan of the taxon cycle hypothesis, but I was skeptical of its applicability to land snails; as far as I can tell, no island land snail researchers had ever taken the possibility of the taxon cycle in land snails seriously before.

I tested for associations between how many islands a land snail species occupies, how many different habitats it uses, and its habitat elevation so that I could show Mark that the taxon cycle wasn’t going to work for us. Instead, I found the opposite! The predictions of the taxon cycle were supported in our dataset!

While we have yet to definitively prove that the taxon cycle describes evolution in Pacific Island land snails, we have shown that the possibility can’t be dismissed out of hand.


Rose looking at a Pacific Island land snail of the family Partulidae in the Belau archipelago (Republic of Palau, Oceania).

Rose looking at a Pacific Island land snail of the family Partulidae in the Belau archipelago (Republic of Palau, Oceania).

For the non-biologist, what’s the most exciting thing about your research in this paper?
Well, for a non-biologist, I think that the idea of land snails flying across the ocean is pretty exciting! I like to imagine tiny shells blown high in the sky, in what we sometimes call “aerial plankton.” But for another land snail biologist, flying snails are probably the least surprising finding in this paper. I think the scientifically surprising findings are (1) there is evidence consistent with the taxon cycle in Pacific Island land snails, and (2) Pacific Island land snail species that are found only on a single island tend to have small shells. Let me tell you why these results might be surprising to an island land snail researcher.

To my knowledge, island land snail researchers never paid much attention to the taxon cycle hypothesis. I assumed that Pacific Island land snails wouldn’t conform to the taxon cycle, and I was surprised to find otherwise.

If land snails are flying between islands, we would expect that small-bodied land snail species would occupy the greatest number of islands and archipelagos. Indeed, land snails species native to multiple archipelagos are smaller than species native to multiple islands in a single archipelago. However, land snail species native to a single island are just as small as widespread species. Why? Shouldn’t they be bigger, since they travel between islands even less frequently than single-archipelago species do? I don’t know why single-island species are so small, but my best guess is that instead of flying between islands, single-archipelago species might be rafting on vegetation blown out to sea. By being large and living in vegetation, single-archipelago land snails can both avoid traveling away from their home archipelago and better travel within their archipelago. But this still doesn’t explain why single-island land snails tend to be small, instead of, say, a mix of sizes. This one is going to be a puzzle for me for a while.


Your article is openly available so that everyone can read it. For you, what’s the benefit of making your work open?
The scientific publishing industry is broken. Researchers make no profits off our publications, and often, we even must pay publishers before their journals will share our work. If we want to read another researcher’s work, we usually must pay for it directly or hope that our institution pays the journal for access. A handful of large, for-profit scientific publishers own many of the scientific journals and profit from the free labor of researchers while selling access to our collective intellectual labor back to us as a scientific community.

I prefer to publish in journals owned and run by scientific societies, which add value to the scientific community not just through their journals, but also through conferences they host, small grants they offer to students and other researchers, and more. If some organization is going to profit from my free labor, I’d rather it’s a scientific society than a for-profit publisher.

I published this research in Frontiers of Biogeography, an open-access journal run by the International Biogeography Society. Frontiers of Biogeography asked that my co-authors and I pay a small fee to help support the journal, and thanks to Falvey’s Scholarship Open Access Reserve (SOAR), Villanova is paying that fee for us.

Rose photographs Pacific Island land snails

Rose photographs Pacific Island land snails

And I’d also rather that other scientists can read the fruits of my labor for free, both because it’s fairer and because more people are likely to read it! Pay-to-read scientific publishing isn’t just unfair to scientists. It also makes it much more difficult for non-scientists to access our work. Anything that makes it harder for non-scientists to access and understand scientific information is dangerous for society.

Unfortunately, pay-to-read publishing isn’t the only problem here. Many scientists—myself included—have a habit of writing in ways that are difficult for anyone outside our subfields to understand, let alone the general public. That’s why I’m participating in Villanova’s research blog series. I want as many people as possible to know about this research that I’m so proud of and to read and understand it for themselves.


Now that this article is published, what’s the next direction your research will take?
I’m in a career transition at the moment, so I’ve been thinking about this question a lot. My postdoctoral position at Villanova University ends this summer, and I hope to start a faculty position soon. I’m very curious about how different kinds of environmental challenges impact land snails. In this study, I looked specifically at how travelling between archipelagos impacts shell size. In the future, I’d like to look more closely at whether land snails are rafting between nearby islands in the same archipelago. My previous work also examined how high temperatures, drying out, and the pull of gravity might affect land snail habitat use, shell size, and shell shape, respectively. My future research will continue these lines of inquiry.

For example, here at Villanova, I study how different kinds of environmental challenges affect the way ants run. I’m going to take that same perspective to land snails and see how well land snails of different sizes and shapes can crawl on flat, vertical, and inclined surfaces.

As a kid, I was always fascinated by slugs, and that’s the reason I became a biologist. Slugs are basically snails with small, disc-shaped shells covered with skin. There are even intermediate snail-slug animals called semi-slugs that have a visible external shell that’s too small for the snail to hide in. This makes slugs a great example of evolution in action, because we can see the “missing link” semi-slugs in the world today.

In my future research, I want to investigate what environmental conditions prompt snails to evolve into slugs. Researching slugs will bring my scientific curiosity full-circle and will make the Young Rose who lives in the back of my mind very happy!


Nancy Foasberg, MLS, is the Scholarly Communication at Falvey Library.

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Last Modified: March 13, 2024

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