Students Should Take Advantage of Falvey’s Resources


Natalie Zickel

Falvey Memorial Library’s vast resources often go overlooked.

Isabel Choi, Staff Writer

On campus, I would consider the library my second home. It has good lighting (unlike my dorm,) printers, and of course, refreshments. As a freshman adjusting to college life and my own independence, I’ve always found comfort in this space, and I hope others can feel that same sense of warmth from the safety blanket of the library as I often do. From making the commute almost every day to Falvey, I’ve learned so much about its incredible array of educational resources and services and have noticed that they are being underused by students with limited knowledge. With Villanova’s tuition being about $20,000 above the US national average for colleges, it would be a disservice not to take advantage of its valuable library, especially if the reason is simply because one does not know these resources exist. 

Just this year, Falvey Memorial Library was gifted a transformational sum of 20 million dollars, the highest donation to the library in Villanova history, by Victor “Vic” Maggitti Jr. ‘56 towards its future developments. Like its students, the library is constantly evolving, and though it may be small, Falvey Memorial Library is a powerhouse of resources. “The Library owns and subscribes to large collections of academic books and journals, newspapers and popular magazines, digital collections of primary sources, and specialized research-level collections that support research in all available academic programs. Most of the Library’s resources can be discovered with the generic search box featured on the Library’s website,” Jutta Seibert, Director of Research Services and Scholarly Engagement, said. 

However, using the search engine may still seem like a daunting feat when trying to pinpoint unique sources. I felt the same way when I started to tackle the library website. With all the information compressed in one place, it can be easy to get lost. This is when subject librarians come in handy. Access to subject librarians can be found under “Research Services” on the home page. Subject librarians are experts in their fields and specialize in locating specific sources and even giving new suggestions to enhance projects or papers. Villanova has twelve subject librarians with expertise in a variety of areas including business, health sciences, and political science. 

How-to guides are also a great place to start. This webpage can also be found under “Research Services” and by subsequently selecting “Guides and Tools.” It is organized by individual needs as sub-headings like “The Research Process…,” “Citing Your Sources,” and “Publishing.” The links under the sub-headings provide guidance for establishing appropriate sources for research and even tips to help one better understand the research process. The links under “How to Find” are useful for general inquiries. Often, the webpages these links lead to provide a user connections to free subscriptions of scholarly news and database sources including WSJ, NYT, and jstor. This page also contains video tutorials on how to use the library search engine effectively, ideal for novice library users. 

Another highlight feature of the library is Browzine, an app and online resource that can be utilized to hunt for peer-reviewed articles and scholarly journals based on interest. “It is one of the most powerful resources that we have. You have the opportunity to look and discover something you weren’t expecting,” Falvey’s Communication and Marketing Program Manager, Shawn Proctor, says. Browzine can be found under various subsections of “Research Services,” but it is much faster to simply type “Villanova Browzine” on a Google search instead to gain access to this impeccable collection. Browzine is organized by topics and students have a chance to peruse through a wide selection of high merit content under each subject. This resource is perfect for those who know exactly what they are looking for but also those who just want an idea of the different kinds of themes they can investigate.

Some interesting places in the library include the Idea Lab and the CAVE, partners of the Falvey Library Digital Scholarship Program which supports students’ endeavors in applying digital methods into their research. The Digital Scholarship Lab is located in room 218A and encompasses a variety of technologies such as GIS and digital publishing. The Idea Lab, originally part of the business school, is located on the ground floor of the library and has inviting blue lights and a creative atmosphere that draws people in. This space is committed to self-expression and innovation and is a place I’ve been meaning to visit more often. There is a 3-D printer, sewing machines, and even a laser cutter along with a comforting lounge with games and puzzles for enjoyment. All of these amenities are readily available for use. Often, students gather to collaborate on projects in the Idea Lab to get their creative juices flowing. The CAVE is also a hub that promotes originality and inventive ways to display projects and ideas through virtual reality and 3-D methods. The Villanova CAVE can be occupied by a maximum of twenty people at one time and dedicates at least two days a week to seminars and classrooms. 

Students seeking research assistance, specific databases, or even just a quiet place to focus are all welcome to explore Falvey Library. In fact, the design of the library itself reflects its desire to accommodate diverse groups of people. According to Proctor, “floors are designed by philosophy.” The first floor is a space for socialization and the busy ins and outs of people going from place to place. There is a cafe and information and tech desks that allow for assistance and care. Similarly, the second floor is all about collaboration. Classrooms and round tables dominate the space, and the writing center, although a separate entity, occupies this floor as well. Upstairs, the third and fourth floors are different from the lively lower levels. Brimming with old and rare texts and cubicles, these floors are dedicated to more intense, quiet study. Personally, it’s where I go most. However, if one is still unsatisfied with the resources that are available at Falvey, students can request other items they are searching for through the interlibrary loan. With so many options, Falvey Memorial Library is truly a place for everyone.