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The Future of Falvey
What changes will the library undergo as we enter into the first quarter of the twenty-first century? Clearly, there can be no definitive answer to this question. However, the library has a new director who spends a great deal of time trying to answer it. One major change in the 21st century library, academic and public alike, is the ever increasing use of electronic media. The graphs in this case demonstrate how funds are being allocated to keep up with the supply of electronically accessible information.
Print vs. Digital Expenditures Journal Usage by Format Graph
Joseph P. Lucia. “Director's Watch,” Joseph P. Lucia. “Director's Watch,”
Compass: New Directions at Falvey Compass: New Directions at Falvey
November 2005 November 2005
Villanova’s library is not only subscribing to more information electronically, it is also contributing to the proliferation of such material. In a somewhat ironic twist, it is some of the oldest books in Falvey that are being digitized. This makes sense, when one considers the rarity of such material. An example of one of these projects is the Saint Augustine manuscript which was digitized in a cooperative effort with Lehigh University. Villanova has thus provided worldwide electronic access to this mid-fifteenth century manuscript.
A digital project that Falvey has undertaken independently is the digitization of the entire run of the Irish Press, a weekly newspaper dedicated to Irish nationalism and to topics of interest to Irish-Americans. This is a noteworthy accomplishment of the library since the newspaper was part of a collection donated by Joseph McGarrity, who founded and published the paper in Philadelphia from March 23, 1918 to May 6, 1922. The full-text of this paper is accessible online, and various search functions allow access to the text in several ways.
Some of the most recognizable changes in the library today are basic but fundamental. In order to stay relevant to the student body, libraries have transformed themselves from quiet, austere, houses for books complete with strict rules and regulations to inviting spaces. Students are welcome to browse the stacks (something that was prohibited at Falvey in the 1960s), enjoy a snack and a hot cup of coffee as they cram for the latest test, or page though a ‘popular reading’ selection. Silence is not mandatory, and the once feared stereotypical librarian who constantly shushed patrons is a far distant memory.
In some ways, the more things change the more they stay the same. From its earliest inception Villanova’s library was meant to be the intellectual center of the university. From its location at the heart of the campus to the evolutionary changes that it has undergone, Falvey remains the “the dynamic center of academic life at Villanova.”
Falvey Memorial Library: A Vision for the Future
Joe Lucia, University Librarian
From Falvey Memorial Library, Strategic Plan, 2004-2008
Falvey Memorial Library will be a premier university library at the dynamic center of academic life at Villanova, fostering the intellectual and creative endeavors of students, faculty, and staff by:
· Connecting people with ideas through personal service, personalized information gateways, educational outreaching, instruction and consulting, and the innovative application of technology to the evolving information environment.
· Collecting and ever-diversifying array of resources, with an emphasis on broad and deep access to high-quality & scholarly content in all its manifestations in the physical and digital domains.
· Enabling contemporary modes of learning and research through the development of attractive & usable facilities that inspire and support information seeking, collaborative interaction, quite study and reflection, and the integration of educational, social, and cultural activities in a technology-rich setting.
· Stimulating thought, dialog, and intellectual exchange as an intellectual crossroads for the community, though faculty talks, panel discussions, lectures, readings, debates, performances, exhibits, and student presentations.
· Reflecting the Augustinian values & traditions of the university through a persistent commitment to community, mutual accountability, and support for the professional, intellectual and personal growth and development of library staff.