#WordsHavePower: Banned Book Week 2017

“You can never know what your words may turn out to mean for yourself or someone else; or what the world they make will be like. Anything could happen. The problem with silence is that we know exactly what it will be like.”- Hanif Kureishi, Loose Tongues, 2003

Book Challenges by the numbers graphic

Books are banned for all sorts of reasons: politics, religion, sexual content, and morality are just a few. Take a look at this Wikipedia List of books banned by governments… Books are rarely banned altogether in the United States, but they are challenged regularly!!! And in the international community, many countries are still regularly banning books.

If you’re interested in seeing what books are being challenged in the US, check out this interactive Google Map to see what books were challenged between 2007-2011.

To understand the difference between Banned and Challenged books, take a look at this great guide created by our neighbors at Syracuse University Libraries. I also found this post from the Illinois Library Association listing books that have been “challenged, restricted, removed, or banned” between 2015-2016. There are great, short, one-paragraph explanations on why a particular book was challenged.

And don’t forget about our very own Banned Book Week display, courtesy of Dr. Arlette Miller-Smith and her Young Adult Literature course. This display will be in the library through 9/25-10/2, so come check it out, start a conversation with a friend about the books talked about, and for goodness-sake, read a banned or challenged book!!


A New Library System for Lavery

In the Fall of 2015, Library staff began to daydream about finding a different library system to serve our back-office operations, likdream library cataloge checking out materials and buying new books. We also dreamt of having a better library search box for all of you! We wanted to have better control over search results and better understand how our materials are being used. One year ago, Lavery Library signed a contract with Ex Libris, a well-established Israeli company that provides just these types of systems to libraries.

What did this change mean to us?

We worked hard to make sure all of our data  about books, journals, and other materials transferred over to the new system, Alma, along with where they were shelved and how many times they’ve checked out. For ten months, we migrated all of our data, making sure that the things you need are available. Who knew that library staff were so tech-savvy?

Our change involved a white water rafting lot of teamwork, including weekly meetings with a company trainer for the last 5 months. We are good at working with other departments! We  worked closely with OIT as well as the staff at Nazareth College’s library and their IT department.

What does this change mean for you?

We designed the search box to be easy to use. We want to make sure that Beauty and The Beast dvd caseyou can find the full-text content that you need easily and quickly. It’s also important for us to strengthen our relationships with the library staff at Nazareth College and make it easier for students to borrow materials at each others’ libraries. Of course, the Big Red Box is still there for you to locate materials, like the new DVDs we’ve bought over the summer!

What do you think?

We’re always working to improve! Let us know what you think of the changes, and we’ll keep your feedback and suggestions in mind as we tweak the system to make it more effective and user-friendly. Thanks!

This Letter from Lavery was penned by: Kate Ross and Ben Hockenberry

Welcome to Lavery Library #Fisher2021

And to all our returning students, faculty, and staff — welcome back, we missed you!! The Library is too quiet without you. We hope you had a great summer.

This summer we completed a lot of projects. The biggest was our move to a new Library Management System; we welcome your constructive feedback about the new library features. In other news, and just in case you missed the news back in May, we won the Rochester Regional Library Council’s Academic Library of the Year. We are so humbled by all of our Fisher Family’s kind words about the Library and our staff. Thank you for very much!

get otter here, you're making me blush

We began Letters from Lavery last fall as a way to keep all of you up-to-date with Library news and share behind-the-scenes stories, and as we move into year two, we will keep writing to you, our Fisher Family. We publish bi-weekly throughout the semester. Never miss a post! Subscribe here: https://projects.sjfc.edu/laveryblog/feed/

Best wishes for a great year,

Melissa Jadlos, Library Director

Melissa Jadlos bookfaceP.S. Come take a look at the Lavery Library BookFace display — make your own bookface and tag us on social media #LaveryLibraryBookFace

Meme Image: https://memegenerator.net/Significant-Otter

Wrapping up Summer at Lavery Library

Way back in June, we told you about just a few of the summer projects the Library staff would be working on. Well, as summer is coming to a close, and we eagerly await the return of students, we wanted to tell you about how we actually spent our summer!

You might have noticed the Library’s main search box changed in early July — this was part of our summer project with the new Library Management System. We’ve all been hard at work to make the move as seamless as possible. Ben Hockenberry, Systems Librarian, has been working (what I assume can only be) day and night with library staff to make this transition happen. And guess what, they all did a great job!! The new library system now lets YOU search and request books from the Nazareth College Library — increasing the number of books you have access to by 10s of thousands. During this transition, library staff have been working very closely with Nazareth library staff to create the best possible borrowing rules between our two libraries. We also hosted visitors from Ithaca College for a joint meeting about the new library system.

We had lots of visitors throughout the summer! HEOP Summer Institute students  were on campus for 5 weeks in July. Librarian Stacia Maiorani got the chance to work with these students on library research skills and go to their closing BBQ towards the end of the program. We also had a pilot program with High School students on college readiness, and Librarians Nancy Greco and Marianne Simmons worked with these students. They even had a chance to meet Mayor Lovely Warren! And the tours!! We love when future students take a look around the library and scope out their future study spot.

And of course, we’re also getting ready to welcome #Fisher2021!! Planning for Freshmen Orientation — we can’t wait to see all the new students and welcome them to the Fisher Family.

Welcome Aboard
Welcome Aboard #fisher2021

Summer at Lavery Library

Open all summer!

We are open, and we love visitors! Summer hours can be found here or on the library homepage.

Summers are quiet in the library, but that doesn’t mean the library staff aren’t hard at work! This summer the library will be working on lots of little projects. For instance, the Checkout Desk is updating DVD cases.  Why? Because there are no longer daily late fees for leisure materials!!! Or Nancy Greco, who just received new materials for the College Archives, will be working with her student assistant on organizing this treasure trove of College history.

We also have a couple big projects this summer, including moving to the new Library Management System.  This won’t mean too many changes for you folks, but behind the scenes many of the library staff are working to make this transition as smooth as possible. Watch for an announcement at the end of the month!

yeah kermit
Image from: http://gph.is/1L59i6a

Oh, and in case you missed Library Director Melissa Jadlos’ announcement last month, we won Library of the Year. We would not have received this honor if it wasn’t for all of you, our wonderful Fisher Family. So thank you!!

Interview: David Giannetti


Name: David Giannetti

Current job: Circulation Supervisor

How long have you been at Lavery Library or Fisher: Nine months

How Do You Work?

What is your office/workspace like?

I work at one of two computers near the front desk. Circulation staff shares the computers. The back room behind the desk is pretty spacious. We have a cabinet for personal items (I am starting to accumulate quite the tea collection here) and the reserve items and books that need to be shelved are all back there.

What is a typical day like for you?

No day is ever the same, but my main duties would be assisting patrons at the front desk and filling ILL requests.

What are you reading right now?

Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable book cover
Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable
Elizabeth Bishop: The Complete Poems book cover
Elizabeth Bishop: The Complete Poems

Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett. They are a trilogy of three novellas typically published as a whole novel and are interconnected.

The Collected Poems of Elizabeth Bishop.


What do you appreciate most about Fisher?

I appreciate how receptive and friendly the people here are at Fisher. Everyone is very supportive and I enjoy being part of the team at the library. I also enjoy working with the students and appreciate the wider culture and community Fisher has developed here.

What do you want the students to know about you or the library, or one thing you want students to know?

Rochester has some great cultural centers. The Dryden Theater projects movies on film instead of digitally which is a different experience. . They show a lot of classic movies or films you wouldn’t get the chance to see anywhere else.

On a personal note it’s time to bring back the Oxford comma. For good. It recently helped delivery workers win a lawsuit in millions of overtime pay.

Fun Facts

What is your favorite word?

Yet I, A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak, Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause, And can say nothing

John-a-dreams- Is someone who is a dreamy, idle person, prone to not getting anything done. Hamlet refers to himself as this in one of his soliloquies (Hamlet by William Shakespeare, act 2 scene 2 lines 503).

What is your least favorite word?

I’m not sure I have one. I love language and the flexibility of the English language. But a word like yolo, which is really an acronym that became a word bothers me. So yeah, definitely yolo.

What profession other than your own would you love to attempt?

A professor of Film Studies, specializing in Scandinavian languages and film.

What profession would you never want to attempt?

Window Cleaner. I am terrified of heights.

What superpower do you wish you had?

Telekinesis. The power to move things with your mind. I think I would use it mainly to fidget with things but this way both my hands would be free.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Working here at the library and realizing that I have a passion for this work and would like to continue schooling and a career in it.

When you aren’t at work, what are you likely doing?

Out at a café reading, maybe jotting down thoughts. I like to explore foreign films and older films. I also have a range of favorite TV shows I follow.

Where in the world did that book come from?? The story of Interlibrary Loan

There is no way we can own every single article, book, and movie the Fisher Family might need. But luckily, there are still ways to get access to these items! Interlibrary Loan allows us to borrow items from libraries all over the world. This way, you can still get that important book or article, even if Lavery doesn’t have a copy!

Royal Danish Library

While we borrow many items from neighboring libraries like SUNY Brockport, Nazareth, and U of R, Interlibrary Loan is international and allows us to borrow items from not just down the street, but across the country, and around the world! In 2016 alone, we borrowed hundreds of books from libraries throughout the United States and from libraries in New Zealand, England, Scotland, and Germany. We also received copies of articles from libraries like the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen, Denmark, and from the British Library in London.

british library
British Library

Since we borrow items from around the world, Lavery Library also returns the favor by lending our own items to libraries that need them. Our books have traveled to universities  such as Yale, Penn State, and Cornell in the United States, but have also been to libraries in Canada, the United Kingdom, Lebanon, Australia, and even Thailand. In the past couple years, our small college in Rochester, NY has sent 22 books to libraries in Denmark!

The next time you pick up an Interlibrary Loan book from the Checkout Desk, take a look at the paperwork and see from where in the world your book came! And the next time you check out a book from our collection–who knows—maybe it just came back from a trip around the world.

thank you ILL

This Letter From Lavery was penned by: Alicia Marrese, Interlibrary Loan Coordinator

Women’s History Month: First Women of Fisher on Display Now

What do you do with an idea? As with many things, this idea started with a question, followed by taking a risk. More than a year ago, a small group of library staff started thinking about creating a display to honor Women’s History Month, which takes place every March to celebrate the contributions of women to American society. We considered an advanced timeline in order to be ready for March 2016, but decided to wait a year and plan in order to do our best job. It was not lost on us that waiting until 2017 had the possibility of coinciding with our first female President of the United States.

Katherine Keough, 5th President of St. John Fisher College

Our project gradually came to be focused around the role of women, the contributions of women, and the most notable “firsts” from women at St. John Fisher College. Many in the SJFC community are aware of the lasting effect of Fisher’s first and only female President, Katherine Keough, on the campus, but we wanted to draw attention to other types of “firsts”. We narrowed our focus to three areas: Athletics, Faculty and Staff, and Students.


We realized that it would take some time to pull together artifacts covering the long span of the  College’s history. We worked together over the last year to put this display in place.

Uncovered in the College Archives were many curiosity-provoking images, documents, and papers. Who were these women? What was it like to be a woman on this College campus? We may not have all of the answers to these questions, but the College Archives is the place to start to piece together their stories. We also reached out to campus staff and faculty to gather names and information.

We hope you enjoy the First Women of Fisher display in the Library’s Main Floor Learning Commons. One or two females from each category are highlighted, along with posters. The display will be available from Monday, February 27 through Monday, March 27, 2017.

This Letter from Lavery was penned by: Nancy Greco, Kate Ross, & Jenny Bigenwald

Interview: Stacia Maiorani


Name: Stacia Maiorani

Stacia Maiorani

Current job: Education and First-Year Program Librarian

How long have you been at Lavery Library or Fisher: Just about 2 months at this time — and four years as an undergraduate student   : )

How Do You Work?

What is your office/workspace like: I am the only librarian on the lower level of the library. My office usually has music playing, as well as knick-knacks that I love, including some book art pieces, the Lego Librarian, and random items from my travels. There are probably plenty of (neat-ish) piles of papers all over my desk… as well as hopefully a stack (or twenty) of books around! If I am not working with someone in my office or the Curriculum Center, I am most likely typing away at something on the computer.

What is a typical day like for you: One day at work is never the same as the one before, which I love. I am most likely running around campus to work with various classes or meet with professors, or I am on the lower level of Lavery Library — in my office, within the shelves of the Curriculum Center, or teaching in L-100.

What are you reading right now: As I type this, I am reading Diane Chamberlain’s novel, Necessary Lies. It is a historical fiction novel and I am really enjoying it!

What do you appreciate most about Fisher: As an alumna of Fisher, I appreciate how special this college is — the close-knit community and how the college really cares about its students and what they want.

What do you want the students to know about you or the library, or one thing you want students to know: BOOKS AND LIBRARIES ARE AWESOME!

Fun Facts

What is your favorite word: Cucchiaio — “cuck-ee-eye-oh” — it is Italian for the English word spoon (even better — a small spoon for a cappuccino is cucciaino — “cuck-ee-eye-ee-no”)

What is your least favorite word: Any word that puts others down.

What profession other than your own would you love to attempt: Fashion buyer

What profession would you never want to attempt: Chef (…for the safety of others!)

What superpower do you wish you had: Able to fly!

What are you most proud of in your career?

–Teaching internationally.

–Having students tell me that I helped them and taught them something of value.

When you aren’t at work, what are you likely doing: Reading while sipping on a coffee in a cafe; snacking; going on an adventure (big or small).

Father Lavery Wants to Know . . .

If you spend any amount of time in Lavery Library, you must have seen the rolling whiteboard that moves around the building, asking a different question every two weeks. We started the question wall in the fall 2015 semester, and we’ve asked over 30 questions of our students since then.

Our 20-person staff work hard — at service desks, and behind the scenes — to make your experience in the Library the best possible. We know there is always more that can be done, or things we do now that could use some tweaking. We have our own ideas, but most of all we want hear your ideas!

Father Lavery Wall Questions

Questions we have asked include:

  • “What is your ideal study environment?”
  • “What type of furniture would you like more of?”
  • “What should we have available for checkout?”
  • “What does the library need to do better?”
  • “What new movies, games, books should we buy?”
  • “What technology does the library need?”

Some of the changes we have made in direct response to YOUR suggestions:

  • Added Keurig coffee machine with variety of options
  • Changed selection of free refreshments provided during Exam Week
  • Added study tables throughout building
  • Bought a dozen new bean-bag chairs in a more supportive style
  • Moved noisy classroom off Quiet Floor
  • Added sound dampening to doors on the Upper Level to cut down on noise
  • Added charging stations and adapters for laptops/tables to furniture in Learning Commons
  • Added graphing calculators and colored pencils to materials available for Checkout.

How many places that you visit ask what you want — and then actually make those changes? Lavery Library should top your list. Watch for our upcoming questions, and add your responses — even the crazy ones. We want the Library to become your favorite place on campus!