Lavery Exhibits: Learning Through Displays

In making my way to the back offices of the library, I always pass a table that tells a story with books. I tend to only notice them once: how they’re arranged, what the theme is, and a good look at the covers (I don’t judge the books by that). I’ve never really appreciated the creativity involved in curating these displays until a few weeks ago when I was told that the library received some feedback on them, so I found out who made them, and asked her a few questions.


Our library staffer, Jenny Bigenwald, is the one who takes charge of our displays, and I asked her a few questions about them and her process in putting them together.

K: What is your favorite part about curating them?

J: My favorite part is pulling items (photos, books, etc.) from our archives and creating a whole display around them.  I also love working with other departments and clubs on campus, and creating displays to highlight events they may be holding.


K: What is your hope/goal after you make the exhibits?

J: Depending on the type of display it is, I hope students will either become informed, either about a cause or event on campus, or enjoy learning a bit more about the history of this great college.

K: Where do you get the inspiration to make the displays?

J:  Nancy Greco and our collection in our College Archives have been a great resource.  Searching for ideas online.  Professors, like Tim Madigan, or Yantee Slobert in the Multicultural Affairs offices have contacted me to do various displays for them, and some of my ideas are just passed to me by colleagues in the library.


K: Do you have a favorite display that you’ve made?

J: I think my favorite display I worked on was the one highlighting the life of Tom Way, which was on display during the Fall of 2013.  Tom Way was a 1966 graduate of Fisher who fought in Vietnam and was Fisher’s first casualty of the war.  He died in Vietnam on October 9, 1967, five days after his 23rd birthday.  I had met with his sister and brother-in-law and used personal photos, letters Tom sent home from Vietnam, and other memorabilia that the family loaned us for the exhibit.

K: What can we look forward to seeing in the library next month?

J:  It will be hard to top last year’s display of the 5-foot Christmas tree treemade out of books, which took 367 books to create!  Maybe we will create a smaller tree this year.   I am working on a display for this year’s Day of Celebration, which is held on December 3rd.  I may set this up on the table by the elevator.  I am also in the beginning stages of planning a display for the glass case for next semester, and I’m thinking about doing one on the history of SJFC’s Glee Club (we have some great artifacts in our archives).

I certainly look forward to seeing the exhibits and hopefully learning something from at least the subject of the display. Whether it’s basketball, march-madnessfeminism, or a local hero in Rochester history, Jenny puts these displays out so that we are more informed and the subject matter is even easier to get to and learn about.


If you’re in the library and happen to pass one of the exhibits, take a second to actually look at and appreciate it. And if you see Jenny in the library, make sure to tell her thank you for all the hard work she does in putting the displays together. Thank you, Jenny!

Until next time Fisher Fam,


Kyle Cataldo, SAB President and internet meme enthusiast



Interview Post: Christina Hillman


Name: Christina Hillman

Current job: Assessment and Online Program Librarian

How long have you been at Fisher? 3 years

How Do You Work?

What is your office/workspace like? I work in a cubicle, I have two desks set up: one with my computer, which has two monitors; and one for writing/projects (somehow it’s always covered with papers). Also there are lots of postcards of the places loved ones have visited; thank you notes from students; and copies of the library’s strategic plan, information literacy instruction plan, and college-wide learning goals.

What is a typical day like for you? I live by my Outlook calendar because no two days are the same. Sometimes I may have a class to teach; others I may have consultations with doctoral students.  I cover hours at the Research Help Desk, and usually there is a meeting or two I will need to attend.

Librarian Barbra Gordon (AKA Batgirl)

What are you reading right now? I’m re-reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I also read a lot of academic articles, most recently focusing on library assessment.

What do you appreciate most about Fisher? How, regardless of who I come into contact with, be it student, faculty, or staff, everyone has been welcoming. Oh, and the food! Lackmann is awesome!!

What do you want the students to know about you or the library? As cheesy as it may seem, the best part of my job is getting to work with students. I love working through research projects with students. It’s especially fun  when it ends in the student not only learning something new about library resources, but also when they leave ready to move on to the next steps of their project.

Fun Facts

What is your favorite word? Appreciate — it’s a much better way to say thank you.

What is your least favorite word? Moist — it makes my mouth feel gross.

What profession other than your own would you love to attempt? Set Designer — I was part of tech crew in high school and it was so much fun!!

What profession would you never want to attempt? Anything in health (e.g., nursing, doctors) — I do not like bodily fluids. I respect these professionals and everything they do for their patients; they are amazing human beings, and it’s a job I know I could neverapparate-meme try.

What superpower do you wish you had? Is it a superpower if I choose apparate? I guess it’s the same as teleportation. I think it would be fantastic to be able to travel wherever and whenever without having to brave a plane ride.

What are you most proud of in your career?      You might think it was my first conference proposal acceptance, but it was (or is) when a student tells me they set up a meeting with me because their classmate told them how helpful I was for their research project, and suggested they come see me.

When you aren’t at work, what are you likely doing? Well, I just bought my first house….so, trying to finish unpacking and setting the place up has been taking up a bunch of my time. But I also love crafting and DIY projects, so when I have time, I’m usually tinkering with my latest project. Right now it’s an upholstered headboard and a set of baby blankets for a friend who just had sweet little girl.

We are Thankful . . .

Thanksgiving is upon us and it’s time to think about what makes us thankful. It’s hard sometimes to think about what we are thankful for, especially when life is moving so quickly we don’t have time to reflect on the good parts. So in this post I want to list a few things for which we at Lavery Library are thankful.


  • #FisherFamily members that hold the door when they see you a few steps behind.
  • Our beautiful campus and the people that work so hard to make it a home away from home.
  • I’m grateful for having a position that allows me to contribute to a population about which I care deeply.
  • I am thankful for my #FisherFamily, who will ask me how I’m doing and mean it, and then listen to me on my best day and my worst day.
  • I am grateful for an extended family who accepts me, and my beliefs, irrespective of their own.
  • I’m thankful for the kindness of the Fisher community and hope for the future represented on campus.
  • I am thankful for all of you!  We have a very special team and I am very grateful to be a part of it.
  • I am especially thankful for Britta who feeds us:)
  • I’m thankful for the wonderful picture books in our Curriculum Library that I can share with my new grandson when he comes to visit!
  • I am thankful for the energy and creativity of young people addressing the gravest problems with courage and hope.
  • I am grateful for this beautiful campus I walk through every day and for the team that I have the opportunity to work with once I am at my desk!
  • I’m thankful to have a wonderful place to come to every morning for the last 25 years:  Lavery Library — where I feel secure, valued, and useful – and part of a larger family.
  • I am thankful that Anne Bezon stuck by me on my quest for the perfect office desk and chair.
  • I am thankful that my Mother takes wonderful care of my babies so I can concentrate when I am spending time with my Fisher Family.
  • I am thankful that the Cyber Café folks know my order before I even ask.
  • I am thankful that my family supports me in my quest to learn Chinese.  Xiexie.
  • I am thankful for Ward-Haffey Pan Asia. If only I could convince my family to have scallop tikka masala for Thanksgiving!
  • I am thankful for my student workers who teach me new things all the time.  Some work-related, some life-lessons, always entertaining!
  • I am thankful for the continued good health of my parents and family.

So to you, our Fisher Family, we ask: What are you thankful for this year?


Lavery Library Staff