Interview: Bill Fischer


Name: Bill Fischer    

Current job: Library Systems Technician

How long have you been at Lavery Library or Fisher?  Since the summer of 2017.

How Do You Work?

What is your office/workspace like? I have a nice desk behind the doors labeled “Library Staff Only.”  First time I went through I felt like I was in the Wizard of Oz looking behind the curtain.

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What is a typical day like for you? I check my email and wait for people to say “Do This” and I do it.

What are you reading right now? The Three Body Problem by the Chinese writer Liu Cixin.

What do you appreciate most about Fisher? The FOOD!

Fun Facts

What is your favorite word? The skit Bulbous Bouffant. by Radio Free Vestibule has all my favorite words :-).

What is your least favorite word? Suck — do not know why, just never liked the word and forbade my kids from using it.  Of course, now they are adults and use it all the time just to drive my crazy.

What profession other than your own would you love to attempt? Historian (or time traveler)

What profession would you never want to attempt?  Social Worker. Amazing people whom I have the utmost respect for.

What superpower do you wish you had? Invulnerability

What are you most proud of in your career? Hiring people who could do my old jobs better than I could.

When you aren’t at work, what are you likely doing? Playing with the grandkids. [Editor’s note: he says playing, but all I see is sleeping]


Interview: Rick McAlister


Rick at Olympic National Park

Name – Rick McAlister

Current job – Circulation Coordinator

How long have you been at Lavery Library or Fisher – I joined Lavery Library as a Circulation Supervisor in April 2014.  I took on the role of Circulation Coordinator in November 2017.

What is your office/workspace like? My desk is behind the main Checkout Desk of the library, so it’s a very lively space!

What is a typical day like for you? There’s really no such thing, but my days typically include a mix of helping patrons, processing reports, scheduling and training staff, troubleshooting technical issues, attending meetings, and planning future policies and procedures.

What are you reading right now? Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman and Bright Bazaar by Will Taylor.

What do you appreciate most about Fisher? I love how civic-minded and philanthropic the campus community is.  From Fisher Fridays to the Teddi Dance, people are always mindful of how they can help others.

What do you want the students to know about you or the library? They should know that they are welcome to ask us questions and ask for help!  They should never feel like they are interrupting a staff person when they need something.

Fun Facts

What is your favorite word? Adorkable

What profession other than your own would you love to attempt?  I would love to be a nature photographer or a park ranger.  I’ll take any excuse to spend more time in national parks!

What profession would you never want to attempt?  I’ve been a vegetarian for 21 years, so I guess I would never be a butcher.

What superpower do you wish you had? I wish I could make Winter shorter.

What are you most proud of in your career? When I was younger, I released four albums as a composer and songwriter.  It was fun to hear myself being played on the radio!

When you aren’t at work, what are you likely doing? If the weather is nice, I am likely doing something outdoors like hiking, biking, or running.  When the weather is not as nice, I love going to museums or attending concerts.  Rochester has a great variety of cultural activities!

Introducing SAGE Research Methods

  • Supports students taking research methods courses or conducting research with subject specific tutorials, datasets, cases, and even a project planner!
  • Aids faculty research by providing crucial resources to help write up methodology for publication
  • Teaching Research Methods has never been easier with sample assignments and the ability to create supplemental reading lists for courses
  • Helps the College support the professionals teaching information literacy, research skills, literature reviews, and writing

Lavery Library is excited to tell you about our newest database: SAGE Research Methods!! This is a database designed to support student and faculty research, and instruction in research methods across a wide range of academic disciplines.

The database contains Ebooks (including the renowned SAGE “blue books” and “green books”); Research Case Studies; Videos explaining all aspects of the research design and implementation process, as well as reviews of statistical analyses. Practice datasets are also included for instructional use.

If you want to use SAGE Research Methods with your class, but are unsure how to get started, contact your liaison librarian!!

This Letter was penned by Marianne Simmons, Head of Reference and Serials

10 Ways Lavery Library Is Awesome

10 ways the library is awesome10. Quiet Study space — spread out at a table or hide out in a study room.

9. Free snacks during finals — who doesn’t want free food!!

8. Puzzles for Stress-less — because sometimes you just need a break.

7. Food & drink-friendly — you can even have pizza delivered!

6. Board games — anyone up for a game of Settlers of Catan?

5. The bone kit — now, where did that phalange go…?

4. You’ll probably run into a friend, or several — although this might impact your ability to finish that paper.

3. We listen to your suggestions — tell us the title of a book, movie, or game we should add to the collection!!

2. The coffee is always fresh — bring your own K Cup or buy one for $1.

1. The staff!! I mean, you did vote us Library of the Year 😉

Interview: Ben Hockenberry, Systems Librarian


Name? Ben Hockenberry

Current job? Systems Librarian, Lavery Library

How long have you been at Lavery Library or Fisher? 6 years.

How Do You Work?

What is your office/workspace like? Controlled chaos — cords, notepads, books, and pens & papers everywhere! Now if only I had some more snacks in that drawer…

What is a typical day like for you? At least once a day, I troubleshoot a problem with one of our subscription databases. This involves retracing steps, finding the source of a problem, trying some solutions on our end, or working toward a fix with a database provider. I also regularly meet with faculty to plan classes, work with students on research papers, code-up web content, and design queries and reports to share meaningful data about the use of library resources.

What are you reading right now? I’m making my way through a Sherlock Holmes collection, currently reading The Valley of Fear. Recently finished the Batgirl New 52 arc (spoiler alert: the last few issues really jump the shark).

In terms of music books, I’ve been reading the Collected Compositions of Ed Reavy, which have some hilarious annotations. Here’s the annotation for the tune, The Peddlar’s Punch:

“Ed likes a title that can be taken in more than one way. In this one you don’t know which punch of the peddler is the most lethal. He might pack quite a wallop if you cross him, but take just one good sup of his poteen and you’ll be lucky if you don’t take total leave of your senses.”

What do you appreciate most about Fisher? The tight-knit community and campus! Being something of a “back-office” librarian, I still have opportunities to meet students, faculty and staff from all around the campus.

Fun Facts

What is your favorite word? Serendipitous.

What is your least favorite word? Moist! Dr. Horrible, anyone?

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

What superpower do you wish you had? Flash speed. The capacity for detailed appreciation of one’s surroundings that super-speed necessitates would make experiencing day-to-day life amazing.

What are you most proud of in your career? Mentoring students and providing them meaningful opportunities.

When you aren’t at work, what are you likely doing? Playing music at home, at Irish sessions, or for dancers

This Letter was penned by Ben Hockenberry.

Finals are here!

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Wow, Fisher, this semester flew by for everyone at the library! You’ve kept us super busy with everything from research questions at the Help Desk, to drinking all the Pumpkin Spiced coffee K-cups, to reshelving all the books you’ve borrowed, to finding you new puzzles for #stressless.

But, as the semester is wrapping up and you’re frantically preparing for finals, don’t forget the library is here for you. Whether it’s a quiet study room on the upper level, a study break with friends to work on the latest puzzle, or just a quick snack on your way out the door, Lavery Library staff strive to make the library a welcoming and supportive place for everyone on campus.

It’s been such a great semester; we’ve seen lots of new faces along with all the familiar ones, and we can’t wait to see you all back here in January.

Have a great winter break!!!

Bringing the arts to you…

Although Fisher is not an arts campus, Lavery tries to bring the arts to you!
Joseph Sorrentino talks about his work capturing images of workers in the fair trade coffee industry in Oaxaca, Mexico.

From having local artists display their work, and share their creativity with the Fisher Family, to simply decorating the library with art prints from artistic masters, Lavery Library is always thinking of ways to bring arts and arts programs to campus.

Campesinos in Cuetzalan, Puebla, sort through dried coffee beans, selecting the ones they’ll use to plant.


Exhibit openings give everyone the opportunity to meet the artists and hear them speak about their work.  Sometimes the artists agree to include a workshop for a hands-on arts experience.

Do you like the art prints in the library? We try to bring you the most well-known artists, and their most iconic pieces!

We move them around frequently, so that you’ll get see them all!

Each semester students from the Arts Minor classes share their work with us.  At the end of each semester the Student Art Show lets us see the work and also hear from students as they present their works of literature and poetry.

We hope you enjoy the art!

This Letter was written by Nancy Greco

Interview — Lynn Seavy


Name: Linda “Lynn” Seavy

Current job? Office Manager, Lavery Library

How long have you been at Lavery Library/Fisher? 26 years and counting.

How Do You Work?

What is your office/workspace like?

Crowded, and not as neat as I’d like it to be.  Lots of green plants. Watercolor pictures on the walls; I love the soft colors.  Different piles of papers for different projects I’m working on.  Broken equipment and chairs awaiting repair; I’m mostly hidden from view.  Little animal figures people have given me, as well as a couple small stuffed animals to keep me company.  I try to “have a bit of a cleanup” every now and then, but it never lasts long.

What is a typical day for you?

Checking email first thing and rescheduling meetings and Help Desk shifts for people out sick.  Doing “rounds” of the Library building looking for maintenance and safety issues to get fixed.  Reserving rooms for library instruction classes and meetings, and checking email to keep our room calendars up-to-date.  Proof-reading everything from articles to class handouts to PowerPoint presentations.  Checking email.  Working with Facilities staff to get repairs made.  Sending out reminders and helpful messages so everyone knows what’s going on.  Checking email.  Placing phone calls, composing letters, and cleaning up formatting in documents for other staff so they have more time to assist students.  Checking email.  Having a cup of tea in there somewhere.

What are you reading now?

I’m never reading less than 3 books:  a couple at home, another at work for lunch hours, but never more than two fiction at a time.

Currently I’m reading:

In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick;

The Postman by David Brin; and

Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope

What do you appreciate most about Fisher?

The Fisher Family is not some fictional entity to help with recruitment.  Not only is the college small enough that professors will know their students by name, but the staff and faculty are very supportive of each other and the students.  On many occasions, when something bad has happened (a house fire that left a staff member and 3 children with no home or possessions, the sudden death of the father and uncle of a foreign student who did not have the money to fly home), Fisher Family members have opened up their wallets and their hearts, providing whatever was materially necessary to get people through a crisis, as well as genuine compassion and a willing ear to listen or shoulder to cry on, for as long as it took to get that person back to a good place.

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

The library staff are all very caring, down-to-earth people, and no one should be shy about asking a question.  The librarians, along with other front desk staff, are here to help students, but not just because they are being paid to do it.  Everyone genuinely enjoys helping other people by answering questions and breaking down difficult research topics to get the necessary information for papers and projects.  They won’t stop searching until they have the right answer.  Never, ever hesitate to ask for help; it will make our day!

Fun Facts

What is your favorite word?

I’m proud of my British heritage, and I love a lot of the words and phrases they use that are different from American English.  Some sound cuter or more tasteful, and some are just plain wacky.  A garbage can is a dustbin; the hood and trunk of a car would be the bonnet and the boot.  Nothing to do?  You’re at a loose end.  Doing something reckless?  Don’t play silly buggers!  Feeling miserable?  You look like a dying duck in a thunderstorm.

What is your least favorite word?

Any acronym of a phrase that is not difficult to spell or remember: POTUS, FLOTUS, BTW, LOL, etc.  Unless you are tweeting or texting, please write out the words!

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

Professional writer.  I love to write, but it takes a lot of work and time to polish something to the point at which it is publishable.  It’s hard to make time when there are so many books I want to read!

What profession would you never want to attempt?

Anything involving heights.  When I see a scene in a movie with the hero standing on a building ledge, or hanging inside an elevator shaft, my palms get sweaty.  Mountain-climbing movies like Cliffhanger (Stallone) and Vertical Limit (Chris O’Donnell) terrified me way more than any horror movie.

What superpower do you wish you had?

I would love to be able to swim like a dolphin.  Swirling around coral reefs and diving with huge schools of fish seems like a great way to explore the oceans.  And being able to launch myself out of the water while swimming at 30 miles per hour would feel pretty awesome, too 😉

What are you most proud of in your career?

The positive impact that I, that all of us, have on our students.  Though I don’t teach or help with research, I’ve made connections with students who worked in the Library.  They friend us on Facebook, or come back to visit, long after they’ve graduated, to let us know how they are, and share the milestones in their lives, which clearly shows that we became an important source of support to them when they were away from home during a very stressful time of their lives.

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

Reading books; watching movies; listening to music (lots of movie scores); going to library book sales and Barnes & Noble; solving word puzzles and sudoku.  Preferably while drinking lots of tea and eating cookies.  I inherited a sweet-tooth from my British mother.  I also like to be working on something creative; if I’m not writing a story, I might be making jewelry, or taking an art class.

Open Access Week: Interview with Alicia Marrese

In honor of Open Access Week, we interviewed Alicia Marrese, who is the coordinator for Fisher Digital Publications, our open access repository for Fisher scholarship!

Describe what open access means in 5 words or less: Sharing your scholarship freely online.

What misconceptions are out there about open access? That open access journals aren’t scholarly, aren’t peer-reviewed, and publishing in them is less prestigious than publishing with a more well-known publisher. You always want to investigate the quality of a journal before submitting your work, but many open access journals go through just as much editorial work and peer review as a traditionally published journal.

What is your favorite part about working on Fisher Digital Publications? My favorite part is being able to see how many times and from where Fisher scholarship has been downloaded! It always amazes me that people from all over the world read works created by our Fisher Family right here in Rochester, NY.

Readership Map

What do you think is the greatest benefit to open access? When items are open access, readers do not need to be able to access an expensive database in order to view them. Your scholarship can reach many more people around the world since it available for anyone with internet access—no subscription needed!

The Benefits of Open Access by Danny Kingsley and Sarah Brown (

Where do you see open access scholarship heading in the future? I think the amount of open access scholarship will grow, and the idea of freely sharing works will become more common as people learn about it. Authors with knowledge about open access can choose to publish works in open access journals and archive their scholarship in open access repositories like Fisher Digital Publications.

How can Fisher faculty, staff, and students contribute to the open access movement? Publish in open access journals and add your works to Fisher Digital Publications! I think it is absolutely worth it to investigate alternatives to traditionally published journals and see what open access journals are currently available in your field. If you do publish in a traditional journal, you can also see if the publisher permits you to add a draft copy of the article to Fisher Digital Publications. If we can share more through open access journals and repositories, we enable other researchers around the world to easily access it and use it in their own research, which helps further advance the growing open access movement.

Calmly cloistered in quiet corners or Crowded on comfy couches

. . . favorite spots in Lavery Library

With the semester in full swing, the library is getting busier and busier. And hopefully by now you’ve scoped out your favorite place to study or hang out with friends (while hopefully doing school work). Whatever the reason you’re visiting the library, getting your favorite spot always makes your visit better. However, if you haven’t found a favorite spot in the library, pull up a chair and discover the secret hideouts and favorite haunts of the library staff.

Office Manager, Lynn Seavy, loves the view from L315! “It has a wonderful view of the academic side of campus, and south towards the City.  You can just see the tower of Colgate Divinity School peeking over the treetops.  Sometimes I’ll pop in this room to take a break from my computer screen, especially when the leaves change color in the fall.”

Access Services Librarian, Kourtney Blackburn, is a fan of the new high stools and counter space that faces out on Keough Quad, particularly for the natural light!

Circulation Coordinator, Stacy Celata, hides out in L100 (the library computer lab). “It’s cooler most days, vacant of students most days, and a good place to hunker down and do my homework.” But if she’s catching up on a good book during the summer, she likes the couches by the windows facing Keough.

Serials Assistant, Jenny Bigenwald, or as I like to think of her, display-maker extraordinaire, really likes the lounge space on the lower level near the restrooms. “I love this space for its bright windows, where you can people-watch others going to and from class.  It is a quiet space, tucked away from the more public spaces in the library…great for taking a break!”

Education and First Year Program Librarian, Stacia Maiorani, also like the lounge space by the lower level restrooms. “I love the large windows that let so much natural lighting in and enjoy reading a book for a bit during my lunch break. I also enjoy seeing students that have found this gem of a spot and often study or chat over a meal in this spot.”

And for me, it’s the large tables to the left of the elevator on the upper level. I like to find a spot right next to the windows and imagine I’m working in a tree house. I don’t get the chance to work up there too much during the school year, but during the summer I can be found hunkered down in the corner.

We all hope you find your favorite spot in the library, somewhere you can hide out and write a paper or study for a test, or a place you can get together with friends between classes or work on a group project. Wherever this space is, we won’t hold it against you for not sharing, but if you do want to share it with us, just tag us on Instagram @lavery_library.