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.

Lavery Library Alumni Spotlight

In honor of Alumni Weekend, we asked our Access Services Librarian, Kourtney (Evans) Blackburn ‘10, to reminisce about her time at St. John Fisher College alongside her father-in-law, Jim Blackburn ‘65. Take a trip down memory lane and see where they think Fisher is headed!
image of Kourntey and Jim Blackburn
Kourtney & Jim

What was the campus like when you attended? How has it changed?

Jim: There were fewer students and only a few buildings when I attended. Many offices, classes, and the dining hall were located in the basement of the Administration Building (which is now Kearney) under the auditorium. I used to study on the second floor of the White House, (a farmhouse where the previous owners lived) which was also used by Security. There was the Chemistry Building, a dorm, the White House, and a small gymnasium used for basketball.

old image of Fisher campus
1960 Fisher Campus from left to right: “Chemistry Building”, Kearney, and the White House

Today the campus is abuzz with students. It is jam-packed with buildings. Fisher is now like a mini city, and it is much more exciting than it was when I was a student. I must say that I am very impressed with the caring and kindness that the students show me when I visit. They offer to help me get wherever I want to go, they hold doors for me, and they are cheerful.  They make this old alum very happy.

What technology did Fisher have when you attended?

IBM 1620 Computer
IBM 1620 Computer

Jim: There was one IBM 1620 computer.  It had the unique feature that if one wanted to do something special, one had to wire up a board that slid into a socket. Programing was done on standard IBM cards in Fortran.  A deck of these cards had to be placed in a card reader to get the program into the computer, which compiled it, and hopefully would run it.

What was one of your most memorable days at Fisher?

Jim: I was sitting in Professor Richard Pegis’ math class at about 2:30pm when someone came down the hall shouting that President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas, Texas. The professor dropped his head and put the chalk down.  We all just got up and silently walked out of class with big lumps in our throats.

What is your favorite memory from Fisher?

Jim: My favorite memory from Fisher is when the girls came, when Fisher and Nazareth began to share students. It was not a coeducational school yet, as the men were Fisher students and the ladies were Nazareth students.Some of us boys went to classes at Nazareth and in return some of the girls came to classes at Fisher. It was a big improvement for all of us. I also helped the Drama Club build scenery. I had experience from my days at Aquinas, where I helped Fr. Bud Cullen C.S.B. with the Performing Arts Club.

Kourtney: I think my favorite memory involved performing in musicals because it is where I met some really great friends. I also met my husband in Dorsey Hall thanks to a mutual friend, so that’s a favorite memory, too!

What was your favorite class?

Jim: My favorite class was Classical Mechanics, a physics course, taught by my good friend Fr. John Poluikis, C.S.B. We remained friends and always looked for each other at RPO concerts until he went to his eternal reward.

Kourtney: I loved all of my honors classes, especially Medieval World and Seeing Metaphor. Another favorite was the History of English. Thanks to Dr. Vanderbilt, I will forever remember the year 1066, the year the English language changed forever due to Normans invading England.

What do you remember most about the library?

Nazareth Women visit the Fisher Library
Nazareth Women visit the Fisher Library

Jim: It was on the south end, second floor of the Administration Building.  It was not very large and did not have many very many books. We students used it mostly as a study/work area as it had a number of solid tables. And of course, there were no common library PCs, workstations, cell phones, etc. The microprocessor [unit integral to computers] did not exist back then.

Kourtney: I remember how welcomed and comfortable I felt in the library, which is now an entire building packed to the gills with students! I could always go there to get help or lock myself away in a study room to camp out and write papers…and eventually sneak in a nap. It wasn’t as technology-oriented then, either. We had a handful of computers on the main floor and a computer lab in the lower level, but the majority of the main floor contained books and journals.

What gives you the most pride in your alma mater?

Kourtney: Seeing how engaged Fisher students, faculty, and staff are with each other and with the greater Rochester community gives me the most pride. We all aspire to learn new things, to better ourselves, and to better each other. I think that sort of engagement is contagious!  While we are all focused on the future, we remain committed to the Basilian motto engraved above Basil Hall: Teach me goodness, discipline, and knowledge.

What piece of wisdom do you want to impart on the current students?

Kourtney: Take advantage of all of your time to learn new things inside and outside the classroom! Don’t get so caught up in your daily schedule that it prevents you from going to events on and off campus.

Jim: Your years at Fisher are but a short interlude in what is a lifetime of learning.  Pour yourself into that learning; make it your life’s work to learn something new every day. I still do! I do Tensor Calculus problems just to keep my brain going in the second half of my 70s. Challenge yourself. Academics first. Party after the work is all done.

Jim Blackburn image
Jim Blackburn

Jim graduated from Fisher with a BS in Mathematics/Science. He went on to receive an MS from the University of Rochester in Applied Mathematics, and an MS from RIT in Computer Science. Jim was a high school teacher at Aquinas, teaching mathematics and all the sciences before being recruited by the Fuel Systems Division of General Motors to be a research engineer. He mostly devised methods of manufacturing and specialized research instruments. He also wrote algorithms for manufacturing and research. He taught Christian formation for 35 years. Now retired, Jim likes camping, hiking, and building things like playhouses for his three granddaughters. He is married with two children.

image of Luna

Kourtney is the Access Services Librarian at Lavery Library. Before earning her Masters of Library Science from SUNY Buffalo, Kourtney graduated from Fisher with a BA in English and Adolescence Education. In her spare time, Kourtney likes to cook and go for walks with her dog Luna (named for Luna Lovegood) and her husband. Her favorite food at Ward-Haffey is the Tomato Parmesan Soup!

#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 (email:, 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:

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:

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:

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.