Final Exams . . . wait, wasn’t it September last week?


Every year Lavery Library is bustling during the week leading up to finals and finals week (Lavery hours). We see record-setting numbers of students at our Research Help Desk, and finding someone hunkered down with their laptop and notes in a quiet corner is common. It can get noisy on the Main Level with students finishing up group projects, late night study sesskearney2ions, and the breaktime chatter. But fear not, the quiet floor is still quiet, and if you desire even more solitude, you might  be able to score a study room. My favorite spot on the Upper Level in L316 — it has a great view of Kearney!

But if you already have your spot picked out and are just wondering what we are offering this year in the way of snacks, here’s a look at the list: finals-week-post

  • Apples
  • Candy
  • Cookies
  • Drinks

Lest we forget, stress relief:

  • Coloring
  • 10-minute Chair Massages (Tuesday & Wednesday night)!

And if none of these are for you and you just want to use the space and bring your own snacks and drinks, we don’t mind. Just remember, bring enough to share (at least with the library staff).



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

Voting with an Absentee Ballot

Don’t forget your Absentee Ballots are due soon!

If you aren’t able to vote locally, you can still vote with an absentee ballot!!! Make sure they are postmarked Nov. 7th!

How to vote with an Absentee Ballot in New York State:

Absentee Ballot for New York State:

VOTE 2016 Design by Kevin Adams and AIGA Get Out the Vote
Image by Kevin Adams for AIGA Get Out the Vote. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

10 Reasons to Support Open Access

Top 10 reasons to support open access

1. Access works anytime, anywhere

Even if you leave the higher education field and no longer have access from your institution

2. Frees your library to spend money on other things, like books and services

3. Free for all with an internet connection

4. Encourages international collaboration

5. Increases impact metrics of your own work

Called the citation advantage

6. Share your research

How many times have you posted a link to your new article on social media, but none of your friends can open it without paying?

7. Reduce barriers to learning outside of higher education

i.e. younger learners and armchair academics engaging with scholarly research

8. Exercise your rights to access funded research

  • Did a government grant pay for that article’s production?
  • Did tuition dollars pay for it?
  • Why should the people who paid for its production have to pay again to read it?

9. Make learning more affordable

10. Accelerate scholarly publishing lifecycle

Share your scholarship sooner through pre-prints, open conference proceedings, and open peer-review

Happy Open Access Week!

Kourtney Blackburn, Access Services Librarian
Ben Hockenberry, Systems Librarian

Being an Informed Voter

In order to be an informed voter, one must be able to sift through bias and punditry, until the truth of the important issues becomes clear. Once you are able to do this, it becomes easier to vote for the candidate you truly believe is the best person for the job.

Here are a few places to go to get information about each of the candidates running for President this November without the political spin: The League of Women Voters

“The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.”

Here is where you can find some general information about the upcoming election, for all levels of government, as well as some information about how to be an informed voter! There is even a two-part voter’s guide pamphlet with helpful information that can be accessed here:

Voters Guide Part I ~ Facts for Voters

Voters Guide Part II ~ Candidate Information

And, if you’re specifically interested in information related to voting as a student in New York State, look no further than Rock the Vote NY! This site is filled with information on how to vote in New York, as well as information about the candidates for districts in New York State.

It can be hard in this political climate to discuss the election without an argument breaking out, but in the end what matters is that you vote, and do so with the knowledge that you are choosing the candidate you feel is best suited to be the next President of the United States.

Remember to vote, November 8th!


Anna Elsloo, Technical Services Assistant

A Greener State of Mind


Many people never see me tucked away in my plant-filled office in the Library, but I get out and about on campus as a long-standing member of the Recycling & Sustainability Committee (RSC). We have led campus cleanups on Earth Day, planted trees for each value of the Fisher Creed, built bird houses for the golf course, and hosted the annual Sustainability Fair and recycling drives. Here are a few other things that my sustainability-minded friends on the committee and I have done:

  • To keep used books out of landfills, the Library has two carousels full of books (and the occasional video) just inside the vestibule. This give-a-book/take-a-book is completely free; just keep it in mind the next time you’re looking to clean up your bookshelves.
  • In the past, hundreds of pounds of wasted food were being thrown out in Ward/Haffey. Volunteers collected the food to clearly show how much food was being wasted. We also encouraged students and faculty to stop using cafeteria trays; they are one more item to be wasrsc-posthed (which wastes water and energy), and make it easier to pile up more food than one person can eat.
  • The Library staff were part of a pilot project to give up individual trash cans under our desks for more centralized bins, saving on plastic liners and saving the housekeepers’ time.
  • Working with the Facilities Department, we created the signs you see at every trash/recycling center, to answer: “Can this be recycled, or is it trash?”
  • When the Library installed a Keurig coffee maker for patron-use, at our request, Library Director Melissa Jadlos agreed to pay to recycle the used pods.
  • The Sustainability Minor Program directed by Mike Boller, another long-time RSC member, encourages students to learn more about how sustainability can be practiced, within many academic fields, and by schools and businesses worldwide.
  • Recycling was made easier by embracing the new Monroe County Recycling Center’s Single-Stream initiative and the additional recycling of plastics labels 3-7.

Information about upcoming green activities on campus and around Monroe County are noted on our Facebook Page. Information about how you can make a difference to your world can be found on our website, Fisher Goes Green. There are many ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle the things we buy!

Everyday you are expanding your brains, either in class or at Lavery Library; don’t forget to also develop a greener mind. Because Sustainability is so closely related to the long-term health and well-being of humanity, this year we are combining our Sustainability Fair with the Healthy Living Fair. This event, which will include electronics recycling, will be held on Thursday, October 6, 11AM – 2PM, on LeChase Commons in front of Lavery Library. Please join your fellow students, professors, and staff to learn more about going green.


Lynn Seavy, Lavery Library Office Manager

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows”  ~Ralph Marston

A little Fisher History . . .

Did you know that St. John Fisher College was once an all-male schoclassroom_60sol?

Would you believe that the Fisher men had to wear a suit and tie to classes and to all campus events, including in the dining hall?

The proof is in the St. John Fisher College Archive, where the campus history is preserved.

In the Freshmen Seminar course, first-year students get a taste of what it’s like to be akearney-lighting-stromn archivist. They get to explore artifacts from the closed collection people rarely get the opportunity to see.  To really know the history of the campus, you need to be a good researcher and critical thinker.students_60s

In the late sixties, St. John Fisher College was a very different place than it is today.  Students wanted change, and they worked to get it.

students-_60sCome back to Letters from Lavery on October 17, 2016 to learn more about these influential students.


Keep Fisher History Alive!


Nancy Greco, Archives Librarian