Library Information

Vision Statement

The Library will:

  • Promote learning, scholarship, and innovation.
  • Provide the best contemporary and traditional resources.
  • Develop and share our skills to advance intellectual discovery.
  • Create a blend of academic and social spaces where people are empowered to connect with information and each other.

Mission Statement

Lavery Library actively participates in the research and teaching of the St. John Fisher community by providing a responsive, collegial team committed to connecting people and ideas worldwide. In a welcoming environment, the library innovatively guides discovery for a lifetime of informed decision-making.

History of the Library

Lavery Library, dedicated in 1975 and named after Rev. Charles J. Lavery, C.S.B., former President and Chancellor, is situated at the center of the St. John Fisher College campus. Before the current structure was built, the College's library was located on the upper floors of Kearney Administration Building. The library's collection has grown from the initial gift of 20,000 volumes by the Rev. Bernard J. Gefell in the early 1950's to its current size of over 160,000 volumes. The first CD-ROM database was installed in 1989, and the library's automated catalog and circulation system were brought up in 1992.

Current Status

The Charles J. Lavery Library meets the information needs of 21st-century students. A blend of traditional and electronic resources covering a broad range of subjects is available to the Fisher community. The library's print collection is supplemented by an extensive offering of online scholarly resources.

The library provides a variety of study venues. Individual and group study areas, a computer lab, and a floor designated for quiet make the library a popular spot on campus for research, meetings, and instruction. It is also a great place to relax with comfy couches; popular books, magazines, and DVDs; and well-stocked vending machines.

Computing Facilities

The library is equipped with state-of-the-art computer equipment and instructional facilities. There are many computers available for use throughout the library, with the bulk on the main floor. In addition, Wi-Fi is available throughout the library and laptops may also be borrowed at Circulation for short-term use in the library.

Curriculum Center

Geared toward educators and pre-service educators at all levels, the Curriculum Center offers a range of juvenile literature, school textbooks, and lesson-planning resources. The Curriculum Center is a joint project of the Education Department and the library. Ample work space, coupled with ready access to materials, provide an ideal environment for project and lesson development.


Lavery Library's permanent art collection includes works by Rochester artists John Menihan, Rufus Dryer, and Chloe Smith. Prints of famous artworks are displayed throughout the building for the enjoyment of all our patrons.

There are two galleries in Lavery Library: The Keating Room, located on the Main Level, and the Lower Level Gallery. In these spaces, we have rotating exhibits of work by local artists, current faculty, and students. Additional display areas contain materials for the library's collections, including the College Archives and our Special Collections. All exhibits are free and open to the public.

Those interested in holding an exhibit in Lavery Library should contact Nancy Greco, (585) 385-8139.

Book of Kells Memorial

The original of the ancient illuminated manuscript, "The Book of Kells," is permanently housed in the library at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. The facsimile displayed here is Number 765 of a limited edition of 1,480 books worldwide. It was purchased in 1991 as a gift to St. John Fisher College and the Rochester Community by Irish immigrants, Irish-American descendants, friends, and members of the Monroe County Chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Auxiliary. It serves as a memorial to the loved ones of many of the contributors, and in a broader sense to all the Irish who came to this area and contributed to its richness.

"The Book of Kells" is a Latin version of the New Testament, transcribed by Irish monks over 1,000 years ago. It is believed to have been used as an altar book for special occasions. Throughout its varied history it was stolen, lost, hidden, and finally put on permanent display in Trinity College, Dublin. It is regarded as a cultural treasure of the Irish people. This book of rarest beauty, depicts a highly developed art form, the faith expression of a religious community, and a literary richness that has survived centuries of political turmoil.

The public is invited to enjoy this edition of "The Book of Kells." Study of the book is encouraged, and can be arranged by contacting the Lavery Library at (585) 385-8164, from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (ET) or Michelle Price at (585) 899-3743. It offers the opportunity to examine a work that has previously been unavailable to scholars. Although this is not the original, it is a rare and irreplaceable edition, which we hope will be available for many generations of scholars.

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