A Day in the Life of the Giovatto Library

By Members of the COMM 3835 Advanced Journalism Class*

The lighting in the Reference Reading Room in the Giovatto Library is yellowish-green, but on this day there is blue glow from the bright sky on a sunny afternoon. A handful of students are scattered around the room. Most are on the library computers.

“I like the quiet section upstairs,” said Amirah Anderson, a senior in criminal justice. “It is easier to focus. I can sit down and not be distracted.”

For those who like it really quiet, there is the basement.

“I come to study here,” said Ronald, a sophomore in electrical engineering. “My roommate’s kinda loud.”

Associate University Librarian Kathleen Stein- Smith says the Giovatto Library has something for everyone in the FDU community.

“My job as director of public services is to make sure that everybody who comes into the library, primarily students, have an effective, successful, pleasant experience while they are here,” Stein-Smith said.

Stein-Smith depends on a staff with wide variety of skills to provide that service. Vishnu Nammi, a graduate student in computer science, was inspired to apply for his job after seeing Stein-Smith online.

“I saw videos about Kathy and her presentations on YouTube,” Nammi said.

The library includes a myriad of services and settings to support a wide range of activities for students, faculty and staff, including charging stations, video games, board games, computers, magazines and newspapers, microwaves, vending machines, and relaxation zones – there is literally something for everyone.

There are even special services for music lovers and performers.

“We are really privileged to have two wonderful pianos, they’re Boston by Steinway,” Stein-Smith said. “They’re available for student use and practicing. If a student wants to have a recital, the library is happy to host it, sponsor it. We’ll help you publicize it, we’ll provide refreshments, you can invite family and friends.”

Oh yes, and there’s a place for visual art, too.

“We have an art gallery upstairs,” Stein-Smith said. “We invite students, faculty and staff, and alumni exhibits. We’re happy to set the exhibit up, we’ll provide a little reception and help you publicize the exhibit.”

Periodicals Coordinator Maryann Sena has been employed at FDU for 22 years, and received her bachelor’s and two master’s degree here. Now, she takes charge of the time and scheduling of those staffed in periodicals, and helps students find what they’re looking for.

“I’m helping people better themselves, and each student is bettering themselves,” Sena said. “I feel like whatever I’m doing, the product of my efforts is to make people’s lives better.”

Among those trying to better themselves is Amirah Anderson, a senior criminal justice major.

She was walking around the second floor of the library for a long time, reading yers on the walls and getting chips from the vending machine.

“My honors thesis brought me to the library today,” Anderson said. “I’m doing it on juvenile risk factors that lead them down the pathway to crime.”

But the library isn’t just a place to work, it’s a place to chill.


“I was researching, but I’m taking a break,” Anderson said. “I walked away from the computer because I just can’t right now.”

Fatima Abboud, a junior computer art & design major, sat in a couch in the corner of the library, wearing a navy hijab and a striped shirt, relaxing and scrolling on her phone before class.

“I’m here hanging out, waiting for class to start,” she said. “It’s relaxing, there’s lots of seats here, and it’s quiet in the morning.”

And there’s another way that many students enjoy the library that is not in the brochure.

“You can nap,” Abboud said, “which I’m guilty of.”

*Mona Duggan, Vanessa Gonzalez, Theresa King, Mark Lindsley, Moufatih Mohammad, Julian Oliver, Maya Page, Emily Weikl and Elizabeth White