Mission: Established in 1930 to serve the priestly formation program at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, the library now helps support the academic programs offered by St. Joseph Seminary, but it also serves the wider Church and the general public. We welcome alumni, visitors, local scholars, retreatants, and parish ministers, etc. The library and its staff consciously strive to cultivate core values such as respect, hospitality, diversity, collaboration, and excellence. Our goals and objectives are based on the belief that we are helping our users become lifelong learners who are at once well-rooted in the history and the patrimony of the Church, and ready to go forth and evangelize in the third millennium.
History: Generous clergy and other Long Islanders donated some of their own books when the seminary opened in 1930. Our current collections grew from this matrix. Although it was originally intended to occupy the top floor of the seminary, for many years the library was on the second floor, and access to the collection was limited. Faculty and seminarians alike relied on their personal libraries for study material.
In the late 1960s the seminary moved towards becoming a stand-alone, accredited institution. Faculty members (such as Fr. James Richter), aided by student workers, began organizing the collection. In 1970 the seminary hired its first professional librarian, Sister Regina M. Moran C.S.J., as Library Director. Sister Regina worked with a small committee of librarians from nearby academic libraries, including St. John's University, to plan the process of bringing the library up to professional standards.
Sister Regina oversaw the monumental task of re-classifying the teaching collection from the Dewey Decimal system to the Library of Congress classification system. At the same time the teaching collection was moved, and in the fall of 1971, its new space on the fourth floor was officially opened. That same year, Dr. Jiri Lipa was hired as assistant librarian. Dr. Lipa had defected from his native Czechoslovakia in 1970, while visiting Ohio State University to give a lecture. (See: the Dec. 1971 Newsday article, "Homeless Czech finds friendly land.") Later, when Sr. Regina retired, Dr. Lipa became Library Director.
Over the years the collection has grown in depth and variety, and it has been enriched by donations from prominent faculty members such as Msgr. Francis X. Glimm, Fr. George A. Denzer, and Fr. Francis M. Tyrrell. In 2002, Jiri Lipa retired, and Elyse Hayes was hired as Library Director. The library automated in 2005, and the staff continues to utilize new technologies as it serves the Church on Long Island.