Share your memories!

Hi!  We’re 75 years old!

This site is dedicated to gathering the memories of alumni, staff and faculty who have enjoyed Friedsam Memorial Library over those decades.  Please feel free to leave your own reminiscences here.  Just scroll down to “Leave a Reply” below.

You may also go to our SpeakPipe site to leave a voice message with your stories.

Please feel free to send your stories to if you’d prefer to share them via e-mail.

Thanks for helping us to celebrate our building, our collections and the people who brought it all alive!

Fr. Irenaeus sharing some of his stories

Fr. Irenaeus sharing some of his stories


13 thoughts on “Share your memories!

  1. I may as well get this started. My favorite memories are all over the place, so I’ll just make a list. In no particular order:
    Alumni coming to the archives to have their picture taken with Bob Lanier’s shoe;
    Students becoming fascinated by Bona’s history after taking a look through a scrapbook or our web site;
    Finding out what the names on a fraternity paddle mean…from the person who made the paddle;
    Getting to know the creator of the Brother Juniper comics and adding his work to our collection;
    Working with dozens of Bona’s students as work/study and intern assistants and history and journalism students;
    Working with the wonderful folks all around campus who provide material for and use the historical records we maintain;
    Hearing the stories of St. Bonaventure-College and University, particularly those of Friedsam Library, from all of you!

  2. In February of 1991, I was privileged to do an internship under Theresa Shaffer as part of my MSLS program at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. That internship led me to a part time position as reference librarian beginning in August of 1991. My first job was serving on the barcoding crew as that was the summer the library began barcoding the entire collection. That was a great time as I worked in LA and PA. Beginning with the fall 1991 semester I began my part time referencing career at Friedsam. Over the past 22 years I have seen the library grow with the addition of the Rare Book Annex, the removing of the card catalog and the expansion of the study areas on the main floor. Congratulations on 75 years!

  3. The times when I could get a coveted place in the main reading room, at one of the beautiful wood tables with the green-shaded lamps.

  4. Watching, in admiration, the handiwork of Fr. Joseph Ruther, in he bindery in the basement of Freidsam as he bound periodicals and rebound worn texts using old fashioned methods. He did this accompanied by a fine collection of classical music (which he generously lent to WOFM for air play).

  5. On January 18th 1967 I was looking for my roomate Bill Davenport who was in the Library.. I found Bill at the far end of the main room.. At that time there was a Rembrandt hanging on the left side.. He introduced me to Jeanie O’Neill (69′) and from that point we started to date and have been married since July 1969.. So we met under the Rembrandt which was actually stolen from the University, I believe in the early 90’s never to be recovered… We re visited it again this past June as we celebrated my 45th re union.. Both Jean and I have very fond memories of Friedsam… where it all started for both of us… Don (67′) and Jean ( 69′) Schroeder

  6. Where do I begin with my memories of Friedsam Memorial? I like to believe that my time as a student employee encompasses some of the most exciting and memorable years of this crown jewel! I began working there as a student employee in the summer of ’73. I was assigned to Cataloging, working with Mrs. Norma Hervey, Catalog Librarian and Sandy Struble, long time assistant.

    We shared space in the basement with Acquisitions and Ms. Martha Drake was Acquisitions Librarian. Right down the hall Fr. Irenaeus had his office and at the end of the hall was Fr. Joe and his Bindery. At that time one of my primary functions was using the stylus and tape to inscribe the Call Number on the spine of the books. But, oh, what changes were coming!

    Between May 1973 and December 1976 the Library was transformed. The huge addition was built and we moved to modern facilities. We went from the old stylus labeling to a new system of word processing and labels. Then, from Dewey Decimal to LC cataloging and magnetic security strips. (And what a task it was to convert the entire collection!)

    I remember taking the books that needed to be evaluated by Fr. Joe to determine whether they could be rebound. Walking down the hall one could hear John Philip Sousa marches blaring and smell his sweet pipe smoke! I would stand there until he noticed that I was in the doorway because I didn’t want to startle him!

    Then, in the fall of ’76 I was honored to be the first student to man the Reference Desk in the evening, assisting Mrs. Jean Onasch, Mr. Michael Spencer and Ms. Theresa Covley (now Mrs. Theresa Shaffer.)

    I look back with pride and know that it was such an honor to be a part of the Friedsam family. Being able to say that yes, I knew Fr. Irenaeus and Fr. Joe and that I hold a little part in this magnificent buildings history!

  7. I was fortunate enough to do my work study at Friedsam. My freshman year I was in technical services, but the next three I was at the front desk. It was a great way to get to know a whole bunch of students, professors and others. Everyone had to come in through those doors. I opened every Saturday and closed every Sunday, which was nice because I was able to get a lot of my own classwork done while working.

    It was also a nice place to get lost for a while. There are so many nooks and crannies where you could disappear. I always found it a difficult place to study, however. Maybe it was just too quiet.

    And it’s one of the best-looking buildings on campus. A gem for St. Bonaventure.

  8. Nothing could surpass the beauty of the main reading room, with the large painting on the far wall–the room and painting were breathtaking; while the room emitted warmth and inspired studiousness, the painting evoked grandeur and encouraged thoughtful musings. Conceding the value of the painting’s being moved to the Quick Art Center for its well-being, I was still sad to see it gone from its hallowed location.

    I had the great pleasure of working in the bindery under the guidance of Peter Jermann during my four-year work study. This work provided access to the library early in the morning, as well as to every rack of books and periodicals (the rare books collection notwithstanding—though I did get special peeks!). The library was even more precious to me in the quiet of the dawn, in the rhythm of the guillotine paper cutter, in the darkened bookcases holding so many ideas and thoughts to be read.

    I truly found it to be the most beautiful place on campus. Congrats on 75 wonderful years!

  9. Went from so so student to scholarly level in 4 years. Friedsam library changed my life….it was the refuge I was looking for where I could focus and learn. It wasnt an easy transformation but that’s where the serious part of my life took shape.

  10. The Bonaventure Friedsam Library picture hangs in our home. It was the start of so much for Don Schroeder ’67 and for me, Jean O’Neill, ’69. Recently, at St. Isidore Elementary School in Danville, CA, where I have been their principal, we built a new library for our K-8 large Catholic school. I called to our school to ask for old and new photos of that beloved space and memorable room. Thank you, Bonaventure for sending me photos. St. Isidore School now has a brand new doubled library with the spirit of Bonaventure in it. Thank you all for what you continue to do for college kids.

  11. My BFF, Theresa Covley-Shaffer (Librarian) E-Mailed me that the Friedsam Library will be celebrating it’s 75th Anniversary on March 7, I was so excited and wished I could be there to witness and enjoy the celebration. What Friedsam Memorial Library Had Meant to me? This is the title of the Essay I wrote in 1971 and won me a Gold Medal that was awarded during the Commencement Exercise that year. The late Mr. Bob Hope who was the Honorary Guest Speaker handed me this special Medal. I plan to wear it with pride on this day to remember the Friedsam Library and it ‘s staff that I worked with while earning my BBA degree (class of 1973). I am ever so grateful to be acquainted with this magnificent Library, which I had described in my Essay. I know it is needless to mention the leadership, kindness and the gentle soul of Fr. Irenaeus (my very first boss at $2.20 per hour – student assistance pay rate at that time). Fr. Irenaeus, (Head Librarian at that time) would close the Library early on the night that St. Bonas’ Basket Ball team played. He was so wise; because no one would be in the Library including Theresa and I. Bob Lanier (class-mate & confident) had lead the team to the NCAA final four in DC. We almost won & it was sure a long & hard drive back to Campus and to return to classes and to work at the Library. Fr. Joseph Ruther, OFM who was my Math 101 & 102 professor and Mentor. He told me “Good Things Come in Small Packages” and I knew he referred to us. I told him, “So does Chinese Fire Crackers”. I recall Fr. Joe’s many talents, to name a few: the Bindery, Wood Craving of Pray-Hands, Knitting, & his kindness to animals. I called him “Fr. Do Little”. I remember seeing Fr. Joe taking birdseeds from his frock-pocket to feed the birds on his way to the Library.
    Congrats to Friedsam Library for many successful years to come. May God bless one and all.
    Respectfully Submitted,
    Malee Rungnophakhun-Klatt, BBA, MSW

  12. I arrived at St. Bonaventure uncertain about my own intellectual pursuits, but soon I found a bunch of teachers who fueled a fierce desire to learn all sorts of things. The library became the site for inquiry of all kinds. It was not just a place of learning, but it also was a vast, cool house of its own to meander through. I loved perusing the stacks, finding cool nooks and crannies in which to study, and catching up with friends. I found a large part of myself there. Friedsam is one of my favorite places on earth.

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