The library, dedicated to the school’s founder, John C. Jenkins, has been described as the heart of the school.  It fosters a life-long love of reading and learning for the entire community.
The extensive collection includes the classics of children’s literature as well as the most recent action adventures.  It contains over 17,000 volumes, magazines, DVDs, and electronic databases.  The library provides students with a quiet place in which to read and reflect.  It is also a lively center of research and exploration. Junior School boys choose books in the relaxed atmosphere of their own reading room.  Older boys study at large tables or in individual carrels. 

Participation in programs such as the Kronengold Visiting Author series, the Book Fair, and the Used Book Sale encourage boys to read as much as possible.  Chromebooks and iPads allow boys to engage in research and explore their interests on a variety of platforms.

Parents are encouraged to contact Ms. Reid or Mr. Schwartz to create their own library accounts to borrow physical books and to access our collection of eBooks and AudioBooks.  Please click on the SORA link below to browse and select a title.   Audiobooks provide a unique way for families to enjoy books together.  


Kate Reid, Library Director
212-289-2878 x346

Guy Schwartz, Librarian
212-289-2878 x346

Alexis Moses, Library Assistant
212-289-2878 x346

Library Hours

The library is open for general use before and after school.

7:30 a.m. - 8:20 a.m.
Boys in Grade II and above may visit the library without a parent or caregiver in the mornings before going to their first class.  Kindergarten and Grade I students must be accompanied by an adult.

3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m., Monday - Thursday
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., Friday

In the afternoons, boys in Grade IV and above may work in the library independently.  Junior School boys may come to the library after school as long as they are accompanied by an adult.


Library News

The Community Book is read by the faculty and older students (Grade V and up) over the summer.  Then, in September, everyone comes together to share their thoughts on the book.

This year’s selection was Cloud and Wallfish, a novel by Anne Nesbet set in 1989.  The story follows an eleven-year boy with a speech impediment (“The Astonishing Stutter,” he calls it) who is uprooted to East Germany under a cloud of secrecy.  

In an assembly in the Small Gym, three eighth graders spoke about aspects of the Cloud and Wallfish that particularly resonated with them.  Oliver W. discussed the German Democratic Republic’s use of propaganda to manipulate its citizens.  Jeremiah P. highlighted the main character’s friendship with a girl named Claudia who was also an outsider trying to make sense of the world around her.  “I greatly enjoyed this part of the book because it shows that Noah and Cloudia unite even when they were in a foreign and hostile environment not knowing if they would ever return home. They use their sense of imagination to create a coping device that can blot out the sadness in their lives.”  Lastly, Elliot C. spoke on morality: “...the overall realism in the book is superb, as is the moral complexity of the characters.”

Mr. Schwartz shared a fascinating video in which journalist John Henrickson explains what it feels like to stutter.  Ms. Nelson, head of the art department, showed us pictures of the incredible artwork that was painted on the west side of the wall.  Mr. Krasavage shared a moving story about a couple who were reunited through one of the secret tunnels under the wall.

Mr. Bowcock organized nineteen small discussion groups that were a mix of boys from different grades.  The book was a popular one and the group discussions were quite lively.  For a community that loves to read, this was a wonderful way to start the year.

New Arrivals

— Russell Pennoyer '65

Oscar Wilde, the great playwright, once wrote, Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.’  Obviously, he didn’t have the benefit of a St. Bernard’s education.  I, on the other hand, did, and when asked about my own schooling, I often find myself wanting to answer, I graduated from Choate, Harvard, and Columbia Law School, but I was educated at St. Bernard’s.

Books by or About Old Boys