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.


Kronengold Authors Lecture

In 2016, a group of Old Boys established the Kronengold Fund in honor of their second grade teacher Susan Kronengold.  The Fund brings an author to the school each year to speak to the boys. 

As part of the Kronengold Lecture Series, illustrator and author Melissa Sweet visited St. Bernard’s in February via Zoom.
Ms. Sweet has illustrated over 100 (yes, 100!) books and received numerous awards including two Caldecott honors.  She is also the author of four books including Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade, which was the focus of her talk to the Junior School. 

Ms. Sweet showed the boys pictures of her studio in Maine, filled with art supplies and vintage odds and ends which she uses to make collages and all sorts of interesting things.  All of her work is done by hand.  She described her daily routine and the importance of sticking to a schedule and having deadlines.  The boys were fascinated to hear about the research that goes into writing a book, especially one like Balloons over Broadway which tells the true story of a puppeteer named Tony Sarg.  Ms. Sweet spent over a year learning about Mr. Sarg and all of his wonderful creations.  As she creatively illustrates in her book, Mr. Sarg created large puppets for the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, but as the crowds grew and grew, he came up with the genius idea of flying them overhead using helium.  Ms. Sweet’s joyful illustrations make the story lift off the page. 

The boys loved Ms. Sweet’s presentation and asked all sorts of questions about the process of creating a book.  To complement this talk, the St. Bernard’s art department is working with the boys to create miniature parade balloons of their own, inspired by Tony Sarg.  We look forward to reading more of Melissa Sweet’s books.  A large number are on display in the library and in our online library, SORA.

Many thanks to the Kronengold Authors Fund for making this experience possible. 

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