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“Without libraries what have we?
We have no past and no future.”

Ray Bradbury


The O'Rourke Library and Mission Statement

The primary mission of the library is to support the curriculum of Bishop Fenwick High School. This is done by acquiring print and non-print materials that are challenging and, at the same time, consistent with diversified needs. The librarians make these materials available in a standard organized manner and assist the students in developing independent skills in using the library for research and recreational reading.

The library is integrated into the school in the following ways:
  • Conducting classes focused on research and life long learning skills for students for efficient and responsible information use
  • Providing hands-on experience in the use of reference materials
  • Providing access to Summer Readings & Projects
  • Presenting booktalks to students to stimulate recreational reading
  • Providing pathfinders, bibliographies and lists of specialized materials
  • Home of the Fenwick Book Club
  • Providing computers, printers, and copiers for use of teachers and students.

HOURS (school academic year calendar)
7:00 am -4:00 pm

O'Rourke Library History

O'Rourke Library History

The Bishop Fenwick High School library is dedicated to the O’Rourke sisters, Sister Madeleine Louise and Sister Julienne, both Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Sr. Madeleine was professed as a Sister of Notre Dame in 1920, and Sr. Julienne in 1938, but their relationship started long before they came to Fenwick or cataloged a single book in the library. Sr. Madeleine and Sr. Julienne were blood sisters as well as SND’s. Sr. Madeleine Louise arrived at Bishop Fenwick in 1963 after thirty six years in Japan teaching at a Notre Dame High School and was joined by her sister, Sr. Julienne in 1967. They worked together for a combined 28 years of service to make the Bishop Fenwick Library one of the busiest rooms in the school. Both sisters retired from Fenwick in 1979 to the Notre Dame Long Term Care Center in Worcester, MA. Sr. Madeleine passed away in January of 1986 and Sr. Julienne passed away in January of 2001.

One Read

All School One Read

The goal of our summer One Read is to encourage our students to read and provide them with a positive experience. We believe in this as a whole school community; and as such, require everyone, faculty and students alike, to read one book that we will share together in a number of ways.

Class of 2020

Class of 2019

Class of 2018

Class of 2017


Below are answers to questions about the library in order of most asked on top. Here is a list of library FAQ's for printing.

What are the library hours?

24/7.The majority of Fenwick library resources are available online from anywhere you can connect to the internet.The physical library is open from 7:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. Monday through Friday. It is staffed daily by a librarian. Also on duty daily in the library is the National Honors Advisor. Check hours of operation outside Fenwick's normal academic year.

How do I reach the library staff?

Ms. Smith -- email at dms@fenwick.org

Mr. Czarnecki -- sjc@fenwick.org

How do I know if our library has a particular book?

Students use our online catalog found on the library web page. Students can view the catalog from home and access full text digital materials online.

From home, students go to the Fenwick homepage, choose "my BF" to log in to the library's secure space using an assigned username and password.

Students then choose the O'Rourke Library and Learning Center link.Choose "Library Catalog."

What makes the library different from other places in the school?

Two things in addition to its staff, that makes the Fenwick Library special: LEARNING & ATMOSPHERE

  • 1.) Our library purposely includes the phrase Learning Center in its name. That means that its users are intentionally doing something when they visit the library.That something is LEARNING. Studies show that the activity or process of gaining knowledge or skill by studying, happens in easier and deeper ways when the environment is designed to support and accommodate that activity.
  • 2.) Library space is specifically designated as a “Quiet Zone.” It's all about ATMOSPHERE. By entering, users are agreeing to the rules of the area. The rules (displayed on the wall) emphasize that the room is for individual school work & study. No talking. No distracting noises or activities. No unnecessary personal devices to distract you or others.

What are the resources that the library provides?

The library contains over 10,000 volumes of print and countless reference and other types of E-books available to the students both at school and at home. The library also purchases databases and provides access to over 30 databases provided by the Regional Library System. The library also makes available DVDs and audio books for student use.

The librarian works in collaboration with Fenwick teachers to provide instruction on information literacy & lifelong learning skills within the context of the range of disciplines being studied. Students learn how to access, analyze, organize and synthesize information while practicing 21st C learning skills. The librarian mentors the student book club, invites discussion about new and interesting literature and engages the Fenwick community by offering a One Read Program for the entire school each summer.

Why is using the library considered important to the Fenwick experience?

The Fenwick Library is essential to high school success.The intentional and repeated use of a library for 9-12 grade students cultivates21st C Lifelong Learning Skills & effective study habits.

1.) Curiosity and discovery happens where information reigns supreme.Problem solving and critical thinking are valued over rote skills. Knowledge and ideas are the resources we use to learn and think with while practicing 21st C LifeLong Learning skills.

2.) Using the library intentionally, you are giving a clear beginning and end to your study time.When you are done, you leave what you are recognizing as a place to study. When you come back you are returning to a designated place for study.

How is studying in the library different than studying in my room at home?

  1. Working in the library means that you have to organize yourself.
  2. When you're studying in the library you're only focused on what needs to be studied or assignments that need to be finished.
  3. Only bring with you to the library what you need to get your studying done.

Book Club

Click here for Recommended Readings -- Winter Break suggestions from the O'Rourke Library & Learning Center

If you're looking for a simple and fast tool for help with one citation, click here to use NoodleToolsExpress

For the complete NoodleTools site, You need to login to My Fenwick (scroll down to the bottom of this page) to get to your NoodleTools Account.

Featured links for the fall:

The Week -- a new magazine that compiles current event stories for high school students. The library subscribes to the print so stop by and take a look at the difference that format makes.

National Geographic -- a global nonprofit organization committed to exploring and protecting our planet. The library subscribes to the print so stop by and check it out.

Newsela --

access current event articles and the site's archives. Articles are well written organized by grade level and include several tools for reading improvement.

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