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John Gearen Library

Library Hours

7 a.m.– 5:30 p.m.

Library News

Letters About Literature Contest is Underway

The Letters About Literature contest is a nationwide reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. The letters are judged on state and national levels. Last year, two Fenwick students were named Illinois Level III Finalists and 14 students were named Illinois Level III Semi-Finalists. Learn more about the contest here and here.

Congratulations to Aidan Kingwell '17

Her letter about literature, which won the 2014 National Prize, has been selected for inclusion in an anthology of award-winning letters. The anthology, titled Journeys, is set to be published by Candlewick Press in Spring 2017. The Library will be sure to purchase copies! In the meantime, you can read Aidan's letter to poet Mary Oliver on the Library of Congress website.

Geralyn Hesslau Magrady Recognized in Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project

Congratulations to Mrs. Magrady for being named the 2016 Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author for her book Lines!! Learn more.

The 8th Edition of the MLA Handbook is Here!

The Modern Language Association recently released the 8th edition of their handbook. Although the majority of guidelines remains the same, some major changes were made. (For example, one no longer needs to note the city or medium of publication when citing print books).

Want to learn more? This summary of changes from Purdue's OWL is helpful.

The Library also has two copies of the new edition, should any student or faculty member need to refer to it. And, as always, Ms. McKinley will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the new citation guidelines!

View the MLA 8th Edition


Fenwick High School's John Gearen Library is a 5,280 square-foot facility dedicated to assisting students and faculty members in their educational growth. Named after Fenwick High School’s first valedictorian, John J. Gearen ’32, the Library offers access to:

  • Over 23,000 books
  • CDs, DVDs, and videos for classroom use
  • 34 computers
  • A reference area, separated from the main portion of the library by dividers, which can be reserved for meetings and classes
  • A resource room for group or individual study
  • A professional room for faculty study and work
  • Multiple printers and one photocopier
  • Online resources, including JSTOR, EBSCOhost's Readers Guide Full Text Mega, Oxford Art Online, Oxford Music Online, and many more

Library Mission Statement

The John Gearen Library of Fenwick High School is committed to supporting the school’s mission to prepare students for academic excellence in high school and college by providing convenient and effective access to quality library services, collections in a variety of formats and information resources designed to meet curriculum, research, intellectual, creative and personal needs of the Fenwick community.

To fulfill this mission, the Library’s goals are to:

  • Provide a pleasant, user-oriented learning environment conducive to study, research, collaboration and personal growth

  • Encourage and provide guidance to library users in the discovery, identification, interpretation and use of information resources

  • Initiate, enhance, and improve new and traditional library services

  • Support the instructional information, research and curriculum needs of the Fenwick community through effective, collaborative collection development and management programs

  • Maintain and develop relevant collections of materials in paper, media, electronic and other appropriate formats

  • Promote communication and collaboration with all departments through cooperative efforts, projects, and library and school events

  • Offer a multifaceted instructional program to provide students with life-long learning, information skills and competencies to assist them in their pursuit of successful high school academics and college preparedness

  • Respond to emerging technologies and changing needs of the high school community

  • Establish and maintain cooperative agreements for resource sharing with other libraries

  • Evaluate, select, organize and disseminate information for the creation of future understanding and knowledge

  • Respect and preserve the knowledge of the past while contributing to growing knowledge for the future;

  • Maintain the physical environment of the Library to promote the mission and goals of the high school