Rangos Building and Library Upgraded to Grant Students 24/7 Access

The Fr Georges Florovsky Library at St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) is an essential hub for all seminarians. Last semester, the library and the John G. Rangos building received key updates to further enhance student access to research materials and study space. The most impactful addition was a state-of-the-art self-checkout kiosk, where seminarians can use their student ID cards to borrow books at any time of the day or night, whether or not the librarian is on duty. Cameras and key card readers at building entrances ensure the security of the library and the Rangos building while allowing seminarians access around the clock. Much of the funding for the upgrades was generously provided by the Estate of Eva Cadwell.

These updates have streamlined the checkout process for books, giving both the students and Librarian, Matushka Danielle Earl more flexibility and freedom. Matushka Danielle, a Yale Divinity School graduate with extensive experience in academic libraries, has undertaken various large projects during her tenure, including oversight of an inventory project by Backstage Library Works, cataloging and organizing the library’s holdings of rare books and papers, as well as the papers of former St Vladimir’s Seminary deans, Fr Georges Florovsky and Fr Alexander Schmemann. Elaborating on the value of the self-checkout kiosk, Matushka Danielle said, "The kiosk is one more step in actualizing the Florovsky Library's mission of academic excellence in the Orthodox world. It allows for unlimited research and the space to create even more educational programming. The library is constantly evolving in its goals to serve students, scholars, and the Orthodox community worldwide."

Laura Ionescu, a master of arts student specializing in the sacred arts, commented on the ways the new library technology has improved her study routine: “It’s a huge benefit to be able to check out books any time, even when the librarian is not in. If I realize I need a certain book to finish a paper later in the evening or on a weekend, I can always find what I need and check it out right away.”

About the Father Georges Florovsky Library

The library at SVOTS is considered one of the seminary’s greatest assets, with over 230,000 volumes in holdings ranging from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries. It has been called the “richest library of Eastern Christian holdings in the Western Hemisphere” by Dr. James Billington, the former Librarian of Congress (1987-2015). In addition to serving the students, faculty, and alumni, the library is now used by scholars from all over the world, and many outside patrons also request the use of library materials.