Skip to main content


At the Manger, at a glance

By Sarah Cahalan, Director of the Marian Library

The University Dayton Libraries begins thinking about nativity sets and Christmas during the warm days of summer. Actually, many of our staff and volunteers think about them all year long. It is nice to look back on a successful season before beginning to plan for the next.

110 nations are represented by the nativity set collection. This year’s main exhibit focused on Mexican traditions, and included a posada at Mount St. John on December 11. There are about 3,500 nativity sets in the Marian Library collection.

40 hours of tours. In addition to self-guided visitors, volunteer docents gave tours to about 550 children, seniors, UD students, and families. One group came all the way from Texas.

Over the course of the exhibit which ran from November 26 through January 8, 5,300 people visited the exhibits on levels 1 and 2 of Roesch Library. 3,108 people visited the Marian Library on level 7. 

620 people attended the Open House on November 26 (and it might have been more because kids don’t always get counted by our gates).

Also during the Open House, 600 cookies, 360 brownies, 156 Rice Crispie treats, and 30 gallons of hot chocolate were consumed during the four hours of Nativity displays, Christmas music and childrens activities. 

Our faculty, staff and volunteers were busy for months preparing the 583 nativity sets for the exhibits and to be lent out on- and off-campus. Sometimes very far off-campus!

The main event at Roesch library will go on a partial hiatus until after library renovations have been completed. Roesch will be undergoing major renovations over the next several years. Stay up to date on our future plans by checking in at

Stork and cookie images from Wikimedia Commons.

Previous Post

Weekly Features: Jan. 23, 2017

We continue to celebrate our Marianist heritage in this week's features. Also featured are resources such as Our Lady of the Iceberg and the meaning of "betrothal" in the Gospel of Luke.
Read More
Next Post

Weekly Features: Jan. 30, 2017

The resources for this week focus on Candlemas, Our Lady of Light, evangelization and Orthodox tradition.
Read More