The Greenfield Library of St. John's College was established and exists to support the teaching and learning that occurs in a variety of ways at the college. These ways have been summarized as the practice of radical inquiry, the reading of primary source texts in the tradition of reason, the achieving of literacy in verbal, mathematical and musical texts, the practice of intellectual virtue in inquiry and opinion, the establishment of habits of civic responsibility, and on a broader scale, contributing to the invigoration of American education.
The learning of both students and tutors may occur in one of the conversations taking place nearly continually at the college in and out of classrooms, or in privately pursued reading and study. In all its activities, the library seeks to participate in the program of the college and reflect its philosophy of education.
"Masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice."
- Virginia Woolf