By Kayli Hertel & Megan Palumbo – Managing Editor & 1851 Staff
The heart of Lasell College: Brennan Library. Whether students need to study quietly, gather resources for assignments, or meet up with study groups, the library is the ideal location. New di- rector, Del Hornbuckle, is collaborating with the campus community to transform the space into a 21st century structure.
Hornbuckle came on as Library Director this summer making the move from Montgomery Community College in Rockville, Maryland, where she was the campus library manager. There she was in charge of the Rockville site, one of three buildings in the three-campus community system. The Rockville campus was the largest of the three and saw about 4,000 to 5,000 people daily.
She moved up the ranks as campus library manager at Montgomery to library director here. Hornbuckle decided to relocate back to Boston, a city she is familiar with, after hear- ing about the opening at Brennan Library. Im- mediately she picked up on the importance of updating the library.
“What 21st century means in terms of a library is really looking at how students are learning now. Students are working collaboratively so you have to reconfigure the space. This is a model from the 1970s and 80s where you just had rows and rows [of books] and a paper-based setting with handouts everywhere,” said Hornbuckle about the current atmosphere.
Hornbuckle’s main goal is to transform Brennan Library from its 70s-esque floor plan to the 21st century. This means maximizing spaces
with the most natural light and turning them into collaborative areas. It also means anticipating the technological needs of students for more outlets, printers, and scanners.
The contents of the library are under review as staff and student workers augment the collec- tion by withdrawing old and unused books. Staff, when deciding what to withdraw and what to keep, are aware of keeping the collection diverse. These books may be unwanted by the college but will be sent to Better World Books, a company that collects books and then donates them to places in need, promoting literacy.
“What you are doing is making sure the collection is more of a hybrid so you have a repre- sentation of the print material, but you also have a pretty healthy representation of the same thing online,” said Hornbuckle.
In an effort to reduce the library’s carbon footprint, Hornbuckle is working with each de- partment to figure out what texts and e-resources are in demand by students and faculty.
With student success as its main vision, Hornbuckle is excited about upcoming projects that will expand student resources. In addition to retraining staff members on current technology, she is looking into streaming programs that will allow students to have 24/7 access to academic resources and entertainment media.
Hornbuckle hopes the campus will continue to recommend material to the staff during this renovation period.