Brennan librarian turns a new page

Mackenzie Dineen – Features Editor

Anna Sarneso is Lasell’s new library director. Photo courtesy of Anna Sarneso

The new director of the Brennan Library, Anna Sarneso, began her new position on July 2. She is responsible for supervising all of the library staff, and since her arrival, the library boasts four new staff members and are hiring for three new positions.

Sarneso oversees the library budget and represents Lasell to the Minuteman Consortium. She is proud to report that the library is now part of the Lasell learning commons, for which she regularly meets with Dean Helen Santos. She also pitches in on regular library functions, lsuch as reference and instruction. “I am most excited to be fully staffed and hit the ground running as a new learning common,” said Sarneso.”

The library caters to Lasell’s intergenerational population. The Village patrons  who are big library supporters, and the daycare services bring a greater need for Lasell’s missing children’s library. She considers it an exciting challenge to figure out how the library will best serve its community.

Sarneso wants students to know that the library can help even if you don’t know what you need. “We encourage you to always ask us for help, there are never any judgements from the library,” said Sarneso. Library resources like research databases, Canopy and the Adobe Suite, are scarce elsewhere, which is something students are sure to miss once they graduate.

Being part of Minuteman also sets the Brennan library apart. The consortium is widely populated by public libraries, which offers Lasell a great wealth of knowledge. Sarneso is passionate about open educational resources. She said that open access materials are the next big role of libraries. With textbook prices on the rise, students often cannot afford them. Sarneso is passionate about making the internet a place to find credible information.

Sarneso graduated with a bachelors in English Literature from Simmons University. She earned masters in English Literature and Library Science, and is currently enrolled to earn a PhD in Library Science at her alma mater. During undergrad, Sarneso interned at Mt. Ida, where she later worked part time.

After working as a full time reference and instruction librarian/evening supervisor at Roxbury Community College, she went back to Mt. Ida, where she served as the assistant director, and was promoted to director. Unfortunately, two years into directing, Mt. Ida closed.

Sarneso was aware of Lasell library openings that she had learned of through Minuteman while planning for the intended merger. “I was very lucky that I was able to transition into a role that I was already familiar with,” said Sarneso. She taught English lit through her time at grad school and as a part time librarian. She is now an adjunct at Lasell and teaches a Philosophy 302: Exploring Ethics section.

Sarneso is drawn to female writers and she studies feminist issues, such as how women’s media is perceived. “We need to assure that bands, music, books, etc. aren’t seen as less than because they’re marketed towards women, teen girls especially,” she said.

The library is home to plenty of women’s material, as well as other diverse resources. “We tried to make sure that every voice is represented,” Sarneso said. Technical service librarian, Dev Singer, made a guide that showcases the library’s diverse materials, and assured that material on missing subjects was supplied, including work from writers of color, queer and trans writers, as well as disabled writers.

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