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About Brennan Library

Brennan Library

Brennan Library provides access to hundreds of thousands of items, including books, eBooks, streaming video, and technology equipment. Lasell community members can access the library's online resources on campus or remotely.

The library houses both quiet and collaborative study spaces, including reservable study rooms and an atrium with flexible furniture options. The library serves as one of the campus' largest computer labs, with Windows and Mac computers, printers, scanners, and a copier. A fax machine is also available for library users.

Brennan Library is a member of the Minuteman Library Network, a consortium of over 40 public and academic libraries, which includes millions of items. Borrowers can use any library in the network with their Lasell ID or request items be sent to Lasell.

Librarians support students, faculty, and the broader Lasell community through both research and borrowing services. Research services include information-literacy instruction and support with finding and evaluating information. Help is available on demand during regular business hours, or by appointment.

Lasell's Center for Academic Advising, Academic Achievement Center (AAC), Winslow Archives, and President's Office all reside within the library.

Mission statement

As the intellectual and knowledge center of Lasell University, the Jessie S. Brennan Library reflects and supports the mission of the college by embracing the concepts of diversity and inclusion, and by fostering academic curiosity and student success in both the physical and virtual environments. The library serves as a gateway to lifelong intellectual exploration by offering access to global information through relevant resources that support and serve the curricular and information needs of every member of the broader Lasell community.

History of Brennan Library

Brennan Library was designed by Boston architect Edwin Steffian, whose wife, Lovina Smith Steffian, was a Lasell alumna. Construction began in 1966, and the building was completed and dedicated on June 15, 1968. The library was originally unnamed, and referred to simply as Lasell Library, or colloquially as the “central library” or “new library.” In 1972, it was renamed for Jessie Shepherd Brennan, a Lasell alumna of the class of 1917, in recognition of her bequest of $750,000 to Lasell.

Jessie’s hometown was Middletown, Delaware. While at Lasell, she was a staff member of the student newspaper, Lasell Leaves, first as subscription editor, then as business manager as well. She was a member of the student council beginning in her sophomore year, and was subsequently elected her class’ president. She was also a member of the Christian Endeavor committee. As an alumna, she was a member of the New York Lasell Club and president of the Philadelphia Lasell Club.

A poem called “The Prophecy,” published in Lasell Leaves and praising each of the members of Jessie’s class in turn, began:
Here’s one who doth all others bind
Close, lest they should soon unwind
On Jessie Shepherd — all depend
To fuse them in harmonious blend
So gladly we with full consent
Honor the Senior president,
Since she's a product of Lasell,
Small wonder that she doth excel.