Librarian Sarah Lehmann advocates for all ARC students

Lehmann says she enjoys helping students be successful with their projects, which allows her to continue learning as well


The American River College library is currently closed in the fall semester of 2021, but stays up to date to help students with the help of librarian Sarah Lehmann (Photo courtesy of Sarah Lehmann)

Maya Barber, Staff Writer

Sarah Lehmann’s own college experience as a student worker in the library encouraged her to become a librarian. Now many years later she has worked as a librarian at American River College for more than a dozen years.

Lehmann went to Occidental College in Los Angeles and majored in history and then attended the University of California, Los Angeles to get her master’s in library and information science.

Lehmann says she enjoys helping students be successful with their projects, which allows her to continue learning as well. Moreover, her job has allowed her to work on projects not just in the library but around campus.

“I love the mission of community colleges to provide access to great college education for all students,” Lehmann said. “I love working at ARC because I get to support that mission. I also work with amazing colleagues in the library.” 

Her colleague Kate Williamson describes Lehmann as energetic.

“Sarah has spearheaded and helped coordinate many projects for the ARC library and is currently one of our co-chairs for the department,” Williamson said. “She has also recently taken on advocating for textbook affordability in a big way.” 

During the pandemic, Lehman has made more resources available to students and staff. According to Lehmann, the library has become the campus distribution point for Chromebooks.

With the help of Lehmann, the library has at least one copy of nearly all ARC textbooks that can be loaned out for two hours. They have also been buying more copies of textbooks that students can borrow for the whole semester. 

“At the beginning of remote operations, students could not access those textbooks at all. So we looked for an alternative way to meet that need,” Lehmann said. “We started offering to scan the first two chapters of class textbooks or whichever the instructors assigned first.” 

Lehmann says she is still processing the pandemic. It was hard to be away from family and friends, moreover, cancel holiday gatherings and instead did outdoor gatherings at parks, she added.

“Now that my family is vaccinated, we feel more comfortable getting together, but we are still very cautious,” Lehmann said.

Lehmann says she has learned that if she is working from home that she needs to make a specific plan to get up and move around, ideally outside or she would stare at her computer all day. 

Lehmann is an avid reader and listens to mostly audiobooks using the Libby app. Currently, her favorite book is “Circe” by Madeline Miller. This will be her third-time re-reading the version of the story as told from Miller’s perspective. 

Furthermore, she enjoys “The Song of Achilles” by the same author, which explains the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus.

Lehmann says she has wanted to be a librarian since college. 

“I loved it so much I never wanted to not work in a library. I like that I get to do so many different kinds of things,” Lehmann said. “[I can] help students with research, give presentations, help decide which books and databases the library should buy and so much more.”

Lehmann says the most difficult part of her job is multitasking.  

“Juggling all the many, many responsibilities and tasks there are to do as a librarian,” Lehman said. 

According to Lehmann, her biggest accomplishment was surviving the first two years as a new parent and participating in a 500-mile pilgrimage right after college called the Camino de Santiago across Northern Spain.

“My best friend and I walked it together and it was a tremendously intense, challenging, and wonderful experience,” Lehmann said.

Currently, the library is not open, however, if students have any questions for Lehmann and the other librarians about the library feel free to call, send an email, or set up an appointment over Zoom, click here.