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A Welcome to New Library Hires in 2022

Annelise Xiao

Interlibrary Loan Supervisor

Annelise is joining the Marriott Library as Interlibrary Loan Supervisor, after previously working briefly at the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library and Salt Lake Community College Markosian Library. She is currently earning a Master’s degree in library and information science at the University of Southern California and earned a B.A. from the University of Utah. First attracted to librarianship after visiting the beautiful Huntington Library in California, Annelise is excited to work with the fabulous staff at the Marriott Library and to assist borrowing libraries with loans. When not in a library, she enjoys traveling, biking, exploring archeology sites and reading about history.


Marketing & PR Assistant

Bender is a Utah Native. They graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Media Arts. While at BYU, they emphasized in screenwriting and have written and produced many short films, as well as some feature-length scripts. They have just moved back from Austin, Texas where they worked as a program coordinator for SXSW EDU. They love movies, knitting, swimming, and all forms of artistic expression.

Carson McCall

Human Resources Assistant

Carson joins the library team in administration as the new Human Resources Assistant. Originally from North Carolina, she attended undergrad along the Appalachian trail with a degree in international political science and economics. After graduating she joined the Peace Corps and served in Samoa for education. During Covid-19 she moved out here for the love of skiing and then stayed for everything else Utah has to offer. Carson is thrilled to be working for the Marriott Library and has loved learning all the functions of human resources. Her favorite part is meeting/hiring all the new student employees for the library. When not at work, Carson is hanging with her two kittens or baking a seasonal dessert.

Sam Holladay

Library Operations and Protection Services Supervisor

Sam Holladay joins the Marriott Library as a supervisor in Library Operations and Protection Services. A Utah native, he previously worked at the Fulton Library at Utah Valley University for four years while earning a bachelor’s degree in Digital Cinema Production with an emphasis in screenwriting. Two of his screenplays are in the top 5% of scripts on Coverfly. When he’s not watching or writing movies, Sam enjoys theater, video games, cooking, and spending time with his wife, Hannah.

Brandyn Hale

Technical Support Analyst

Brandyn Hale Joins the Marriott Library as an IT Technical Support Analyst in the Client Platform Services Department. Brandyn has been working in IT for more than 10 years and brings with him a vast knowledge of the IT field. He has worked IT for the LDS Church Headquarters, the U of U College of Nursing, and most Recently the State of Utah. He has also worked in the Media working for KTVX News 4 Utah, KSL News Radio, and KSTU Fox 13 News. Born and raised in Utah, in his free time Brandyn enjoys spending time with his family, writing music, the outdoors, and woodworking.

Joel Thornton

Associate Dean for Collections and Scholarly Communication

Joel Thornton is joining the Marriott Library as the Associate Dean for Collections and Scholarly Communication. He brings over 25 years of experience in private industry and academic libraries including roles as the Director of Research and Instruction Services and Interim Associate Dean of Research & Learning at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Joel is a Certified Public Accountant and has worked as an internal auditor for American Airlines which allowed him to travel all over the world including Spain, Germany, and the Caribbean. He attended college at Pittsburg State University where he played on the 1991 Division II national championship football team before receiving a M.S. in Information Science. He is currently pursuing a M.S. in Operations Management and Project Management Graduate Certificate.

Outside of work, he enjoys watching sports and Berkshire Hathaway annual meetings, and spending time with his wife, daughter, son and daughter-in-law.

Rachel A. Ernst

Special Collections Reference Librarian

Rachel A. Ernst joins the Marriott Library as the Special Collections Reference Librarian. Rachel received a bachelor’s degree in clarinet performance from the Hartt School, an MA from Wake Forest University, and a PhD from Boston College, both in English literature. She was part-time English faculty at several Boston schools including Boston College and New England Conservatory; most recently, she taught literature as a visiting assistant professor at Wake Forest University. She has also worked in special collections at the ZSR Library at Wake Forest and the John J. Burns Library at Boston College, fueling her research interests in materiality, networks, and nineteenth-century literature. Born and raised on the east coast, Rachel is excited to explore Salt Lake City and the surrounding area. When not gazing in awe at the mountains, she enjoys reading, knitting, and yoga.

John D. Moore

Acquisitions Assistant

John D. Moore joins the J. Willard Marriott Library as an Acquisitions Assistant. John received his bachelor’s degree from the U and also holds a master’s degree in Japanese literature from the University of Oregon, where he wrote his thesis on the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam. Raised in Utah, Hawaii, and Idaho, John has most recently lived in Baltimore, where he worked for the library at Johns Hopkins University as well as the Johns Hopkins University Press. He considers Salt Lake City his home, though, and has a strong interest in local history. John is also a hobbyist video game designer, writer, filmmaker, and cartoonist. He’s also a freelance academic copyeditor and proofreader. When not creating things, he likes to watch movies, play games, read novels and monographs, and spend time with his partner and their two cats.

Justin Bracken

Acquisitions Editor

Justin Bracken joins the University of Utah Press as an Acquisitions Editor. Born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, he received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and recently completed his Ph.D. in archaeology at the Graduate Center, CUNY in New York City. His dissertation investigated warfare and fortification among early complex Maya society through fieldwork at the site of Muralla de León in northern Guatemala.

Justin moved to Salt Lake City in September 2020 with his wife, two year old twins, and loyal hound dog Jeremy. Since that time, he has enjoyed exploring the city and the mountains while getting to know the great people here and skiing whenever he can. He is very excited to join the Press and to be at the Marriott Library, and to publish compelling new titles in archaeology and anthropology.

Kiersten Honaker

Acquisitions Assistant

Kiersten joins the Marriott Library as an Acquisitions Assistant after previously working here as a student while she was studying music education. After graduating, she earned a doctorate in choral conducting in Boston (where she also worked at a library in her spare time) and worked as a choir teacher for several years in the Salt Lake valley. In her other life, she holds degrees in English literature and is a big fan of Shakespeare, and when time and public health allows, she enjoys singing in choirs and performing in community theater productions. Kiersten enjoys video games, wasting time on Hulu, taking walks in her neighborhood, and dreaming about getting a dog and moving to Australia (not necessarily in that order).

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