2013 – Conference Presenters

See also:

Louise Alcorn pic (presenting with Christa Burns)Louise Alcorn has been the Reference Technology Librarian and webmistress at the West Des Moines Public Library since 1996. She presents at local, state and national library meetings and conferences on technology topics and has also authored two books on library technology topics for Neal-Schuman Publishers. Louise earned her MILS at the University of Michigan’s School of Information. She also has a B.A. in American Studies from Grinnell College. Louise participated in the second Iowa Library Leadership Institute in August of 2006. She is active in the Iowa Library Association, serving as Chair of the Public Relations Committee and the IT Forum. In 2009, Louise was elected to a three-year term on the ILA Executive Board, and currently chairs the ILA Bylaws Committee.  She fully embraces her love of all things gadget-y, but is also perfectly happy to curl up with a real, live, paper book.

Denise Anton Wright picBecoming a librarian is the second smartest thing that Denise Anton Wright ever did (the first was marrying her hubby).  During her 28 years in Library Land, Denise has worn many hats: as a youth services librarian, a librarian for a not-for-profit book jobber, an academic librarian, a public library director, and a system consultant.  She is currently the Public Library Administration Consultant for the South Central Library System in Madison, Wisconsin where she works closely with a wide range of public libraries.

Steve Arthur picSteve Arthur, Director of the Ellis Public Library  – Born and raised in Western Kansas as a farm kid and fed a steady diet of space exploration during the Apollo missions and built my first rocket in 1973 during what was considered the golden era of model rocketry.  I served eight years in United States Army Military Police, worked four years in civilian law enforcement, and briefly in the oil field. I earned a degree in history at Fort Hays State University and then became director of the Ellis Public Library in 2002 and established a rocketry program at EPL in 2007. This is the sixth year of the Big Creek Rocketry program and it shows no signs of slowing down. In addition to the library sessions, I offer this program to schools within the county as well as 4H and to 4H groups throughout Western Kansas during Space-Tech Days. This year, the program may expand into a collaborative venture with the Fort Hays State University’s Academy of Science as one of the STEM courses for elementary and high school students. My goal is simple; to offer a program to children that will engage them and provide them a means to build a working model rocket and at the same time, passively teach and build an appreciation for the sciences and history. So far, I have not been disappointed.

becky baker pic

Becky Baker, Library Director at Seward, NE, Scott Childers, Library Director at York, NE, and Lisa Olivigni, Library Director at Crete, NE have over 73 years of combined experience working in a variety of Nebraska libraries.  The three are colleagues and friends, though they have been known to use friendly competition between their communities to encourage greater library use.

Anna Bates pic (co-presenting with Judy Calhoun)

Anna Bates worked for the Southeast Arkansas Regional Library for 20 years. Since receiving her MLIS in 2007, she has worked as Assistant Director of the Stuttgart (AR) Public Library. As the daughter of a librarian, she was taught to cherish books, reading, and the local library. Her passion is to find ways to expand information access to her community and beyond.

Al Bennett picAl Bennett is Co-Principle Investigator representing ARSL in the Pushing the Limits project. He is retired from the California State Library, Sacramento, where he specialized in rural libraries and adult literacy in Library Development Services. He currently instructs glider flying in the Pittsburgh Soaring Club near his home in Pittsburgh, PA, among other activities that include other national library projects.

Andrea Berstler picAndrea Berstler is the Executive Director of Wicomico Public Library in Salisbury, MD.Her library system consists of both urban and rural libraries that serve a uniquely eclectic community made up of Eastern Shore watermen, poultry farmers, science and space workers, university professors and a large community of working poor. Prior to that she was the director of the Hankin Branch Library in Chester County, PA and the Village Library in Morgantown, PA.

A converted educator and business major, Andrea has found a surprising amount of information from both fields has come to her aid in her work as a library administrator.  Advocating that libraries consider themselves customer service businesses, Andrea challenges library managers to apply solid business principles in the running of their organization. She holds an MLS from Kutztown University and is working on an MLIS from the University of Maryland. Andrea has been published in the March 2013 Issue of RUSQ and in the work “The Entrepreneurial Librarian” (McFarland 2012). She has been honored to serve as the ARSL President for the last year.  She is a Philadelphia native, a dog lover and a life-long Phillies fan.

Jeremy Bolom picJeremy Bolom was born a Texan, and although he received his MLIS from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999, he has studied (Bachelor of Music from Centenary College in Shreveport), worked (not just in libraries), and lived (currently in West Monroe) in Louisiana long enough to lose his Lone Star State status.  For the past 11 years Jeremy has worked as the Head of Public Service for Lincoln Parish Library in Ruston, LA where he has weeded a lot of books, led a reference service revolution, created many materials displays, and started a crafting university.  An active member of the Louisiana Library Association Public Section, Jeremy enjoys presenting at its yearly conference.  2012 was a big year for Jeremy.  Not only was he honored as the Louisiana Library Association’s first Public Librarian of the Year (and, Lincoln Parish Library received library of the year!), but he also made his first national presentation at the annual conference of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries.  His greatest joy as a librarian is seeing those he’s mentored become enrolled in library school.  Outside work, you can find Jeremy enthralled with his “latest” hobby (currently bowling).  Other than reading (especially pop-up books), he loves chocolate, flea markets, and getting off early on Friday.

Christa Burns picChrista Burns is the Special Projects Librarian, Technology & Access Services, at the Nebraska Library Commission. She provides organization, training, and consultation for special projects, such as the Gates Foundation grants for libraries, E-rate, Learning 2.0, and group purchases of library products and services. Christa also coordinates, produces, and hosts the Commission’s weekly webinar series, “NCompass Live”. Before coming to Nebraska in 2000, Christa spent 8 and 1/2 years at Pace University in Westchester County, NY, starting as a Reference Librarian and working her way up to become Head of Research & Information Services. She received her MLS from the University of Albany School of Information Science and Policy, and her BA from the University of Binghamton in English Literature and Folklore. In her spare time, Christa is a gamer, bibliophile, floriculturist, amateur gourmet and cat minion.

Judy Calhoun pic


Judy Calhoun began her library career 20 years ago as a branch manager for the Southeast Arkansas Regional Library.   In 2007, Ms. Calhoun graduated from Florida State University with a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science.  In 2008 she became the Assistant Director of the Southeast Arkansas Regional Library, a five county 12 branch Library system and in 2012 she was named Regional Director.

Matthew CrossSince 1997 Matthew Cross has been working in the library field, from a student worker to his current position as the Library Technician at the Ak-Chin Indian Community Library. He received his BA in Computer Science from Transylvania University in 2001. He was then the Cataloging Supervisor at the Transylvania University Library until 2008. In 2009 he became the Library Technician at Ak-Chin. There, along with knowing how to run everything electrical, he runs his Summer Reading program: Mad Science Mondays with Matt, keeps programs using technology running smoothly, and is busy planning his next STEM program using Lego robotics.

Sarah Day picSarah Day, Youth Services Director at the Dr. Grace O. Doane Alden Public Library, came to librarianship in a roundabout way. She learned to read when she was four and has loved books and reading her whole life. However, she never thought of making her love of books a career. Instead, she studied art and theater in high school and college, spending her days “coloring” and “playing pretend.” In 2007, she saw an ad in the paper looking for a Children’s Librarian at the Alden Public Library. Sarah inquired about the job description, and while she had never worked in a library a day in her life, the culmination of her life experiences made her more than well suited for the position. As a lifelong library user, she was familiar with the Dewey Decimal System and alphabetizing material. Sarah’s background in art and theater lent themselves well to crafts and programming. Working at a baby store meant that she was up-to-date on the latest research about early childhood development. And her personal preferred genre of reading — juvenile and young adult fiction — made helping younger patrons a snap! She is also quite technically minded, so learning the circulation system and aiding patrons on the computers came naturally to her. Needless to say, she got the job! For the past six year, Sarah has spent her time playing with and teaching kids of all ages, as well as sharing her expertise with her colleagues. She’s presented at least five times at conferences and has been invited to be one of the presenters for Iowa’s 2014 Summer Library Program workshops. She’s very excited to be with us this year and looks forward to meeting as many of you as possible!

Hope Decker picHope Decker is the director of the Cohocton Public Library, a small rural library in upstate New York’s Finger Lakes Region. Hope loves working in her library because she gets to interact with the whole community, but the teens hold a special place in her heart. She emphatically believes that everyone and anyone can start a teen program in their library, sometimes it just takes an idea and the courage to start.

Jezmynne Dene picJezmynne Dene is the Director of the Portneuf District Library, located in Chubbuck, Idaho, and serving all of District 25.  She has her bachelors degree in Southwestern History from the University of New Mexico and her masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  Jezmynne is a patient and enthusiastic librarian and is active in her community.  Jezmynne enjoys enabling her staff to succeed and moving her library into the future while staying relevant and important to her library’s community of users.

Lola DeWall picLola DeWall has been Director of Pocahontas Public Library for 7 years with total library experience of 11 years.  Also worked with Preschoolers, 4-H youth and organizations.  Live in rural Iowa, married for 32 years to a dairy farmer, and have three children.  I enjoy reading, sewing, 4-H judging, crafting, and being church secretary.  According to my fellow Librarians my favorite pastime is making creative, monthly, physical changes in our library building and convincing them that change is fun!

Karen Drevo picFor more than twenty-five years, Karen Drevo has been the Youth Services Librarian at Norfolk Public Library, Norfolk, NE.  She thinks bringing people and books together is the best job in the world!  She does a wide range of collection development and programming for all ages.Karen has been an active member of the Nebraska Library Association for twenty-five years—serving on many different committees and has chaired the School, Children and Young People’s section of NLA and the NLA Intellectual Freedom Committee.  She is currently Chair-Elect of the new NLA Intellectual Freedom Round Table.  She has also served as Chair of the Nebraska State Advisory Council on Libraries.
Since 1995, Karen has volunteered considerable time on various committees of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) and has served multiple terms on the CSLP Board of Directors as Chair the CSLP Vendor Committee and Chair of the Copyright/Rules of Use Committee.  She has presented workshops in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas for librarians who speak little or no Spanish but  provide programming for young children from Spanish-speaking homes. Karen has also presented Every Child Ready to Read Workshops, teaches an Early Language and Literacy class at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, and portrays her Great-Great-Grandmother who homesteaded in Nebraska in 1867 for the Nebraska Humanities Council.

Terry Elsey picTerry Elsey is currently the Collection Development Librarian at Laurens County Public Library in Laurens, SC, where she began working 2 years ago when she received her MLIS degree. For many years previously, Terry was in regional management in the medical transcription and documentation industry. She loves being a librarian and because Laurens County Library is not a large library, Terry gets the chance to do a variety of tasks and to learn about many different aspects of library operations. Some of the things Terry does include handling interlibrary loan requests, selecting and ordering books and A/V materials, writing a collection development blog, being the lead staff person for our ILS use and upgrades, and working the Reference Desk while backing up Circulation, among other duties. Terry works  part-time as a Reference Librarian at a local college where she enjoys learning more about database searching, in particular. Terry is thrilled to be involved in a profession where the all our efforts are directed towards helping others find and benefit from information of all kinds.

Carrie Falk picCarrie Falk, is the Circulation Librarian at the Shenandoah Public Library in Shenandoah, Iowa.  She has been providing entertainment for the citizens of Shenandoah for over 13 years, starting out as the Teen and Technology Librarian and moving into her current position 6 years ago.  Carrie has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Kansas State University and a master’s in Library Science from Emporia State University.  She began her library career as a volunteer page in the Children’s Department of her local public library, and has never looked back.

Larry Grieco pic (co-presenting with Al Bennett)Larry Grieco, director of the Gilpin County Public Library in Black Hawk, Colorado, obtained his MLS from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  He has been an advisor from the outset in the Pushing the Limits Project.  He served two terms on the ARSL Board of Directors and has been active for years on both the local and national level in rural library matters.  He is also a member of the ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee.

Val Haverhals picValerie Haverhals has been the director of the Hawarden Public Library in northwest Iowa for the past twenty-five years.  She began her library career in Hawarden and hopefully will end it there!  She has survived two building projects, implementing two circ systems, and being her own tech person.  As the director of a small public library, she feels the support and cooperation of the board, staff, city administration, and community are the keys to success.  Plus, you need to talk about your library whenever the possibility presents yourself.  Word of mouth is the best advertising. Plus, a positive attitude goes a long way in working and dealing with library users!In her spare time, she enjoys reading, a few online games,visiting  her three children who have long left the nest, plus spending time with her husband.  She enjoys dreaming about all the great cooking she hopes to try when she retires. She admits to being a HGTV addict and Food Network groupie.

Kieran Hixon PhotoKieran Hixon is passionate about rural libraries. His focus has been on open source software and low cost tech solutions for small rural libraries. He is currently a technology consultant on the edges of the digital divide for the Colorado State Library. He is known for his high energy and humor, and isn’t sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing. He lives on forty acres with 6 adults, 1 child, 6 dogs, 9 chickens, 3 turkeys and a myriad of feral cats.

Jamie Hollier picJamie Hollier is a project manager, entrepreneur, and consultant who is passionate about technology and how it can be used to create stronger communities. Jamie is the owner of Anneal, a consulting firm, and a partner at Commerce Kitchen, a web development, design, and marketing company and has been honored as a White House “Champion of Change”. Currently, Jamie is the project manager for DigitalLearn.org, an online hub for those who teach and support digital learners through a community of practice and a collection of training resources. Previous to that, she worked as the project manager for Colorado’s Public Computer Centers, which brought computers and training to 88 locations throughout Colorado and has provided access to over three million users. Jamie is also a board member for the Digital Public Library of America and consults for open government and startup communities in Colorado.

Craig Johnson_(c) Elisabeth ROGER_CROPPED2Craig Johnson is the author of eight novels in the Walt Longmire mystery series, which has garnered popular and critical acclaim. The Cold Dish was a Dilys Award finalist and the French edition won Le Prix du Polar Nouvel Observateur/BibliObs. Death Without Company, the Wyoming State Historical Association’s Book of the Year, won France’s Le Prix 813. Another Man’s Moccasins was the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award winner and the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers’ Book of the Year, and The Dark Horse, the fifth in the series, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. Junkyard Dogs won the Watson Award for a mystery novel with the best sidekick, and Hell Is Empty, selected by Library Journal as the Best Mystery of the Year, was a New York Times best seller, as was As the Crow Flies. The Walt Longmire series is the basis for the hit A&E drama, Longmire, starring Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Katee Sackoff.Johnson lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population twenty-five.

Kim Kietzman picKim Kietzman has worked in libraries of all sizes and worked in every area of library service. In 2004 she opened Iowa’s newest public library in a small town on the Mississippi and wore every hat until she left in 2007 to become a consultant to libraries in southeast Iowa. In that role she was immersed in the daily worries, frustrations and joys of running a thriving library in communities of 200 and up. One of her roles during this time was to provide facilitation of long-range planning for public libraries. Her work in planning and community engagement has led to a love affair with surveys, focus groups and planning for libraries. It takes all kinds in the library world, right?

Leah Krotz picLeah Krotz spent a lot of time in libraries as a child, but didn’t plan on making them her career.  However, when she married and moved to a small Kansas town, that’s the job she found!  She’s loved being director of the Belleville Public Library for the past 22 years.A University of Nebraska and KPLACE graduate, Leah has been very active in community economic development and rural issues, and believes that libraries are essential to the well-being of small towns.  Marketing the library, creating a fun and inviting atmosphere, and reaching out to the community have helped the Belleville Public Library be named a Library Journal Star Library for three consecutive years.

Lisa Lewis picLisa Lewis is the Director of Library and Community Services with the Huachuca City Public Library in Huachuca City, Arizona.  She started as an assistant librarian with a public school District and took the job as Director in Huachuca City in 2007.  Lisa has considerable knowledge working with children and states that this is her favorite part of her many responsibilities at the library.  She has also taken many continuing education classes in giving superior customer service and trains her staff regularly on best practices in this area.  Lisa also is responsible for multiple community events and loves being involved in these celebrations.

Amy McBride photoAmy McBride has been the Development Officer at the Montrose Regional Library District since 2006, and was President of its Board of Trustees before that.  She raised more than $800,000 in private and public grants to build the Naturita Community Library in 2009, and more than $200,000 since then to support programming at the Library.  Since 1991, she has worked with dozens of nonprofit groups and local governments to increase their organizational effectiveness.

Susan Mannix picSusan Mannix currently serves as the Director of the LeClaire Community Library. She has worked in a variety of library positions since her first job as a teen library page in 1977 and as a Director in Iowa & Illinois public libraries since 2002.   Susan has enjoyed mentoring fellow librarians for several years, especially in the area of improving relations with governing boards and local officials. In 2012, she was appointed to the Iowa Library Association’s Leadership Development Committee and currently serves as Interim Committee Chair (2013).

Rachel Miller picRachel Miller is Library Director at Forsyth Public Library in Forsyth, Illinois and previously was Youth Services Consultant at Rolling Prairie Library System.  Taking Think Outside the Barn @ your library Illinois to the Farm Progress Show (the Largest Outdoor Farm Show in the Country!), has given her a close-up view of how to promote small town and rural libraries in nontraditional settings.

South Sioux City library seedsDavid Mixdorf has been the director of the South Sioux City Public Library for 4 years. In that time the library has grown from around 150 programs a year to over 1500 programs this year. The library has been involved in the creation of community gardens, the SSC Farmers Market, beginning gardener classes and a community garden club. The library has also established a seed swap/seed saving library. Participants raise and save a variety of garden seeds and donate them back to the library. David has been gardening for as long as he can remember. He has been growing a wide variety of fruit and vegetable varieties over many years. His family has grown a certain variety of rhubarb and a variety of onions for over 100 years. Presently,  this year David has over 50 varieties of tomatoes and 8 varieties of peppers growing in his garden.

Maryann Mori picMaryann Mori has presented on a variety of topics at several national library conferences, including The Internet Librarian (2007), ALA (2008, 2009), PLA (2010), and ALSC (2012).  She has been published in Library Worklife, The Informed Librarian Online, Public Libraries, and elsewhere.  Her work has been included in ALA books, Social Networking Communities and E-Dating Services (IGI, 2008), and most recently in Serving Teen Parents: From Literacy to Life Skills  (Libraries Unlimited,  2011). She created and currently teaches an online course for the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) on the topic of information literacy.  Formerly a Teen Specialist Librarian for the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (Indiana) and Director of the Waukee Public Library (Iowa), Mori is currently a District Library Consultant for Iowa Library Services.  She completed her MSLIS from the University of Illinois in 2006.

IMLSTimothy Owens is a Senior Program Officer in State Library Programs at the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Prior to joining IMLS, he served as a Library Development Consultant at the State Library of North Carolina with a variety of responsibilities, including connectivity, library data, e-rate, and resource sharing. He served as a reference librarian at Duke University after starting his library career at Neuse Regional Library in rural eastern North Carolina. From 2007 to 2011, he served on the ARSL board (President: 2009-2010). He attended library school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also holds a Master’s in Music from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC.

Paul Paladino pic (co presenting with Amy McBride)In 1991, Paul Paladino became Director of the Montrose Regional Library District, and within two years, the Montrose Library was named Colorado Library of the Year. He headed four successful elections to increase funding for the District, including one in 1996 to build a $6.1 million library in Montrose. In 2006, he focused on improving library services in Naturita, in rural western Montrose County, and led construction of America’s largest straw bale library, which won the 2010 Colorado Library Project of the Year, was named the Best Small Library in America by Library Journal and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and was awarded a National Medal by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Paul is a past president of the Colorado Association of Libraries and has served on numerous CAL and State Library committees. Educationally, Paul peaked early, having been chosen best All-Around Student in Mrs. Austin’s first grade class at Gilder-Giles School.  He went on to get a B.A. from the University of Dayton and an M.L.I.S. from Indiana University.

Cecily PetersCecily Peters is an enrolled member of the Ak-Chin Indian Community, grew up in the Ak-Chin and in 2012 graduated from Maricopa High School. During her high school career, she was a part of Ak-Chin’s Youth Council, started the Amerind Club, and was its president her Junior and Senior year. From December 2011 to December 2012, Cecily was Miss Ak-Chin, 1st Attendant. She is currently attending Central Arizona College for her Associates in Gaming Design while working full time at the Ak-Chin Indian Community Library as a Page. She runs Anime Club and Gaming Idol, assists with Storytime Spectacular, and all of our current film projects.

Carolyn Petersen picAs assistant program manager for Library Development at the Washington State Library Carolyn Petersen concentrates her efforts on helping rural and tribal libraries develop.  Library board training and strategic planning efforts are a key part of what she does.  In the 20+ years Carolyn has worked in public libraries, she has experience in areas such as management, grant work, volunteer coordination, staff training, and reference service.  However, readers’ advisory is what drew her to the field in the first place and remains her favorite specialty.

Jennifer Powell pic (Geek your library presenter)Jenny Powell has helped public library staff and leaders engage with their local communities and start important conversations for the past four years with her work as a field manager for OCLC’s Geek the Library community awareness campaign. Jenny was recognized as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker earlier this year and her experience providing one-on-one library support gives her unique insight about library advocacy and community engagement.

Melissa Powell picMelissa  Powell has worked for over 30 years in libraries as a paraprofessional and degreed professional, in addition to a 4-year “retirement” to learn about the book & publishing industry.  She teaches Basic Cataloging Skills for Lyrasis, and the Colorado Library Consortium (CLiC) and conducts cataloging training for the AspenCat Union Catalog, (Koha-based ILS).Additionally Melissa is the Webcast Producer for Publisher’s Weekly, and the Editor of the Biblio Tech Review, an international library technology newsletter. She received a B.A in History and a Masters in Library and Information Studies at Northern Illinois University and has additional training in coaching and communications.

LRainie - LgLee Rainie is the Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, a non-profit, non–partisan “fact tank” that studies the social impact of the internet.The Project has issued more than 350 reports based on its surveys that examine people’s online activities and the internet’s role in their lives.Lee is a co-author of the new book Networked: The New Social Operating System, a book about the social impact of technology that was written with Barry Wellman.He also is a co-author of Up for GrabsHopes and Fears, Ubiquity, Mobility, Security, and Challenges and Opportunities – a series of books about the future of the internet.

Prior to launching the Pew Internet Project, Lee was managing editor of U.S. News & World Report. He is a graduate of Harvard University and has a master’s degree in political science from Long Island University.

Sally ReedSally G. Reed is the Executive Director of United for Libraries. Begun in early 2009 with the merger of Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) and the Association for Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA),  United for Libraries brings together Trustees and Friends into a partnership that unites the voices of citizens who support libraries to create a powerful force for libraries in the 21st Century.Prior to joining FOLUSA in 2001, Reed served as the Director of Libraries for the Norfolk Public Library in Norfolk, VA, where she worked closely with the Friends and Trustees to increase library funding and coordinate a strategic plan to build a new central library and two anchor branch libraries. Reed has also served as the Director of Libraries in Ames, IA, Middlebury, VT, and Northampton, NH.

She has written numerous articles and books for the field of librarianship, the most recent of which include 101+ Great Ideas for Libraries and Friends (Neal-Schuman, 2004),  Making the Case for Your Library (Neal-Schuman, 2000) and the second edition of her book Small Libraries: A Handbook for Successful Management (McFarland, 2002).  Reed has presented programs and lectures to Friends groups and librarians in over 200 cities and towns across America as well as internationally.

In 2000, Reed was the recipient of the Herbert and Virginia White award given annually by the American Library Association to recognize success in the promotion of libraries and librarianship.

Chris Rippel picChris Rippel, MLS Florida State University, is system consultant for the Central Kansas Library System in Great Bend, Kansas. I prefer posting “stuff” online to see what grabs people.  “Mouserobics” mouse self-tutorial has been translated into numerous languages including Tagalog. “What Libraries Can Learn from Bookstores” was selected as a Library Link of the Day and republished in an Australian library magazine. The compilation, “Things That Make Libraries Look Stupid” was republished in The Whole Library Handbook 4.  My 2013 ARSL presentation introduces two tools I hope will help librarians.

heidi-schutt picHeidi Schutt is the Library Director of Muir Library in Winnebago, Minnesota. She also serves on several committees within the regional library system. Like many other small-town librarians, she does not have a specific area of expertise, but loves the transformation of the library during the Summer Reading Program. When not at the library, she is volunteering in town, taking her energetic dog for walks and digging in her vegetable garden.

Gail Sheldon picGail Sheldon has been the director of Oneonta Public Library in Alabama since 2009. She was hired as the director two months after starting her master’s degree program in Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama. Gail works hard to keep the programs her library offers fresh, inventive, and relevant as well as community-minded. She is currently serving as a member of the ARSL Board of Directors.

staritaJoe Starita is Pike Professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Previously, he spent 14 years at The Miami Herald – four years as the newspaper’s New York Bureau Chief and four years on its Investigations Team, where he specialized in investigating the questionable practices of doctors, lawyers and judges. One of his stories was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting. Interested since his youth in Native American history and culture, he returned to his native Nebraska in 1992 and began work on a three-year writing project examining five generations of a Lakota-Northern Cheyenne family. The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge – A Lakota Odyssey, published in 1995 by G.P. Putnam Sons (New York), won the Mountain and Plains Booksellers Award, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in history and has been translated into six languages. Starita’s latest book – “I Am A Man” – Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice – was published in January 2009 by St. Martin’s Press (New York) and has recently gone into a fourth printing.

The book tells the story of a middle-aged chief who attempted to keep a death-bed promise to his only son by walking more than 500 miles in the dead of winter to return the boy’s remains to the soil of their native Nebraska homeland along the Niobrara River. En route, the father unwittingly ended up in the cross-hairs of a groundbreaking legal decision in which a federal judge in Omaha declared – for the first time in the nation’s 103-year history – that an Indian “is a person” within the meaning of the law and entitled to some of the same Constitutional protections as white citizens. This book was chosen as Lincoln’s 2010 “One Book-One Lincoln” selection and as Nebraska’s 2012 “One Book-One Nebraska” statewide community reading project and is being developed into a feature-length film. In July 2011, Starita was given the Leo Reano national civil rights award by the National Education Association for his work on behalf of Native Americans.

Mary Beth Stenger, director of the Southern Area Library.Mary Stenger is the Director of Southern Area Library in Lost Creek, WV.  Southern Area Library was selected as the Best Small Library in America for 2013 by Library Journal  with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation presenting a $20,000 award to the library for its selection.Mary became director on July 1, 2010.  Since that time the library has increased its programming by 888%.  Our computer usage increased 32%.  The number of visitors through our doors increased 156%.Prior to becoming director, Mary homeschooled her three sons, and she is currently homeschooling her daughter.  Mary graduated from West Virginia University in 1984 and is a CPA who worked for Peat, Marwick, Main.

Jeffrey StofferJeffrey Stoffer is the Librarian Assistant at the Ak-Chin Indian Community Library. Jeffrey worked at Phoenix Central Library for three years in the Youth Services Department. He is best known for creating an innovative super hero puppet show and library tour program starring Readerman. He also created a program called Comic Collab, in which he taught teens how to draw comics. For the past four years Jeffrey has been creating programming for the Ak-Chin Community. His newest projects include Library TV, Dark Readings and a Movie Club Program. Check out his work at youtube.com/akchinlibrary.

WendyStreet picWendy Street has been the director of the Pella Public Library since 2002, and has been a librarian since 1987.  She is active in the Iowa Library Association and is currently serving as the Treasurer of the Iowa Library Association Foundation.  Wendy received her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Iowa.

John Thill picJohn Thill is a librarian specializing in Local History and Spanish Language Services at the Napa County Library, a system serving wine country’s vintners and hotel workers alike.  He holds a Master’s Degree from San Jose State University and has over ten years of experience working in both large urban libraries and rural systems.  He also runs the Spanish language collection development blog Accidental Bibliotecario, which aims to help English speaking library personnel purchase materials for their Spanish speaking populations.

Sheila Urwiler picSheila Urwiler has worked in libraries for five years, and is currently the director of a 4-branch system in northwest Indiana. She has extensive experience in training and leadership in various organizations and businesses.  Last year, she helped found the Starke County Literacy Council and this year is working with other community leaders on the “Moving Starke County Forward” initiative to improve education and health outcomes in the county.

Sarah Uthoff picSarah S. Uthoff is the director of the Oxford Public Library in Oxford, Iowa and serves as a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College. Uthoff is just as at home handing original documents for primary research as she is trouble shooting a technology problem, she has recently fallen in love with social media (especially her Trundlebed Tales podcast). Genealogy librarian by default at most of the libraries she has worked at, her genealogy basics program has proved consistently popular around the region. Uthoff is also a respected national authority on Laura Ingalls Wilder and is Vice-President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association, runs the listserv for the Country School Association of America, and is Foodways Resource Chair for the Midwest Open Air Museum’s Coordinating Council (a living history organization). Find her online http://about.me/sarah_uthoff

Joan Weaver picJoan Weaver has been the director of the Kinsley Library for the past 16 years.  In previous lives she was a high school English Teacher, owner of an advertising agency, fiber artist, and storyteller for the Kansas Arts Commission, all of which daily help her wear the many hats of a small library director.   In 2012 the library won the Ebsco Excellence in Small and/or Rural Public Library Service for its online “One-Stop Shop” showcasing the history of its home county, with resources gathered from historians, architects, computer programmers, newspaper editors, the librarian and volunteers.  Joan also was awarded the Polaris Innovation in Technology John Lliff Award for her “nimble efforts with a 2.1 FTE staff, volunteers and community partners to create a library website that also highlights community resources and information.”

Paul Healey picPaul Healey serves as Senior Instructional Services Librarian at the Jenner Law library of the University of Illinois College of Law. He teaches Legal Research and Advanced Legal Research courses in the law school, and also teaches courses on legal materials, information ethics, and library administration at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. He holds a JD in law and MA in library and information science from the University of Iowa, and a PhD in library and information science from the University of Illinois.

Paul is considered a national expert on librarian professional liability and on legal issues pertaining to pro se library users. He is author of the books Professional Liability Issues for Librarians and Information Professionals (Neal-Schuman Press, 2008), and the forthcoming Legal Reference for Librarians: How and Where to Find the Answers (ALA Editions, 2013). His articles have been published in Law Library Journal, the National Law Journal, and AALL Spectrum, among others, and he is a two-time winner of the American Association of Law Libraries Call for Papers competition.

Paul is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries, where he chairs the governance committee. He is also active in the American Association of Law Libraries and spent six years as Editorial Director of AALL Spectrum, the official magazine of the organization. Paul has been a featured speaker across the U.S. and Canada on legal and library related topics.

Prior to becoming a law librarian, Paul practiced law for seven years in Dubuque, Iowa as a partner in the firm Healey & Peters, Attorneys, and was a seminar presenter on legal and business topics for Inherent, Ltd.
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4 Responses to “2013 – Conference Presenters”

  1. […] A page of biographies from speakers at the Association of Rural and Small Libraries came out. It’s listed in alphabetical order so I’m near the bottom: http://arsl.info/2013/07/2013-conference-presenters/ […]

  2. […] A page of biographies from speakers at the Association of Rural and Small Libraries came out. It’s listed in alphabetical order so I’m near the bottom: http://arsl.info/2013/07/2013-conference-presenters/ […]