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2017 Board of Directors Nominees
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Minnesota Library Association President-Elect

Ryan McCormick, Great River Regional Library System

Ryan McCormick is a Patron Services Supervisor with the Great River Regional Library System. In this position, he is involved in many aspects of library operations including supervising staff, working with boards of trustees, and setting and overseeing the annual budget for the St Cloud Public Library.

Before joining GRRL, he was a Teen Librarian and then Branch Manager at the Willmar, MN Public Library. Prior to librarianship, Ryan worked in a variety of fields including as a truck driver, middle school track coach, organic farmer, and National Park tour guide. He previously served on the MLA Membership Committee and co-chaired MILE 2015 after having participated in 2013.

Ryan’s current professional interests include crafting new programming initiatives, pursuing innovative use of library physical space, and the general promotion of library services to the traditionally underserved, especially when it entails getting outside the library’s walls and into the community. 

Statement of Intent

Just as libraries connect people with information to improve their lives, MLA connects us with the information we need to improve our work. We become better, stronger, and more resilient through trainings, conference sessions, and newsletters, but also through the conversations we have with each other and the challenges and successes we share. We move each other forward.

Ours is a fast moving, dynamic, and evolving profession and the way we keep pace is through our willingness to learn from and share with each other. MLA has been, in my experience, the best connector there is. I am better at my job because of MLA. I have found solutions to library challenges in places I never would have thought to look on my own and I have discovered a seemingly endless supply of inspiration.

MLA provides us an invaluable professional network and a voice for libraries throughout our state. I would like to give back to an organization that has been so beneficial to my work and to help keep moving the organization, and our profession, forward. I would be honored if you would entrust me with such an important responsibility and I hope you will consider voting for me. Thank you. 

Pam O'Hara, Rochester Community and Technical College

Pam O’Hara is a Faculty Instruction and Outreach Librarian at RCTC, where she is working to increase information literacy in college students, as well as initiating collaboration between faculty, librarians, and college service organizations. Pam is teaching information literacy and First Year Experience (an On-Course 1-credit class for incoming students). She will be co-presenting a session on weeding a century-old collection at the 2016 MLA Annual Conference. Pam also worked for 10 years at the Rochester Public Library in various roles: Page Supervisor, Instructor, Makerspace creator, and reader’s advisor. She has a reputation for making authentic connections with patrons and creating popular classes for the public.

Pam has worked as the Music Librarian at Carleton College, a clerk at the Transportation Research Institute (Ann Arbor, MI), and as a high school Latin teacher at a boys’ Catholic military school. Pam received her MLIS from the University of Wisconsin, where she worked for two years as the Astronomy Librarian and as a preservationist in the University archives. Pam is a graduate of MILE 2011, served on MILE 2013 Committee and as adjunct host.

Statement of Intent

It is an honor to be considered for MLA’s next President-Elect. I have years of experience in many types of libraries and roles in both librarianship and teaching. Librarians have a passion to help people find the tools available to solve their problems, and a desire to serve their communities. As a leader, I would be proud and gratified to work with such an energetic, creative and remarkable group of people. I would hope to build collaboration, not only among all library types, but also each of us within our communities. I’d like to provide creative opportunities in which to offer educational and professional networking and development. Finally, I would support each of you in your endeavors to balance traditional library work with new ways to become a relevant resource, and providing innovative support for your patrons.

Minnesota has a long-standing tradition of excellent libraries, as well as education. I would like Minnesota to be an example that other states look to when supporting their profession.

Thank you for your consideration.

Minnesota Library Association Legislative Chair-Elect

Jake Grussing, Scott County Library

Jake Grussing is the director of the Scott County Library (Shakopee, MN). He began his career at the St. Cloud Public Library as a volunteer in the inter-library loan department, which was followed by positions of increased responsibility within Great River Regional Library (GRRL). While working at GRRL, he earned a Master's in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jake has been Scott County’s library director since December 2013. In that role he has focused on advocating for the importance of early learning and aligning the library's strategy with community priorities.  
Statement of Intent

I am grateful for the opportunity to be considered for the position of MLA Legislative Chair. Minnesota has a library community that without fail demonstrates its value and continued relevance through programs and services that address adult and early literacy, workforce development and support, and access to broadband, to name only a few. The work we do is often exceptional, and I believe the Legislative Chair's role is to provide tools and opportunities that help library staff and supporters communicate the value and relevance of libraries to elected officials. I hope to build on the work of previous Legislative Chairs to evolve our advocacy efforts from one-day conversations at Legislative Day to ongoing relationships with stakeholders and legislators.

Ann Walker-Smalley, Metronet

Ann Walker-Smalley is currently Director of Metronet, one of the seven multicounty multitype library systems in Minnesota. Our region covers the 7 county metro area. Metronet provides training, networking opportunities, communications, advocacy, & other services to connect all types of libraries.

She has been involved in library advocacy since the beginning of her career. She was involved in the Ohio Library Association (now Ohio Library Council) advocacy and lobbying for public libraries because of her job as administrative assistant to the State Librarian. She learned from a great leader the importance of always being an advocate, to be prepared with the facts & stories needed to answer questions and to move an issue forward. From there Ann went to Washington, DC as a special librarian involved with three library associations & advocacy for their causes.

Since Ann has been a librarian in Minnesota, she has been active in various library issues from the Minnesota Library Council to advocating for library systems & bonding for public libraries. She is an informed and outspoken advocate for libraries of all types and by virtue of her experience in Minnesota libraries (state library, working for regional public library systems, active with the school librarians association, and Metronet), she has a broad and deep understanding of the Minnesota legislative process, how libraries are funded, issues libraries face now, and more. Ann has attended all but one Legislative Forum since 2001, regularly attends the Legislative Committee meetings, and has testified before both the MN House & Senate on library issues. 

Statement of Intent

I appreciate the nomination as Legislative Chair. I am a passionate believer in libraries because they provide people the opportunity to grow and change based on what they find and learn because of libraries in their communities. As Legislative Chair, I would hope to expand member participation in many areas of advocacy by providing training and resources that make the interaction with legislators more effective and less intimidating. One of my goals would be to update the Primer for Minnesota Library Advocacy that I and others developed several years ago. This has the potential to be a useful resource that would make it a one-stop for intro to library advocacy and an outline for where to go for more information. I would also like to see a Legislative Committee that goes beyond monthly meetings and involves more people in the actual work of advocacy that now falls to a few people. Regardless of the outcome of this election, I will continue to be a strong voice for libraries of all types.

Minnesota Library Association Secretary

Amber Fick, Wilson Library, University of Minnesota

Amber Fick is a Library Assistant in the Wilson Library at the University of Minnesota. As part of her work in Wilson Library, she has helped to develop a new culture of reading for pleasure among the campus community by coordinating readers’ advisory activities. Some of these activities include pop-up libraries, a book matchmaking service, and a number of book displays. She also works at the various service desks in the building and works with course reserves. In the past, she has worked in the Siouxland Public Libraries, the Ensemble Music Library at Augustana College, and temporarily with Hennepin County Libraries. Her passion in libraries lies in readers’ advisory, community engagement, and other adult services. She completed her MLIS from St. Catherine University in May 2016.

Statement of Intent

It is an honor to be nominated for the Secretary position on the Minnesota Library Association board. MLA does such important work to advocate for libraries in Minnesota and the Secretary position is crucial to seeing that this work is done. I see this position as one that keeps the MLA organized and accountable in completing its goals to improve library services each year. I would use this opportunity to learn the inner workings of MLA and to collaborate with other great librarians to find innovative ways to serve Minnesota libraries. As a fresh MLIS graduate, my enthusiasm is only growing for this profession and I am eager to chart my path within it. 

Sarah Hawkins, East Central Regional Library

Sarah is currently the Resource Librarian for East Central Regional Library.  She has worked for ECRL since 2011, first as a Branch Librarian, and in her current role since 2014.  Her position includes a little bit of a lot of things: collection management, reference and digital services, website management, social media, teaching classes, and more.  She loves that no day looks the same!

Sarah’s passion for librarianship began with a part-time job at Anoka County Library when she was 16, and she’s never looked back.  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of St. Benedict, where she also worked in the St. John’s University Interlibrary Loan and Government Documents departments and as a reference assistant after graduation. She received her MLIS from Drexel University in 2010.   Sarah has also worked as an assistant in public and tech services for Great River Regional Library and as an adjunct reference librarian for St. Cloud State University. 

Sarah has been a member of and involved with in MLA in various capacities since 2011.  She has both volunteered and presented at multiple conferences, graduated from MLA’s Institute for Library Excellence (MILE) in 2015, is a co-chair for the MILE 2017 mentorship committee, and is a current co-chair of the Reference and Adult Services unit (2015-2016).

She loves all things digital, and is an audiobook junkie. Outside of librarianship, Sarah also loves to talk about cats, essential oils, and Mixed Martial Arts.

Statement of Intent

It is an honor to be nominated for the position of Secretary for MLA.   Serving as Secretary would be a positive next step in continuing my involvement with MLA and in giving back to the Minnesota library community.  I believe that, at its core, libraries are about making connections. MLA is the great vehicle for librarians across Minnesota in various positions and in different library types to come together and build connections with each other through professional development, advocacy, and leadership opportunities. As MLA Secretary, I will support the Board by maintaining careful minutes of meetings, ensure the organization is operating within an appropriate framework, and bring forth proposed changes as necessary. I will actively participate in MLA Board discussions, advocating for library interests in all corners of the state. I believe my diligence, communication style, and broad network of library contacts will be useful in this role.  As MLA looks to the future of libraries and our professional organization, I am excited for the opportunity to serve as Secretary on the MLA Board.

Minnesota Library Association Intellectual Freedom Chair-Elect

Anne Hatinen, Minitex

Anne has been an electronic resources librarian at Minitex since 2008. Prior to that, she worked in a variety of library-related positions: collection development librarian at Tandem Library Group/Sagebrush Education Resources, digital acquisitions specialist in the Harvard Library, circulation staff in the MIT Libraries, and library associate in a hedge fund library in New York City. She may well have been destined to work in libraries, as her mother was a school media specialist and her grandmother earned an MLS at the University of Minnesota.

Anne’s first memory of the issue of intellectual freedom was her mother’s letter to the editor in defense of a book that another parent was trying to ban from a seventh grade reading class.  Minnesota library folks may be familiar with Anne’s more recent work on this front as an organizer and presenter—in full Effie Trinket and Captain Underpants costumes!--at Banned Books presentations at MLA Annual Conferences. Anne and Jennifer Turner of MSU Mankato mustered a group of library staff who each represented a banned book and educated attendees about the controversies that swirled around the books.

Having grown up across the northern tier of states--Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, Anne is proud to call Minneapolis home. She enjoys taking advantage of the lakes, restaurants, running and biking trails, coops, libraries, and ice arenas where she plays goalie in women’s and men’s hockey groups.

Statement of Intent

I am honored to be considered for MLA’s Intellectual Freedom Chair-Elect.  Providing libraries access to information is what I do on a daily basis, and this position would allow me the opportunity to expand on that role, to help ensure that access is free of censorship or judgment. It would be a privilege to support librarians across Minnesota in defending the Library Bill of Rights.

Ray Lockman, Hennepin County Library

After graduating from UW Madison's School of Library and Information Studies in 2011, Ray Lockman spent nearly five years in positions such as substituting in Twin Cities' public libraries, teaching Minneapolis and Community and Technical College's required information literacy course, and contributing in jack-of-all-trades style as librarian at McNally Smith College of Music, among others. They are currently settling into a full-time position managing the Eden Prairie branch of Hennepin County Library. They are a 2015 participant and 2017 co-chair for the MLA's Minnesota Institute of Leadership Excellence (MILE). They also write and speak nationally about diversity and inclusion in libraries, a topic that permeates their education, resume, and life outside of work.

Statement of Intent

It is my honor to be nominated for Chair of MLA's Intellectual Freedom Committee. In library school, I combined coursework in ethics and the law with grassroots work providing services to those whose voices we do not hear loudly enough, from Native tribal communities' to prisoners'. Since graduation, I have remained steadfast in my commitment to make sure Minnesota libraries can and do provide access to a full complement of perspectives regardless of a subject's controversy, and would work hard to uphold our state citizens' intellectual freedom.


 Return to the MLA 2017 Board of Directors ballot.



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