Speakers


Keynote Speaker:
Meredith Farkas
  • Meredith Farkas (she/her) is a faculty librarian at Portland Community College in Oregon. She is the author of the “In Practice” column for American Libraries and the author of the blog Information Wants to be Free. Meredith was honored in 2009 with the LITA/Library Hi Tech award for Outstanding Communication in Library and Information Technology, and in 2014 with the ACRL Instruction Section Innovation Award.


Resisting Achievement Culture with Slow Librarianship
Meredith Farkas had achieved more by age thirty than she'd expected in her whole career, yet she never felt like she was doing enough. She didn't realize at the time that she was chasing something that could never come from career achievement: a feeling of enoughness. Meredith will share the ways achievement culture turns organizations toxic, encourages overwork, and keeps people chasing external validation. Slow librarianship presents an approach that rejects achievement culture and focuses on values-driven work, process over product, and gratitude-focused reflective practice. This presentation will explore strategies to support well-being, inspire workplace empowerment, and spark career clarity.

Speakers

Aleksandra Blake

Carleton University (Canada)

Aleksandra Blake is a subject specialist in Research Support Services at the Carleton University Library, providing research support in areas of Political Science, International Affairs, Political Economy and European and Russian Studies. Her research interests include information literacy, accessibility of government information and qualitative research.

Bill Pardue

Arlington Heights Memorial Library

Bill Pardue (he/him) is Digital Services Librarian at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, in Arlington Heights, IL. He has been involved in numerous virtual reference projects since the early 2000s, and has been a strong proponent for increasing awareness of VR services.




Casey Duevel

Minnesota State University (Mankato)

Casey (she/her/hers) is the Reference Coordinator and an Associate Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She finds great joy in teaching students during reference interactions and especially loves the moment when a student goes from frustration or annoyance to connecting the dots and feeling empowered to do well on their assignment.




Catherine McGuire

Maryland Courts

Catherine McGuire is the Head of Reference and Outreach at the Maryland Thurgood Marshall State Law Library in Annapolis, MD.

Christina Caputo

Arlington Heights Memorial Library

Christina Caputo (she/her) is a Youth Services Librarian at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, in Arlington Heights IL. She is most notably recognized for her advocacy with inclusive and equitable library services to alternative schooling methodologies. A change agent dedicated to increasing the professions awareness of At Home Learners, join the conversation on Facebook.



Emily Bell

Harvard University

Emily (she/hers) is Research Librarian for Virtual Reference for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences libraries at Harvard University. She manages the operation of Ask a Librarian and Chat Reference Services. She’s also really into her role as a Copyright First Responder and an Open Access Liaison to the Harvard community.




Emily Zerrenner

University of Illinois

Emily (she/her) is a first-year Research and Information Services graduate assistant and LIS student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.




Erica Swenson Danowitz

Delaware County Community College

Dr. Erica Swenson Danowitz (she/her/hers) is a Professor & Reference Librarian at Delaware County Community College (DCCC) located in Media, PA. She has a B.A. from Cornell University, a Master’s degree in French from the Pennsylvania State University, an M.L.S. from the University of Maryland, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Northeastern University.



Erin McCaslin Kooyman

Oregon State University

Erin McCaslin Kooyman (she/her/hers) is the Reference Services Coordinator in the Library Experience & Access Department at Oregon State University Libraries and Press. She supervises 35 student employees (with support from her team) who staff the front desks, both virtually and in-person.



Evan Rusch

Minnesota State University (Mankato)

Evan (he/him/his) is Reference and Instruction Librarian, and Associate Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato




Frances Chung

University of North Texas

Frances (she/her) is a current Graduate Students at the University of North Texas studying library science. Together they work on the Research & Engagement team for the University Libraries, where they have the opportunity to serve patrons by answering reference questions and outreach to students.




Jenny Turner

Minnesota State University (Mankato)

Jenny (she/her/hers) is Library Services Department Chair, Instructional Services Librarian, and Associate Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato.



Julia Carlis

Dakota County

As Branch Manager for Dakota County Library at Pleasant Hill in Hastings, Minnesota, Julia (she/her) works with her team, the library system, and partner organizations to provide responsive and engaging services, programs, and experiences to everyone in the community. Julia was selected as her organization’s Team Champion for Dakota County Library’s most recent Of/By/For All initiative, where she works side-by-side with local school district cultural family liaisons. Previously, she was Youth Programming and Outreach Librarian for Dakota County Library, where she supported branch librarians in delivering excellent youth programs, including storytime, art classes, computer programming, and magic. She also coordinated marketing and promotion for these programs and led the development and implementation of the annual youth summer reading and learning program.



Julian Cuebas

The University of Tennessee - Chattanooga

Julian Cuebas (he/his/him) is a Studio Specialist at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Library. Prior to the library, he studied English Creative Writing at UTC.




Justin Aceves

University of Illinois

Justin (he/his) is a second-year graduate student in the Library and Information Sciences program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a graduate assistant with Research and Information Services. Justin’s first experience working in a library was as a student assistant at the Henry Madden Library while completing his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at California State University Fresno.




Karen Sobel

University of Colorado Denver

Dr. Karen Sobel is an Associate Professor and Teaching & Learning Librarian at the University of Colorado Denver. She also directs the University’s Center for Faculty Development & Advancement. She holds a Doctor of Education from the University of Colorado Denver, and Master’s degrees in Library and Information Science and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on student motivations for use of information literacy skills, and applications of critical pedagogy in the academic library.

Katrina Rouan

Wayne State University

Katrina Rouan (she/her/hers) has served as the Wayne State University Library System’s Coordinator for Reference Services since 2014. Additionally, she supervises eight graduate assistants and works with several science departments as their subject specialist librarian.



Krystyna Nowak

Capilano University

Krystyna Nowak is the Teaching & Outreach Librarian at Capilano University. She is energized by forming connections with students and witnessing their growth and learning.


Leah Dodd

Cornell University

Leah Dodd (She/Her) is the Lead Librarian for Research and Learning Services at Olin Library. She has experience in academic, public, and business libraries.




Lyndsey Janzen

University of Western Ontario

Lyndsey Janzen (she/her/hers), MLIS is a Library Assistant IV in the User Services department at Western Libraries, Western University, at the D.B Weldon Library. She is also a member of Western Libraries’ Reference Services Stewardship Group.



Madison Brents

University of North Texas

Madison (she/her) is a current Graduate Students at the University of North Texas studying library science. Together they work on the Research & Engagement team for the University Libraries, where they have the opportunity to serve patrons by answering reference questions and outreach to students.

Mai Lu

University of Toronto Libraries

Mai Lu (she/her) is Head of Public Services at the University of Toronto Mississauga Library, where she oversees reference and research services, and circulation services. Mai holds a Master of Information Studies and a Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law, and is the 2021 Chair of the Ontario Library Association’s Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Committee.


Maria Truskey

Maryland Courts

Maria Truskey is the Research and Instruction Librarian at the Maryland Thurgood Marshall State Law Library in Annapolis, MD.


Mark McCullough

Minnesota State University (Mankato)

Mark (he/him/his) is Reference and Instruction Librarian, and Associate Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato

Nikki Tummon

McGill University

Nikki Tummon (she/her) is a Liaison Librarian at McGill University’s Humanities and Social Sciences Library in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where she supports the departments of Sociology and Anthropology, and the School of Social Work. Her research interests include privacy in libraries, assessment of virtual reference services, and the intersections of information literacy and scholarly communication.

Piper Martin

University of Illinois

Piper (she/her) is Reference Services and Instruction Librarian/Asst Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign University Library. She is also the graduate assistant supervisor in Research and Information Services and has been a librarian for 19 years.


Rachael Clark

Wayne State University

Rachael Clark (she/her/hers) is the Collections Strategy & Assessment Librarian at the Wayne State University Libraries and adjunct faculty in WSU’s School of Information Sciences. She has over 11 years of experience as a reference librarian.


Rachel M. Minkin

Michigan State University

Currently Head of Reference Services at Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI), Rachel (she/her/hers) has also served as an information literacy librarian at MSU, a reference and instruction librarian at Lansing Community College (Lansing, MI) and a reference librarian at the Graduate Theological Union's Flora Lamson Hewlett Library (Berkeley, CA). Rachel's earned her MLIS at University of Pittsburgh and also holds a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) from Vanderbilt Divinity School (Nashville, TN).

Reed Lowrie

Harvard University

Reed (he/his) is the Head of Research Services for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences libraries at Harvard University, where he’s worked since 2005. Before coming to Harvard Reed worked at Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago.


Renee Grassi

Dakota County

Renee Grassi (she/her): Renee considers herself an advocate and ally for equity and inclusion work in libraries. In 2012, she was named Library Journal Mover & Shaker for her work creating inclusive programming for people with autism and other disabilities, and has presented nationally and internationally on this topic. After nearly 10 years working in Illinois public libraries, Renee relocated to Minnesota, where she is now Youth Services Manager at Dakota County Library overseeing—now, virtual—programs and outreach system-wide for youth ages birth through Grade 12 and their families. Renee also partners with 20+ branch librarians and leads various project teams supporting the diverse needs of K-12 learners and their families across Dakota County.


Rob Kotaska

Cornell University

Rob Kotaska is the Reference Desk & Map Room Coordinator for Research and Learning Services at Olin Library. He/Him


Robin Fowler

University of Florida

Robin Fowler is the coordinator for the Ask A Librarian virtual reference service at the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida. She is responsible for training, scheduling, and communicating with a staff and faculty of more than 100 to ensure the access of library services to a campus of more than 55,000 students and nearly 5,000 faculty.

Roger Chabot

University of Western Ontario

Roger Chabot (he/his/him), MLIS, PhD is a Library Assistant V at Western Libraries and an occasional course instructor at Western University's Faculty of Information and Media Studies. Roger coordinates Western's chat reference service as well as co-chairs the Reference Services Stewardship Group.

Samantha Vettraino

University of Western Ontario

Sam Vettraino (she/her/hers), MLIS is a Library Assistant IV in the Teaching and Learning department at Western Libraries, Western University. She is also a member of the Reference Services Stewardship Group(RSSG) and currently co-chairs the LibInsights Stewardship Committee.


Sandy Hervieux

McGill University

Sandy Hervieux (she/her) is the Virtual Reference Coordinator and the Liaison Librarian for Political Science, Philosophy, and the School of Religious Studies at McGill University’s Humanities and Social Sciences Library in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Her research interests include reference services, information literacy, and the impact of artificial intelligence on user services.


Sara Memmott

Eastern Michigan University

Sara Memmott (she/her/hers) is the Social Work Librarian and Co-coordinator of Information Services at the Eastern Michigan University Library. She has over 25 years of experience as a reference librarian at various academic libraries.

Sarah Diaz

University of North Texas

Sarah (she/her), is a current Graduate Student at the University of North Texas studying library science. Together they work on the Research & Engagement team for the University Libraries, where they have the opportunity to serve patrons by answering reference questions and outreach to students.

Sarah Fabian

Eastern Michigan University

Sarah Fabian (she/her/hers) is the First Year Experience & Children’s Literature Librarian and Co-coordinator of Information Services at the Eastern Michigan University Library. She has over 18 years of experience as a reference librarian.


Sarah Kantor

The University of Tennessee - Chattanooga

Sarah Kantor (she/her/hers) is a Studio Librarian at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Library. Prior to UTC, she was the Reference Services Coordinator at Kennesaw State University.



Sherri Sunstrum

Carleton University (Canada)

Sherri Sunstrum is a subject specialist in Research Support Services at the Carleton University Library, providing research support in areas of Earth Sciences and Geomatics. She is a Carleton graduate with interest in maps and cartography and their use in information literacy and library instruction.

Suzanne Bernsten

Lansing Community College

Currently serves as Web Services Librarian at Lansing Community College Library (Lansing, MI). Suzanne (she/her/hers) has also worked as a reference librarian at Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA) and Camden Public Library (Camden, NJ). Suzanne earned her MLIS at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Tami Richardson

Hennepin County Library

Tami Richardson (she/her/hers) has been a Senior Librarian at Hennepin County Library for three years. She manages the online reference service for the system. She previously worked as the Adult Program Coordinator at Dakota County Library, MN, and the Adult Services Manager at Rice Lake Public Library, WI. Tami enjoys customer service and the variety of questions and patrons she experiences by serving a diverse community.


Tania Alekson

Capilano University

In her role as Student Experience Librarian, Tania tries to bring the student perspective to every library conversation.


Tanis Schumilas

University of Western Ontario

Tanis Schumilas (she/her/hers), MLIS, MA, is a Library Assistant IV in the User Services department at Western Libraries, Western University, at the C.B. 'Bud' Johnston Library (aka The Business Library). She is also a member of Western Libraries’ Reference Services Stewardship Group.

Tony Hirt

Hennepin County Library

Tony Hirt (he/him/his) has been a public librarian with Hennepin County Library for eight years. He previously worked in children’s publishing, in a law library, and on a help desk. Tony loves providing reference services and improving the online patron experience through ongoing usability testing.

Zachary Newell

Eastern Illinois University

Zach Newell is the dean of Library Services at Booth Library, Eastern Illinois University. In addition to his regular duties as administrator of an academic library, Newell has coordinated fundraising and management for the creation of the Center for Student Innovation within Booth Library, a transformative hub for teaching learning and collaboration. The CSI includes a design lab and active learning classroom. He also has led efforts to establish a Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the library to discuss ways to meet the needs of the library’s underserved population.