Association of College and Research Libraries
American Library Association
50 East Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611-2795
Telephone: (312) 280-2523
Toll Free: 1 (800) 545-2433, ext. 2523
(between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CDT)
Fax: (312) 280-2520
Mariel Colbert, Program Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org | 312-280-5285
Mariel Colbert is ACRL’s Program Coordinator for Member Services where she serves as staff liaison to ACRL chapters, discussion and interest groups, and manages the colleagues donation program. She also assists with virtual and onsite meeting processes, and provides additional support for member services projects.
Prior to working for ACRL, Mariel worked as an English Teacher in Istanbul, Turkey, and then in the circulation department at The Joseph Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago. Mariel holds an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from The University of Chicago, where she specialized in Late Ottoman and Early Turkish Republican cultural history, and a B.A. in International and Area Studies from the University of Oklahoma. She has studied French and Turkish, and while she managed to gain fluency in Turkish, can only order in French.
Mariel enjoys learning new things and picking up new hobbies. She often spends her free time outdoors either hiking or on the lakefront, cooking vegetarian recipes, sketching, reading and/or writing poetry and flash fiction, and taking care of her house plants. She also enjoys traveling, yoga, and exploring Chicago’s beautifully diverse neighborhoods.
Margot Conahan is ACRL’s Manager of Professional Development and oversees all aspects of ACRL’s professional development offerings, including the ACRL Conference, Immersion Program, preconferences, licensed workshops, and institutes. Margot also manages ACRL’s e-Learning program.
Prior to joining ACRL, Margot worked at Sears’ corporate headquarters as a meeting planner. She earned her B.A. in British Literature with a minor in German from Truman State University, escaping Missouri to study abroad in Ireland for one year.
Outside of work, Margot enjoys running, sampling IPAs, volunteering at her kids’ school, cooking, and going to book club. Her newest hobby is obedience training for her family’s 100-pound “puppy."
David Connolly is Editorial Assistant and Classified Ads Coordinator at ACRL where he manages ALA JobLIST, the online career site ACRL operates jointly with American Libraries and ALA’s Office of Human Resources Development and Recruitment. He also tracks manuscript submissions and supports the Editor-in-Chief with other administrative tasks for C&RL News, as well as producing an ACRL Briefing Book for the Board of Directors, Budget & Finance Committee, and staff.
Before returning to college to study political science and economics at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, David spent one holiday season too many in the ‘90s as manager of a music store in the Kansas City area, where he frequently demonstrated reference interview and listener advisory skills without realizing that’s what they were.
Born and raised in the great Rocky Mountain States, David loves taking drives and day hikes in the mountains whenever he gets out of the Midwest. He always jumps at an opportunity to travel, but at home he can be found tending to his plot in his neighborhood community garden and colorful porch garden, seeing some of Chicago’s best (and worst) plays, playing video games with friends, and debating the finer points of Star Trek with anyone willing.
Mark Cummings, CHOICE, Editor and Publisher, email@example.com | 860-347-6933 x119
Mark Cummings is Editor and Publisher at Choice, the publishing unit at ACRL. In that position, he oversees the publication of Choice magazine and Choice Reviews and directs a twenty-two person staff—consisting of editorial, marketing, advertising, and production groups—in Middletown, Connecticut. As publisher, he is responsible for the development and implementation of long-term strategic goals for the unit, including licensing, exploration of new markets, and new-product development.
Mark has worked in publishing for over thirty years, beginning his career as a reference editor at Macmillan/Scribner’s and serving in a variety of publishing roles at Oxford University Press, Grolier Publishing Co., and elsewhere. Since the 1990s he has focused principally on creating and marketing digital products for the school and library market. He holds a B.A. from Michigan State University along with M.A. and M.Phil. degrees from Yale University.
Mark lives deep in the forests of Connecticut, where he contends with ticks and deer for space. Weekends find him sailing (Flying Scot) or cooking or listening to music, vestiges of paths not taken.
Mary Ellen K. Davis is ACRL Executive Director. She represents the association to the higher education community and has advanced ACRL’s stands on scholarly communication, information literacy, and assessment through presentations, conversations, and collaborative activities. She works closely with the ACRL Board of Directors on strategic planning and governance and with the Budget & Finance Committee.
Mary Ellen has served in various capacities at ACRL including chief operating officer, editor of C&RL News, and professional development program manager before becoming the executive director in 2001. She has an M.S. in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.A. in education from Central Michigan University, where she worked as a reference and instruction librarian.
A Chicago native, Mary Ellen loves the outdoors and tries to find something in each of Chicago’s seasons to enjoy. In the summers you will find her kayaking or gardening and in the winter cross country skiing (when there is enough snow!) and in every season she walks Layla, her family’s Siberian Husky.
David Free is Editor-in-Chief of College and Research Libraries News and ACRL’s Senior Communications Strategist. He is responsible for content and production of C&RL News in print and online; develops marketing and communications strategy for ACRL programs, publications, and services; coordinates press releases and promotional activities; and coordinates ACRL’s Standards, Guidelines, and Frameworks.
Prior to joining ACRL in 2007, David worked for years in a variety of positions in academic libraries, beginning as a student assistant at the University of Georgia and concluding as Public Services Coordinator at Georgia Perimeter College’s Decatur Campus. He earned his M.L.I.S. from Clark Atlanta University in 1997, and also holds an M.A. in English from Georgia State University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Georgia with an English minor.
An avid music enthusiast with no discernable musical ability, David can often be found at local indie, garage, and punk rock shows. He lives in Chicago with way too many vinyl records and two amazingly friendly cats.
Ann-Christe Galloway is production editor for C&RL News, which involves copyediting and laying out the journal in print, assisting with updates to C&RL News online, and proofreading ACRL conference or other ACRL promotional materials.
Before joining ACRL, Ann-Christe was assistant editor for U.S. Catholic magazine. She has an M.A. in Public Affairs Journalism from Columbia College-Chicago and a B.A. in Creative Writing from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.
Some of Ann-Christe’s pastimes include reading historical fiction, binge-watching TV series, and laughing as much as possible with her husband and daughters.
Sara Goek is a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow at ACRL where she serves as Program Manager contributing to efforts to improve research about academic library contributions to student learning and success.
A historian by trade, prior to joining ACRL Sara worked as research faculty at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and as a lecturer, tutor, and post-doctoral researcher at University College Cork (UCC), Ireland. She holds a PhD in History / Digital Arts & Humanities and an MA in Historical Research from UCC, and a BA in History and Irish Studies from Boston College.
Sara spent seven years living in Ireland and in her free time enjoys playing and listening to Irish traditional music.
Megan Griffin is ACRL’s Senior Program Officer for Member Services where she is the contact for ACRL’s 16 section executive committees, including their rosters, appointments, and special projects. She also oversees ACRL’s Annual Conference programs, CoPA unit special events and activities, and ACRL’s ballots for the ALA annual elections. Megan is the contact for ACRL appointments to IFLA, and provides support to the ACRL President’s Program Planning Committee each year.
Megan joined the ACRL team as a Program Coordinator after earning her B.A. in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations from Butler University, where she completed numerous marketing and event planning internships at organizations such as the Girl Scouts of Hoosier Capital Council, and Wishard Hospital, both in Indianapolis.
Megan loves living in the city and enjoys exploring all the great things Chicago has to offer with her family. In her free time, she enjoys reading mystery thriller novels, trying new restaurants, and spending time at Chicago’s many beautiful parks. She is currently venturing into the world of yoga and actively trying to convince her children to become Chicago Cub fans.
Kara Malenfant is Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives at ACRL where she coordinates government relations advocacy, scholarly communication activities, and ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative. She also provides consulting services on organization change and occasionally has time for research.
Prior to coming to ACRL in 2005, Kara was an academic librarian, worked in humanitarian aid and served as a Peace Corps volunteer. She earned a Ph.D. in leadership and change from Antioch University, a M.S. in library and information science from the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign, and a B.A. in English from Allegheny College.
Kara grew up in Minnesota and lives on Chicago’s far north side with her husband, son, and a dog who loves to lick chins. When she's not working or with her family, you'll find her gardening on her garage rooftop, biking or practicing yoga. Learn more about Kara in her Meet the Staff profile on the ACRL Insider blog.
Bill Mickey, Editorial Director of CHOICE, firstname.lastname@example.org | 860-347-6933
Bill Mickey is Editorial Director at Choice. He oversees editorial operations and all print and online content produced by a team of subject editors, a copy chief, and student interns. He also helps develop new content products and initiatives.
Prior to joining Choice, Bill served as Editorial Director of Folio: magazine at Red 7 Media, a division of Access Intelligence. Bill joined Red 7 Media in 2004 and held a variety of positions within its publishing group, including Senior Editor for Folio: and Executive Editor of Expo magazine. Prior to joining Red 7, Bill was editor of EContent, where he was instrumental in relaunching the 30-year-old magazine covering the digital content market. Before that, he served as editor of Online magazine, a trade publication serving information professionals and corporate and academic librarians who use online database and digital information products.
After work, Bill sometimes retreats to the local climbing gym or very reluctantly trains for a half-marathon. In the warmer months, you’ll find him obsessing over his barbecue.
Dawn Mueller is Senior Production Editor at ACRL. She is responsible for the production of C&RL, RBM, and all non-serial publications; develops and maintains the ACRL website and microsites; designs and produces all ACRL marketing brochures and flyers; coordinates and prepares proceedings and program books for ACRL conferences.
Prior to joining ACRL, Dawn worked as a desktop publisher for a securities firm and two print shops (not at the same time). She honed her computer and design skills at a marketing consultant service for beauty supply warehouses. She earned her B.A. in English and Women’s Studies from Northern Illinois University.
Most people are surprised to learn that she likes hip-hop. Away from work she spends time running, biking, and contorting her body every which way, invariably resulting in chronic injuries.
Erin Nevius, Content Strategist, email@example.com | 312-280-2529
Erin Nevius is ACRL’s Content Strategist. Erin identifies and acquires content—in a variety of formats, including but not limited to books, e-learning, podcasts, webinars, and blog posts—that will inform academic and research librarians. Her focus is on finding and delivering compelling, timely, and practical content in the format that works best for the audience.
Erin has nearly twenty years of professional publishing experience, acquiring and editing books and working with periodicals and online content for both commercial and not-for-profit publishers. Prior to coming to ACRL, she was an executive editor and then associate director of book publishing at the American Bar Association, and has worked as an editor for both F+W Media and Sourcebooks, Inc. Originally from Ohio, Erin holds a B.A. in English and Communications from Xavier University in Cincinnati.
When not indiscriminately reading all kinds of fiction and nonfiction books, Erin is a swimmer and runner, avid TV binger, print magazine enthusiast, and enjoys watching old movies, good and mostly bad, with her husband. Learn more about Erin in her Meet the Staff profile on the ACRL Insider blog.
Chase Ollis is ACRL's Program Officer for Professional Development. He manages ACRL's RoadShow program, awards program, and Conference volunteer and scholarship programs. He also handles logistics and marketing for ACRL's professional development program.
Chase recently earned his M.S. in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before his spontaneous move to the Windy City, Chase earned his B.A. in both English and Communication Studies at Furman University. As a student, he simultaneously served in multiple positions on campus, including in the University’s library system, newspaper, and radio station, as well as interned at the nationally-ranked arts festival Artisphere. Prior to joining ACRL, he worked as a circulation supervisor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker Legal Research Center.
Hailing from the “Poultry Capital of the World,” Chase is a shameless doughnut enthusiast, an amateur photographer, and self-professed astronomy buff. Outside of work, he enjoys bar trivia, learning from his mistakes in his woodworking class, and advocating for the word “y’all.”
Tory Ondrla is ACRL’s Conference Manager and manages logistics for the ACRL Conference and other professional development events. She facilitates site selection, negotiates hotel, convention center and supplier contracts, executes audio-visual and catering as well as working with various member committees to help them achieve their goals and objectives for ACRL events.
Tory earned her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) in 2006 from the Convention Industry Council and is a member of the Professional Convention Management Association. She has also served on the Travel Portland Customer Advisory Board and Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau Client Advisory Council. Prior to coming to ACRL, Tory worked at SmithBucklin for 5 years where she planned meetings for technology professionals, glass manufacturers, and gynecologic oncologists.
Tory enjoys reading thrillers and popular fiction and playing mahjong with friends. Learn more about Tory in her Meet the Staff profile on the ACRL Insider blog.
Allison Payne is ACRL’s Program Officer for Governance. She coordinates activities of the association’s Board of Directors and Budget & Finance Committee, prepares and maintains the ACRL budget, and manages division-level appointments.
Prior to joining ACRL, Allison has been a library assistant at Kraft Foods Global Research & Development, worked at the University of Iowa Libraries’ Preservation Department, and tutored incarcerated youth in Chicago. She holds an M.L.I.S from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a B.A. in English with a minor in Psychology from the University of Iowa.
Allison enjoys all things outdoors, traveling and propagating succulents. In the future, she hopes to attend all four Grand Slam tournaments. Learn more about Allison in her Meet the Staff profile on the ACRL Insider blog.
Mary Jane Petrowski is ACRL Associate Director. She is responsible for developing membership recruitment, promotion, and retention programs; coordinates the annual ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics survey; and directs ACRL’s annual fund and scholarship fundraising campaigns. She also serves as staff liaison to a number of ACRL division-level committees.
Prior to joining ACRL, Mary Jane ran a military library on a U.S. intelligence base in Sinop, Turkey and later worked at the NATO Command Library in Ramstein, Germany. She worked for thirteen years in academic libraries, beginning as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign and concluding as the director of information literacy at Colgate University. She earned her M.L.I.S. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1978, and also holds a Certificate of Advanced Study in Library Science and a B.A. in English.
A fan of Chicago’s public transportation system, Mary Jane loves riding the CTA buses and trains and walking in the city. She lives in a historic building and swims every day so that she can keep up with the changing Chicago restaurant scene. She is always part of the team that decorates the ACRL office for the holidays. Learn more about Mary Jane in her Meet the Staff profile on the ACRL Insider blog.
Howard Prager, Senior Leadership and Change Strategist, firstname.lastname@example.org | 312-280-2511
Howard Prager is ACRL’s Senior Leadership and Change Strategist. He provides consulting services to academic and research libraries to strategically grow and align their programs and services with their institutions.
Prior to coming to ACRL, Howard worked in executive education at the University of Notre Dame and Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, and played a significant role in learning and development as a leadership and change consultant in his own practice and for several leading Fortune 500 firms. He is also a lead Training Certificate Assessor for the American National Standards Association. He earned an M.B.A. in Organizational Behavior from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and B.A. in Psychology from Northwestern University, where he is on several boards for the Northwestern Alumni Association.
When not helping to strengthen libraries and universities, Howard is active in the Association for Talent Development where he is a past Board member, is a leader for the Boy Scouts, plays tuba in the Northwest Concert Band, loves jazz and outdoor activities from hiking and camping to boating and swimming. He and his wife are empty nesters in Vernon Hills with their dog Spencer and they are excited to see their first total solar eclipse this summer.
Elois Sharpe is ACRL’s Program Coordinator for Governance. She coordinates ACRL meeting scheduling for ALA conferences and is the contact for ACRL’s virtual meetings. She assists with division-level appointments and annual timeline. In addition she coordinates ACRL’s donation processing.
Prior to coming to ACRL, Elois worked at IFT as an Information Representative, communicating, troubleshooting and resolving issues and concerns for the organization’s members and other constituents. Elois earned her B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Elois enjoys good action movies and strolling through Chicago’s museums. She lives by her own motto, “Your life is a gift, so don’t waste it!”
Sophie Skinner is ACRL’s Program Coordinator for Member Services. Sophie provides support for many ACRL programs including fundraising, professional development, consulting, and book publishing, as well as member promotion, recruitment, and retention programs.
Before coming to ACRL, Sophie worked as a Library Assistant in the Preservation Department at the University of Chicago’s library, helping maintain the library’s circulating collection and identifying materials requiring treatment from conservation or the bindery. She came to Chicago in 2013 for an internship at a Chicago based public art foundation, helping digitize and organize their slide library in addition to learning about book production and layout. As a student at Oberlin College, she spent three years, including summers, working at the main library’s Reference Desk. She earned her B.A. in Religion from Oberlin in 2013, focusing on Christianity in the Middle Ages.
Sophie enjoys reading, drawing, painting, and hiking. Her most recent drawings and paintings are of fellow commuters and people she sees on the street. She loves exploring the city and collecting new subjects/characters for her work. She also enjoys browsing local bookstores, focusing on the literature, art history, religion, and philosophy sections.