Meet Us


Cyndi Robinson

Cyndi Robinson is Conference and Continuing Education Manager at the Illinois Library Association. Her favorite book is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which she has read multiple times, starting when she was eleven.  When not working or reading, Cyndi fills her time with gardening, cooking, biking, “Doctor Who” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, her local friends of the library group, and wrangling two teenagers. 

Chair Elect

Charles KratzCharles Kratz is dean of the library and information fluency at the University of Scranton, a position he has held since 1991. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Scranton in the English and Theatre Department.
Interests and Expertise: Emerging technologies, Fundraising, Learning Commons, Information Literacy, Intellectual Property, Writing, and Theater. Books I am currently reading: Colum McCann's Thirteen Ways of Looking and George Orwell's 1984. Current favorite TV shows - "Homeland", "House of Cards", and "The Americans."

IFRT Councilor

Martin GarnarMartin Garnar is the dean of the Kraemer Family Library at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Outside of work, he may be found hiking in the beautiful Pikes Peak region, singing with the Out Loud Colorado Springs Men’s Chorus, or reading fantasy and science fiction books instead of doing chores. He’s a sucker for British baking shows even though he knows his weekly sourdough loaves would never win a technical challenge, though his husband Mark things they’re pretty tasty.

Treasurer and Chair of the Membership Committee

Steve NormanSteve Norman spent his early years all around the West and Midwest.  Now, he sees the Atlantic Ocean through his windows.  He's gone about as far east as he could wander in the U.S.  Whenever he can, he heads into the great outdoors.  He loves good prose (fiction or nonfiction) and poetry, but any old good yarn as an audiobook will grab him.


Ashley J. BrownAshley J. Brown is the Engagement and Outreach Librarian at the Auburn Public Library in Auburn, Alabama. She has a very hard time choosing a favorite book, but she does love Jane Eyre. Her favorite movie is The Cutting Edge. Yes, the figure skating movie from 1992. When not working at the library, she enjoys performing improv with her troupe, hand sewing, and spending time with her beloved Chow mix, Sammie. War Eagle!


Sheila BonnandSheila Bonnand is a Research & Instruction librarian at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. There is no way she can pick a favorite book - there are just too many - but she admits to a fondness for Dickens. When not fighting for freedom of speech and other constitutional rights (she is also a board member of the ACLU of Montana), she fights the elements while trying to garden at an elevation of almost 5000 feet. She also hikes and canoes with her husband and two dogs.

Director-at-Large and Incoming Chair Elect

John Mack FreemanJohn "Mack" Freeman is the Branch Manager of the Peachtree Corners branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library. His favorite book is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. It has the quote that provided his first (but probably not last) tattoo. He's moved over 20 times in 25 years and has often considered transforming his moving expertise into a semi-professional gig. When he's not enmeshed in the library world, he's typically dabbling in a ton of hobbies and going on adventures with his husband Dale and their mess of a Boxer puppy, Bess.

Immroth Committee Chair

Michael FurlongMichael Furlong’s interests include fiction writing, graphic novels, theater and film. He performs improvised theater on the weekends, entertaining large studio audiences with bite-sized jokes. He believes every librarian should be exposed to an improv theater class.
Looking for water cooler conversation during the conference? Michael binge watched "Breaking Bad" and is now enjoying "Better Call Saul".

Publication Committee Chair

Eric JohnsonEric Johnson is the data librarian for Miami University and provides resources for data management planning, geographic information systems, data visualization, digital preservation, and android programming. In his spare time, he designs gadgets and reads science fiction and fantasy novels. .

Program Committee Chair

Ian Ross Hughes is the Reference Coordinator at Purdue University Northwest, Westville Campus. His favorite book, if he has to choose one, is Fahrenheit 451 though most of Bradbury's short story books would do as well. He writes comedy, listens to Foster the People on repeat, and strongly recommends you try yogawithadriene on YouTube.

Merritt Fund Promotion Committee Chair

Ma'lis WendtMa’lis Wendt grew up in the San Francisco East Bay area and received her BA and Masters of Library Science from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating with her MLS she moved to New York in 1968 and worked at The New York Public Library for over thirty-five years in the Branch Library System. She started as a young adult outreach librarian and eventually became an administrator in charge of all the libraries in the Bronx for almost twenty years and the libraries in Staten Island for her last two years.

Since her retirement in 2007, Ma’lis has been very active with a variety of activities. In addition to being the Treasurer for Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, she volunteers weekly in the collection management department at the Lefferts Old Dutch Farm House Museum in Prospect Park; she still very active in the American Library Association and is a Past President of the Retired Members Round Table as well as continuing to participate in accreditation visits to library schools throughout the country. She swims five days a week and visits at least one museum a week.

Incoming Director-at-Large

Sarah Houghton is the Director of the San Rafael Public Library in California. Her favorite author is William Butler Yeats, favorite band is Depeche Mode, favorite graphic novel is Saga, and favorite movie is The Piano. She is currently rediscovering her love of punk.

Ellie & Kristin (Selfie coming soon) Kristin and Ellie both love "West Wing", Trevor Noah's memoir, Born A Crime, the new King Arthur movie and working on weekends. Wait, that's just Kristin that likes to work on weekends. Ellie can often be found correcting Kristin's grammar and sending her hilarious gifs. Kristin uses gifs and sarcasm to escape the insanity of her two littles, Joe and Annie. 
Updated May 2017