2017 Winter Leadership Academy Roster

Leadership Fellows

Rebecca AntillRebecca Antill
Youth Services Consultant
South Carolina State Library
Columbia, SC

Rebecca Antill is the Youth Services Consultant for the South Carolina State Library. She has worked and volunteered in libraries for over 20 years, and was most recently the Children’s Services Assistant Manager for the Charleston County Main Library, in Charleston, SC. Rebecca has experience working with library patrons of all ages, enjoys reading picture books and any kind of scifi/fantasy novels, and will never turn down an invitation to a puppet show.

Kayce AustinKayce Austin
Customer Experience Manger
Pierce County Library System
Tacoma, WA

Kayce Austin is a Customer Experience Manager for the Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, WA.  Her job includes supervision of five libraries, and a focus system wide on branch operations and training. She is actively leading projects to update policies and procedures, evaluate new technology for the libraries, and coordinate training for all front line staff in the system. Her work every day focuses on giving front line staff the tools and training that they need to effectively serve the community.

Polly BonnettPolly Bonnett
Branch Coordinator
Mesa Public Library
Mesa, AZ

Polly Bonnett is the Branch Manager at the Red Mountain Library in Mesa, AZ. Polly started her career with Mesa Public Library, having the good fortune to serve in various roles and positions over the years. 17 years on she is still enthusiastic, passionate and inspired by public library service and the impact we can have on individuals and our communities. Her professional role really grows out of a love for helping others and building relationships, knowing that lives can be positively impacted one interaction at a time. She is involved in Arizona City/County Management Association, Public Library Association and has volunteered for a variety of other organizations.

Liz BreedLiz Breed
Assistant Director for Public Services
Jackson District Library
Jackson, MI

Liz Breed is the Assistant Director for Public Services for Jackson District Library’s 13-branch system in Michigan. Liz is a graduate of Wayne State University’s School of Information Sciences and found librarianship after her first career in marketing. A librarian since 2002, Liz has held a variety of positions from Business Librarian to Branch Manager, and is currently part of the team that manages operations at JDL. She is passionate about building 21st century library experiences and providing meaningful and compassionate engagement for her community. When she’s not working on a library project, she loves to travel with her husband and spend time with their dog, Harold

Ashley BrownAshley Brown
Engagement and Outreach Librarian
Auburn Public Library
Auburn, AL

Ashley J. Brown has 15 years of experience in libraries. She began her library career at Auburn University in Special Collections and Archives. In 2005, the Auburn Public Library hired her as the assistant youth services librarian. Currently, she is the Engagement and Outreach Librarian supervising and coordinating all of APL’s programming and outreach activities. Brown is most interested in grant writing, programming, staff development, and community partnerships. She received her MLIS from the University of Alabama. She is currently the secretary of American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Roundtable.

Griselda ClarkeGriselda Clarke
Branch Manager
Edgewater Branch Library
Orlando, FL

Griselda Clarke has worked as professional in library management and customer care for the past twenty-two years. She serves on the Executive Edge Leadership Team of the Orange County Library System in Orlando, FL. Over her 22 year career in Library Management Griselda has worked in a variety of library settings in a range of roles, including client services, marketing and community outreach, collection development and project management. Clarke completed the SEFLIN Leadership Institute’s Sun Seekers course, and the Vanderbilt University’s Leading Strategic Innovation in Organizations course.

Jeff CollinsJeff Collins
Deputy Director
Laramie County Library System
Cheyenne, WY

Jeff Collins is Deputy Director, Public Service at Laramie County Library System. Past positions include Library Director at Show Low Public Library and Pinetop-Lakeside Public Library and Librarian/Public Records Archivist at Connecticut State Library. Jeff holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in History from Northern Arizona University and a Master of Arts in Library and Information Science from the University of Arizona. Jeff is also a Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA). He lives in Cheyenne, WY., where he rides his bike to work nearly every day and raises two amazing boys with his lovely wife, Megan.

Dave Della TerzaDave Della Terza
Deputy Director
Naperville Public Library
Naperville, IL

Dave Della Terza is the Deputy Director at Naperville Public Library. He began his library career in 2006 and he received his MLS from University of Illinois in 2013. He previously served as the Computer Lab Supervisor and Naper Blvd. Library Manager, both at NPL. Dave is currently leading the library’s strategic plan, customer service training, and other initiatives to help ensure the best possible service to the community. In his free time, Dave loves reading, trying out new technology, watching bad reality TV shows, and dancing and singing with his 2-year old daughter.

Jeannie DilgerJeannie Dilger
Executive Director
La Grange Public Library
La Grange, IL

Jeannie Dilger is Executive Director of the La Grange (IL) Public Library, a suburban Chicago library serving 15,000 residents. While she has done just about everything in a public library, her passions are fostering connections and facilitating change. A 2006 Library Journal “Mover and Shaker,” Ms. Dilger holds an MSLS from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and is a past-president of both the Illinois Library Association and the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services.

Jen FaitJen Fait
Head of Youth Services
Kenosha Public Library
Kenosha, WI

Jen Fait is the Head of Youth Services at the Kenosha Public Library, where she has spent the last five years leading a talented team in transforming youth programming into engaging learning experiences focused on developing early literacy and 21st century skills. Her current work is concentrated on bringing STEAM and coding programs to underserved children in the community, designing an active learning space in the library for elementary aged students, and working with other community organizations on a number of citywide initiatives aimed at improving educational outcomes for students and creating a healthier community. 

Diana GarciaDiana Garcia
Senior Librarian – Children’s Services
Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library
Monterey Park, CA

Diana has worked in libraries since 2003 when she started as a paraprofessional at the Martin County Library System in South Florida. She is currently Senior Librarian in Children’s Services at the Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library. Diana has received PLA’s Innovations in Literacy Award for her program for young English language learners and participated in California’s Eureka Leadership Institute. Her professional interests include service to diverse communities and early literacy. She is currently the Chair of ALSC’s Program Coordinating Committee, a member of the 2019 Geisel Committee, and serves on the Board of the Children’s Literature Council of Southern California.

Leslie HayesLeslie Hayes
Technical Services Librarian
Joplin Public Library
Joplin, MO

Leslie Hayes is the Technical Services Librarian at Joplin Public Library. She worked in both academic and correctional institution libraries before returning to her hometown. One of her first work projects involved moving the library to a new building. Leslie is interested in building strong partnerships with area service organizations and providing access to resources of all kinds. She would like to strengthen community support networks for patrons in need. Outside of work, she enjoys science fiction, knitting, and herding her cats.

Edenia HernandezEdenia Hernandez
Library Manager/Director
North Miami Beach Public Library
Miami, FL

Edenia Hernandez is the Library Manager/Director at North Miami Beach Public Library. She conducts research and collaborates with local and international universities to increase the value of library services. Edenia has 17 years of experience in leading library programs to certification, arts endowments, and State award recognition. Her focus on developing the library and growing the City's services, social media presence and attracting investment has established her in the community and City's management. 

Amiya P. HutsonAmiya P. Hutson
Public Services Branch Manager – Large
Cleveland Public Library – Rockport Branch
Cleveland, OH

I'm honored to be a part of PLA's 2017 Leadership Academy. I began my library career at 15 years of age working as a page until High School graduation. In college I was a clerk for the campus library. After graduation I left libraries for 10 years and worked in education. In 2006 I returned to the library field as a Literacy Assistant. I totally love libraries and will never leave again. Since 2008 I have been active with ALA serving on multiple committees and council. In my spare time I read historical fiction and shop for anything and everyone.

Gayathri KanthGayathri Kanth
Assistant Director
Palo Alto Library
Palo Alto, CA

Gayathri Kanth is the Assistant Director of the Palo Alto Library. In her first year, Gayathri collaborated with several city departments and organizations to present various community programs. She also facilitated and shaped several staff professional development opportunities including a peer led “Small Group Trainings.” Gayathri is also a Mid Peninsula Media Center Board Member. Prior to this, Gayathri was the Community Librarian of Cupertino Library, where she hosted Cupertino Library Anniversary celebration attended by 4300+ people and hosting an all-night Teen Hack-a-thon event at the library. Gayathri was a 2010 Fellow of the California Eureka Leadership Institute.

Kimberly B. KnightKimberly B. Knight
DC Public Library
Washington, DC

Kimberly B. Knight is a manager with DC Public Library. After graduating from UCLA’s Library and Information Science program, she has served all ages in diverse settings from California to Virginia and now in our nation’s Capital. Kimberly is an ALA Councilor-at-Large and is active on committees in ALA, PLA, Virginia Library Association, and DC Library Association. Kimberly completed the ALA Leadership Institute in 2015 and is enrolled in the ALA-APA Certified Public Library Administrators Program. She has presented at VLA, ALA, and BCALA conferences, webinars, and has written for Public Libraries Online about librarianship, management, and leadership.

Jennifer McCormackJennifer McCormack
Nashua Public Library
Nashua, NH

Jennifer McCormack began her position as Director of the Nashua Public Library in January 2010 and was previously director of the Tewksbury Public Library in Massachusetts. During her years in the library profession Jennifer also served as assistant director and reference librarian at the Amesbury (MA) Public Library, and worked at the Phillips Exeter Academy and Seabrook libraries. Ms. McCormack received her master's degree in library and information science from Simmons College and a bachelor's degree in history from the University of New Hampshire. Jennifer currently resides in Nashua, NH.

Jean McFarrenJean McFarren
Deputy Director
Stark County DIstrict Library
Canton, OH

Having dedicated her career to improving access to library resources, Jean knows the power of connecting people with information. A graduate of Walsh University, Jean received her MLS from Kent State University. Jean has worked as a reference librarian and library administrator. She is a graduate of Leadership Stark County and Government Academy and participated in the 2014 ALA Leadership Institute. Jean lives with her husband, Rick, and daughter, Abigail. She serves on the board of TomTod Ideas and is active in Women’s Impact Inc.

Sarah McGowanSarah McGowan
Adult Services Manager
McCracken County Public Library
Paducah, KY

Sarah McGowan has been the Adult Services Manager at McCracken County Public Library in Paducah, KY. since 2012. Her professional career has focused on public services in public libraries, working in reference, circulation, YA, and children’s services. She has previously been at Nashville Public Library and at Marshall County (KY) Public Library. Sarah received her MLS from the University of Kentucky in 2001.

Laura McGrathLaura McGrath
Deputy Director
Skokie Public Library
Skokie, IL

After completing a college internship at the Minneapolis Public Library, I received my MLS from the University of Michigan where I served as a Residence Hall Head Librarian and worked at the Shapiro Undergraduate Library reference desk. I have spent my entire library career at the Skokie Public Library in a variety of positions; Adult Services Librarian, Assistant Coordinator of Information Services, Special Projects Coordinator, Manager of Access Services, and, since last November, Deputy Director. I love public libraries and am interested in the ways in which they are transforming and adapting in response to changing community needs.

Kortney NelsonKortney Nelson
Town Librarian
Highland Park Harvey R. "Bum" Bright Library
Highland Park, TX

Kortney Nelson is the Town Librarian for the Highland Park Harvey R. "Bum" Bright Library in Highland Park, TX. Mrs. Nelson has worked in public libraries for over ten years in a variety of roles within children's and adult services since receiving her Master of Library Science degree from Texas Woman's University. The position of Town Librarian allows her to combine her experiences and work with a wonderful staff and community to explore and implement ways to expand library services to meet the information needs of patrons.

Janet SalazarJanet Salazar
Executive Director
Charles County Public Library
La Plata, MD

Charles County and the Charles County Public Library have been a major part of my life for the last 20 years—I have lived and worked in the county since 1992 when I started as a Public Services Associate. I spent several years as the Children’s Librarian for the P.D. Brown Memorial branch, served as branch manager for the Potomac Branch, the P.D. Brown Memorial branch, as well as the Waldorf West branch. I had the pleasure of serving as both the Acting Assistant Director while the search for a new library director was conducted, even taking on the Acting Director role two months prior to being appointed the permanent Executive Director. Charles County is near and dear to my heart and I want to see it grow and prosper in a thoughtful way.

Deb SicaDeb Sica
Deputy County Librarian
Alameda County Library
Vallejo, CA

Deb Sica, MFA, MLIS, has been in research, education and libraries since 1993. She has been an archivist, an academic and a Public Library Administer in both the Gulf Coast and San Francisco Bay Areas. She spent the last decade in Public Libraries working to transform dated, discordant policy into socially just, fully-inclusive practice. Deb has been politically active for over 25 years and continues the fight for equity, diversity and inclusion in libraries and in life. She currently serves on the Executive Board of GLBTRT, is a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, and is part of Jim Neal’s Presidential Advisory Council.

King SimpsonKing Simpson
Logan County Public Library
Russellville, KY

King Simpson is the director of the Logan County Public Library, serving a community of 27,000 in rural Western Kentucky. King has been with LCPL for 15 years in a variety of positions. He holds a BS in Business Management from Western Kentucky University and an MSLS in Library Science from the University of Kentucky. King is the 2017 Logan County Chamber of Commerce president. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Taylor, and their six-year-old son, Ian.

Michael SpelmanMichael Spelman
Supervisor, Central Library
Madison Public Library
Madison, WI

Michael Spelman works at Madison Public Library (WI), where he is Supervisor of the Central Library. He is especially interested in establishing library services that respond to community identified issues, and in developing leadership capacity within the public library profession. Spelman chaired the Public Library Association’s Membership Advisory Group from 2016–2017, and was featured in a June 2017 American Libraries article about MPL's Library Takeover program. Michael's coworkers know him as a dandy, and the voice of reason.

Tina ViglucciTina Viglucci
Hispanic Services Director
Gail Borden Public Library District
Elgin, IL

Tina Viglucci is Hispanic Services Director at the Gail Borden Public Library District in Elgin, IL, where she is charged with integrating programs and services for the Latino population. Tina has been with Gail Borden for seven years. Prior to that she held the position of Spanish Materials Specialist at the Aurora Public Library. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Tina completed her MLS at the University of Albany in New York in 2005.

Jennifer WeeksJennifer Weeks
Library Services Manager
Santa Clara County Library District
Campbell, CA

Jennifer has been a librarian with SCCLD located in the heart of Silicon Valley for 15 years working in various locations and roles in children’s services. She received her BA in English at University of San Diego, her AS in Early Childhood Education and her MLIS at San Jose State University. In her role managing children’s services for eight libraries and bookmobile services, she focuses on collaborative projects to serve youth and families to ensure that all children love reading, keep learning, and have free access to the library. 

Ashley WelkeAshley Welke
Library Manager
Metropolitan Library System
Edmond, OK

Ashley Welke works for the Metropolitan Library System, which serves Oklahoma County, OK. She has worked in public libraries for seven years, and is currently the Library Manager at the Edmond branch. Ashley received her BA from the University of California San Diego and her MLIS from the University of Oklahoma. She is passionate about the customer experience and making libraries vibrant centers within the community for engaged learning. Ashley currently lives in Oklahoma City with her husband, Marshall, and their two dogs, Sam and Bennet.