Advisors

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation recognize the following distinguished library professionals for their invaluable advise and guidance on the Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change initiative.

Cassandra Barnett
 
Cassandra Barnett has been a school librarian for 37 years in both elementary and secondary school libraries and has presented at state and national conferences on a variety of topics concerning school libraries. An active member of the American Association of School Librarians, she has served on committees both in ALA and AASL, been a member of the AASL Board of Directors, and is a past president of AASL. She is currently the program advisor for school libraries at the Arkansas Department of Education.
Andrea Blackman Since 2003, Andrea Blackman has coordinated Nashville Public Library's nationally recognized Civil Rights Room and Collection, after years of teaching and consulting in both Florida and Tennessee. During her tenure, she has led 10 successful oral history projects and managed the expansion of the library's public programming. She serves on the board of directors for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) and the Tennessee Historical Records Advisory Board.
Judy Calhoun

Judy Calhoun is the regional director of the Southeast Arkansas Public Library system. She started her career as the only librarian at a library in Star City, Ark., an industrial/farming town of 2,300 wedged between the forests of the Arkansas Timberlands and the rich farmland of the Arkansas Delta. Now, as the director of the Southeast Arkansas Public Library, she oversees Star City and eight other branches of the five-county system, several of which are still staffed by solo librarians. 

Cindy Fesemyer
 
Cindy Fesemyer is the director of Columbus Public Library in Wisconsin. Librarianship is Fesemyer's second career, following 14 years in nonprofit administration and community organizing. Upon her 2012 graduation from UW-Madison SLIS, Fesemyer was pleased as punch to accept her position at the Columbus Public Library. Turns out community engagement is much more fun and effective as a public librarian, so she's never looking back.
Susan Hildreth
 
Susan Hildreth is the inaugural Gates-funded Professor of Practice at the Information School at the University of Washington. She also serves as the fellow for the Aspen Institute’s Forum on Communications and Society. She served as the executive director of the Peninsula Library System, the Pacific Library Partnership and the Califa Group from March 2015 through June 2016. Previously, she served as the director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed position, from January 2011 through January 2015. Susan is the former Seattle Public Library city librarian and the state librarian of California, appointed by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. She also served as the city librarian of the San Francisco Public Library and in other leadership positions in California public libraries. 
Nancy Kranich
 
Nancy Kranich, a past president of ALA, founded and convenes ALA's Center for Civic Life and the Libraries Foster Community Engagement Membership Initiative Group, trained and practices as a public innovator with the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, served on the board of the National Issues Forums Institute, and works with the Kettering Foundation to promote democratic practices through libraries and other organizations. She teaches community engagement, information policy and intellectual freedom at the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information and works on special projects with the Rutgers University Libraries.
Val Ramos Valeriano Ramos Jr. is director of strategic alliances and racial equity officer for Everyday Democracy, where he brings expertise and experience in public policy research and advocacy, higher education, program development, and community outreach and organizing. Before coming to Everyday Democracy, he was director of constituent services under former Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz. He has worked with the Latino/Hispanic community in Connecticut for  many years, including Tu Voto Si Cuenta, Yale College, Guakia, Inc., and the Connecticut Association for United Spanish Action (C.A.U.S.A.).