Meet our consultants.
ACRL's consulting team is here to collaborate with your library and develop custom plans and training for your unique institutional situation. Get to know our experts!
Karen Brown, PhD, brings over 30 years of experience in higher education and academic libraries to the ACRL Consulting Services Program. She is a frequent facilitator of the ACRL Assessment in Action RoadShow workshop and serves as one of ACRL’s adjunct consultants. Her article on library leadership and change, co-authored with Kate Marek, “Librarianship and Change: A Consideration of Weick’s ‘Drop Your Tool’ Metaphor,” received the 2005 ALA Library Administration and Management Association’s Outstanding Researchers Award. Karen is a professor emerita at Dominican University (River Forest, Illinois) in the School of Information Studies and teaches in the areas of assessment, collection management, foundations of the profession, and literacy and learning. She has held positions focusing on administration, collection development, reference, and instruction at the University of Wisconsin, University of Maryland, Columbia University, and Bard College. She holds a PhD in media ecology from New York University and master’s degrees in library science and adult education from the University of Wisconsin.
Kathryn J. Deiss
Kathryn J. Deiss, MLS, has over 28 years of consulting and training experience. She has worked with hundreds of libraries and thousands of individuals to support learning and development. She is an experienced facilitator with expertise in the areas of organizational culture, organizational development, change, leadership, creativity and innovation, coaching and mentoring, and strategic planning. She has provided training and facilitated strategic planning for libraries, national associations, consortia, and museums. Kathryn has been faculty for the Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians from Underrepresented Groups since its inception in 1998, is lead faculty for the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) Leadership Fellows Program 2003-present, is co-designer and facilitator of the ALA Leading to the Future Institute 2013-present, and served as faculty and lead facilitator for the Triangle Research Library Network (TRLN) Management Academy in 2016-2018, among other similar projects. Additionally, Kathryn serves as an executive coach to leaders in academic libraries. She is a frequent presenter on issues related to leadership, organizational culture, innovation, and change.
Paula R. Dempsey
Paula R. Dempsey, PhD, is Assistant Professor and Research Services & Resources Librarian at the University of Illinois Chicago Daley Library, where she shapes the library liaison program to provide innovative, user-centered services in collection development, reference, and information literacy instruction. She has research interests in professional identity among librarians and the balance between providing service and instructional opportunities. She has also held positions at DePaul University.
Debra Gilchrist, PhD, recently retired as Vice President for Learning and Student Success at Pierce College. In addition to academic and student affairs, Gilchrist led efforts focused on regional accreditation and achievement of institutional outcomes at Pierce College, a community college in Lakewood, Washington. Prior to that position, she served as Dean of Libraries and Institutional Effectiveness at Pierce, and Instruction Librarian at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. She has published and presented at numerous conferences and campuses on outcomes assessment as a tool for change, demonstrating the contributions of academic libraries through assessment of both learning and program impact and quality. She served as co-designer with Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe on two recent ACRL projects - the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education workshops and the Assessment in Action (AiA) program - developing the curriculum and facilitating workshops for both initiatives. She was an inaugural member of the ACRL Information Literacy Immersion Program, serving on the faculty from 1998-2016, and in 2007 was honored with the Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the leadership role of academic librarians to influence instructional change.
Melanie Hawks, MPC, has over 25 years of facilitation and consulting experience working with libraries, higher education, and other non-profit organizations. She is an acclaimed designer of interactive events such as leadership workshops, planning retreats, and facilitated dialogues. She has extensive experience designing and facilitating synchronous and asynchronous online learning events, including hybrid and flipped courses. She has conducted research on the experience of people from under-represented groups in leadership cohort programs and authored three ACRL monographs. Melanie currently serves as Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Director of Library Human Resources at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library. She has previously served as the Program Officer for Training and Leadership Development for the Association of Research Libraries. In that capacity she served as the principal designer of ARL’s in-person institutes and online courses. In her consulting and facilitation practice, special interests include change management, consensus building, negotiation and interpersonal conflict, and organizational dynamics. She has presented nationally and regionally on topics such as influencing without authority, work-life balance, and systems leadership.
Janice Jaguszewski, MLIS, has 25 years of leadership experience in higher education, including libraries and the health sciences. Until 2021, she was Associate University Librarian and Director, Health Sciences Libraries, as well as Interim AUL for all sciences, at the University of Minnesota, where she advanced teaching, learning, research and professional practice across 10 colleges and schools in the Academic Health Center, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and Life and Agricultural Sciences. She has a passion for helping organizations thrive, and earned certificates in Organization Development at the University of Minnesota, and Human Systems Dynamics from the Human Systems Dynamics Institute. For over 10 years, she has consulted with a wide range of academic libraries and specializes in program evaluation, leadership development, strategic planning, and organizational change. She established Janice J Consulting in 2021.
Anna Kozlowska, MLIS, MA, is Assistant Professor, Reference and Liaison Librarian, and Honors College Instructor and Fellow at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Prior to her current position, she was Social Science Liaison Librarian at Dickinson College (PA). She has published articles and presented on information and media literacy and is active on ACRL committees. She is pursuing a doctorate in education in global studies, with a focus on global citizenship, and media and information literacy (MIL).
Kara Malenfant, PhD, is Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives at ACRL where she coordinates government relations advocacy, scholarly communication activities, ACRL's Value of Academic Libraries initiative, and leads the ACRL Consulting Services Program. In her consulting role, Kara brings expertise in leadership, change, futures thinking, and scenario development. Her 2010 case study about organizational change was chosen as one of seven landmark articles published in the leading scholarly journal College and Research Libraries over its 75 year history. Prior to coming to ACRL in 2005, Kara was an academic librarian for 6 years and worked in the international humanitarian aid sector. She earned a Ph.D. in leadership and change from Antioch University and a M.S. in library and information science from the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign.
Chase Ollis, MSLIS, is ACRL’s Professional Development and Outreach Specialist. In this role, he oversees ACRL's RoadShow program, which brings in-person and virtual workshops to academic libraries covering various topics in librarianship, and he collaborates on strategy for ACRL’s professional development programs. He is a co-editor of the 2018 ACRL publication Shaping the Campus Conversation on Student Learning and Experience: Activating the Results of Assessment in Action and brings knowledge of ACRL services, model library programs, and standards to the project. Chase earned his M.S. in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining the ACRL staff, he worked in library circulation positions at Northwestern University's School of Law and Furman University. Outside of ACRL, Chase is a volunteer librarian and exhibit curator at the Gerber/Hart Library & Archives in Chicago.
Mark Puente, MLS, MA, is Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Organizational Development, Inclusion, and Diversity, at Purdue University Libraries and the School of Information Studies (effective August 1, 2020). Mark has served as the Senior Director of Diversity and Leadership Programs at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), where he designed and directed the ARL Annual Leadership Symposium, the Kaleidoscope Program (formerly the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce), the Leadership and Career Development Program, the annual Mosaic Program Leadership Forum, and numerous other recruitment programs and professional development events. He also led the planning of the 2018 Symposium for Strategic Leadership in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion offered in partnership with ARL and ACRL. A frequent clinician, speaker, and facilitator, Mark has presented at regional and national conferences on topics such as diversity recruitment strategies, racial equity, networking, and residency programs in academic libraries. Prior to joining ARL, he held positions in the libraries of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Marcy Simons, MLS, is currently Organizational Development Librarian for the Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame. She is an experienced facilitator and library organization consultant with expertise in organizational development, change, leadership and strategic planning. She is familiar with current best practices in academic libraries of all types and is the author of two books, both published by Rowman & Littlefield for the Beta Phi Mu Scholar Series, Academic Librarianship: Anchoring the Profession in Contribution, Scholarship, and Service (2021), and Academic Library Metamorphosis and Regeneration (2018).
Karen Williams, MLS, has 30 years of higher education leadership experience in academic libraries and information technology. She is Dean Emeritus and retired Vice President for Information Strategy at the University of Arizona. Karen is a strong proponent of shared leadership and collaborative endeavors both across a campus and between institutions. She has been very active professionally for her entire career. She served as a Board member of ACRL for four years, and subsequently as President. She was a founding member of two very successful international professional programs, the Institute for Information Literacy Immersion Program, and the ARL (Association for Research Libraries)/ACRL Scholarly Communication Institute and served as faculty for both Institutes for a number of years. Her consulting focuses on new roles for academic libraries, facilitating and managing change, organizational development and design, and building successful campus partnerships.