Meet Us

 

Chair

Rhonda Evans Rhonda Evans is the Assistant Chief Librarian of the Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. At the Schomburg Center Rhonda supports the management of the Division’s diverse collections that focus on people of African descent throughout the world. In addition to her recent appointment to the Intellectual Freedom Committee, she will serve as the Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table. Rhonda is also an active member of BCALA and serves on the Executive Board of the Museums Council of New York City. She is the author of the blog series, Black New York, which tells lesser-known stories of the Black experience across New York City and the outer boroughs. She is also an Assistant Visiting Professor at Pratt Institute’s School of Information, teaching in their Library and Information Science graduate program.

Chair Elect

Angela OcanaAngela Ocaña is the Community Services Manager with the Eugene Public Library in Oregon and has served as an IFRT Director at Large for two years. She was a member of the 2018 Emerging Leader class and won the ALA John Cotton Dana award in 2013. She also won the 2016 CLA Young Adult Librarian of the Year award, the same year her Teen Pride program was picketed and challenged by some members of her community. She is a diehard graphic novel reader and has spoken at comic book conventions across the nation, merging her passion for comics and the freedom to read. She is currently serving on the GNCRT selection committee for Best Graphic Novels for Children list and is secretly a unicorn.

Past Chair

Wanda Mae HuffakerWanda Mae Huffaker is a Librarian Salt Lake County Libraries and a trustee for the Freedom to Read Foundation. She is a 2018 recipient of the PLA Gordon Conable Award, and was chair of the Utah Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee, for 10 years, one of which they won the first Gerald Hodges Award. She watches movies more than reads but does turn on closed captioning.

IFRT Councilor

Peter CoylPeter Coyl is the Director of the Montclair Public Library. He is passionate about intellectual freedom and the power of information and libraries to change lives. He serves as a Trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation and a member of the Intellectual Freedom Committee. He also serves as Chair of the New Jersey Library Association Intellectual Freedom Subcommittee.

Treasurer

Jennifer SteeleDr. Jennifer Steele is an Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at The University of Southern Mississippi, located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She earned both her MLIS degree and her Ph.D. in Communication and Information Sciences from The University of Alabama, completing the degrees in 2013 and 2017 respectively. She has years of professional experience working as an academic librarian. Her research focuses on intellectual freedom, censorship, and information access.

Secretary

Rebecca MoormanRebecca Moorman is Head of Technical Services at the University of Alaska Anchorage Consortium Library. She has lived in Alaska over 15 years, and remains a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan. Rebecca enjoys reading frequently challenged books, taking long walks with her hound dog Bella, and discovering the next household project that will make life better.

Director-at-Large

Kristin AndersonKristin Joy Anderson is an academic librarian in the Western Chicago Suburbs. She grew up in West Central Illinois where there was nothing to do except read and chase down the outside kitties. She has a MS in Mass Communications and a MLIS. Her favorite books are American Gods and Ready Player One. In her spare time she reviews for Library Journal and School Library Journal, and still enjoys chasing kitties. She is super into graphic novels and super hero movies, roleplaying games/gaming, and Skyrim....yes still.

Director-at-Large

Jeremy BrettJeremy Brett, C.A., is the Curator of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection at Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M University. His previous employers include the University of Iowa, the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, the National Archives and Records Administration - Pacific Region, and the Wisconsin Historical Society. He received his M.L.S. from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1999. He is a cofounder of the Concerned Archivists Alliance.

Director-at-Large 

Johana Emperatriz Orellana Cabrera Johana Emperatriz Orellana Cabrera is an adult services librarian at the North Richland Hills Library in Texas. She is a 2011 ALA Spectrum Scholar, a 2015 ALA Emerging Leader, and has held several leadership roles within ALA. She is devoted to her dogs, family, and friends.

Director-at-Large

Amanda VazquezAmanda Vazquez is the Assistant Director at the Dubuque County Library District, a 2019 graduate of the San José State University iSchool, and has over a decade of experience working in public libraries in programming, technical services, and library administration. In her past position as Director of the Orange City Public Library, she gained first-hand experience with intellectual freedom issues through challenges to LGBTQ+ content in the library’s collection. These challenges propelled her to become involved with the Iowa Library Association and ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table. Amanda is a past Freedom to Read Foundation Gordon M. Conable Scholar, and a member of IFRT’s Publications and Communications Committee and Coalition Building Committee, as well as a member of the Iowa Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, Communications and Publications Committee, and Committee on Diversity & Inclusion.

Bylaws and Organization Committee Chair

Kristin GreenKristin E. C. Green is the Reference and Instruction Librarian at the Penn State Scranton Library where she teaches course-related information literacy, develops various collections, and programs co-curricular events. She is passionate about intellectual freedom which serves as the compass that guides all her work within academic librarianship. Kristin enjoys fantasy fiction, science fiction, graphic novels, gaming, and cooking.

Coalition Building Committee Chair

Ray JamesWhile in federal prison, Eldon “Ray” James decided to become a librarian. Despite his age and circumstances, he made that happen by graduating from the University of Texas at Austin School of Information in 2007. By amazing serendipity he made Dr. Loriene Roy his advisor. The year he graduated, ALA chose Roy as ALA president and she took him to Washington as a part of her presidential party and introduced him to ALA and particularly a group called the Prisoners Forum, an interest group and the Association of Specialized Government & Cooperative Library Agencies (ASGCLA, formally, ASCLA), where this ex-con found a family with correctional librarians. One of those librarians shortly thereafter asked him to help write “Prisoners’ Right to Read: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights” and help move it through the ALA. That experience led to the Intellectual Freedom Committee, Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and the Freedom to Read Foundation. ASGCLA needed a liaison to all three and he volunteered. FTRF welcomes liaisons on its committees and before long James was serving on all three intellectual freedom groups. Now semi-retired, James works as a researcher and Freedom of Information Act specialist for a private company in Austin, Texas.

Immroth Award Committee Chair

Johanna GenettJohannah Genett is currently the division manager for resource services (collection, IT and Capital Projects) at Hennepin County Library. She has held many roles in public libraries, from managing library buildings of all sizes and demographics, to overseeing system-wide programs and outcome measurement, to providing services to youth.

Membership Promotion Committee Chair

Molly DettmannMolly Dettmann (she/her) is a teacher librarian at Norman North High School in Norman, OK. She is active in the Oklahoma Library Association, and currently serves as the Chair of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Intellectual Freedom Roundtable and Secretary for Oklahoma School Librarians. She was named the 2021 YALSA Volunteer of the Year for Team Lead/Chair for her work as Coordinator of the Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Committee. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family, especially her favorite reading buddy, her dog Coco.

Merritt Fund Promotion Committee Chair

Cyndi RobinsonCyndi Robinson is the Deputy Director of the Illinois Library Association and a past IFRT Chair and Treasurer. She reads widely, but especially loves historical fiction, mysteries, and horror. Her favorite movie is Casablanca and she has spent most of the last 37 years thinking too much about Doctor Who. A native South Sider, she is a lifelong Chicago White Sox fan. She lives in a village that is designated a National Historic Landmark with her husband, two nearly grown-up children, their greyhound Sparky, and a tortoise named Baxter.

Nominating Committee Chair

Wanda Mae HuffakerWanda Mae Huffaker is a Librarian Salt Lake County Libraries and a trustee for the Freedom to Read Foundation. She is a 2018 recipient of the PLA Gordon Conable Award, and was chair of the Utah Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee, for 10 years, one of which they won the first Gerald Hodges Award. She watches movies more than reads but does turn on closed captioning.

Oboler Award Committee Chair

Michael BlackwellMichael Blackwell, Director of St. Mary’s County Library (MD), looks forward to serving as chair of the Oboler Committee. He also serves as co-chair of the CORE Architecture for Public Libraries Group, Chair of the CORE Consortial Ebooks Interest Group, and as a member of ALA Joint Digital Content Working Group. Michael’s library underwent prolonged intellectual freedom challenges on programing and meeting room use from January of 2017 until October of 2019, when the Maryland Attorney General intervened on behalf of the library in support of First Amendment rights. He is delighted to be have an opportunity to “give back” for all the assistance and encouragement the library received from the Office for Intellectual Freedom in a challenging time.

Programming and Events Committee Chair

Stephanie BarnabySteph Barnaby is the Evening/Weekend Librarian at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. She received her Masters' in Library and Information Science at San Jose State University's School of Information in 2018. She previously worked at the Fineman & Pappas Law Libraries at Boston University's School of Law as the Evening Library Supervisor. She loves books, vegan comfort food, traveling, meeting new people, coffee, music, and Doctor Who.

Publications & Communications Committee Chair

Michael KirbyMichael Kirby is a Senior Children’s Librarian at the New York Public Library. A member of numerous committees (including NYPL”S Best Books for Children 2021), he enjoys catching up on the latest movies in his free time!

ALA Executive Board Liaison

Sam HelmickSam Helmick is the Public Services Manager at the Burlington Public Library in Iowa. Sam is a past ALA Emerging Leader and Digital Marketing Instructor for her community's college. She enjoys cosplay, attending comic cons, travel, jogging, and taking photos of her rescue kitty, Rilke. Her favorite book and quote come from Daphne du Maurier who wrote “a dreamer, I walked enchanted, and nothing held me back” in her thriller Rebecca.

Updated September 2021