Meet the Board: Katie Dunneback, Member Services Director

By Debra Andreadis

katie dunneback photo Katie Dunneback is the current Member Services Director of New Members Round Table. She is very active with the committees she supervises, and we wanted to give everyone a chance to know more about her. A directorship felt like a natural progression for her as she had been a committee chair for two years, and a member for three. She feels that most positive situations are the result of open and ongoing communication, and is promoting such communication with the committees she supervises.

Katie received her AB in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1999 and her MS in Library and Information Science from UIUC in 2003.

Katie, like many of us, worked in another field before deciding to come back to librarianship. She didn't have to look far, however, for a good role model. Her mother is a reference librarian. When asked why she decided on librarianship, Katie replied, "Frankly, I'd decided that library school was the fastest way out of the job situation I was in. The field was completely the wrong fit for my personality. I'm a third generation librarian, so it felt like a natural option for me. I should have realized it earlier when I ran an informal lending library out of my dorm room in college."

While receiving her Master of Science degree, she worked as a graduate assistant, first in the Veterinary Medicine Library for two years and then with the Instructional Technology Office for one year. This is also when she joined ALA and NMRT. During school, she was involved in her student chapter of the organization.

After graduate school, she ran into the extremely tight job market many graduates have faced. During her period of unemployment, she felt that being active in NMRT was a good way to stay connected to the field. She eventually found a part-time position with the Tinley Park Public Library where she still works one weekend a month. Soon after finding that position, she was offered a full-time position with the Westchester Public Library where she works currently. If you catch her at a conference, ask her about the time between her offer of a job at Tinley Park and obtaining her current position at Westchester.

Katie is also a writer, having published a number of articles and essays in her professional capacity. She also writes fiction and is a member the Romance Writers of America, both as a writer and a librarian. She describes herself as a huge reader and collector of books. One interesting fact she pointed in our interview was: "for a short span of time, I owned every Nora Roberts title (my picture is in The Nora Roberts' Companion). I've fallen behind in that quest :)."

She collects pottery and glassware as well as practicing beading and knitting in her spare time. She took up knitting after being the test subject for a knitting program put on by the Children's Department in her library.

When asked what else she would like to convey, her response was: "Honestly, this question had me stumped! If you spend any time with me at a conference, I'm likely to talk your ear off. I have a funky sense of humor, thanks to my family, so I'm going to stop right there before I stick my foot in my mouth." So, make sure you catch up with her at the next conference in order to discover her sense of humor for yourself!