LFI Course Materials/Bios

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Michelle Nitto, she/her, New York City, New York

Michelle is a librarian and artist located in the New York Metro area. She currently works for the City University of New York’s Office for Library Services, New York City Tech’s Library and the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Library. She is very excited to join the Library Freedom Institute’s second cohort, as she is determined to bring information about state & corporate surveillance and methods for privacy protection to library patrons of all ages. As state and local governments are testing and implementing a variety of data-driven policies for both punishment and access to services, it is imperative to generate awareness about the state of ubiquitous surveillance today.

Julia Wiswell, she/her, Pittsburg/Bay Point, California

Julia Wiswell is a Teen and Adult Services Librarian at the Pittsburg and Bay Point branches of the Contra Costa County Library. The specific communities served at her branches are mostly low income individuals with a wide variety of digital literacy rates. On a regular basis, Julia interacts with a range of patrons who understand the need for privacy measures but do not have the skills to implement it. She is excited to develop more technical skills and be able to empower staff and patrons to promote Contra Costa County, privacy in ways that are easy for users of all levels to understand.

Kimberly Trinh-Sy, she/her, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Kimberly Trinh-Sy is the adult services librarian at Franklin Library - Hennepin County Library in Minneapolis, MN. She loves her library's vibrant community and is committed to providing her patrons access to a wide variety of information and opportunities. Prior to joining the staff at Franklin Library, Kim worked as a community college librarian and taught English at the secondary level. She lives in northeast Minneapolis with her husband, three-year old daughter, and two cats.

Leigh Ann Hamel, they/them or she/her, Pelham, New Hampshire

Leigh Ann is ananishinaabekwe of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians, from rural northern Michigan. They're also an Emerging Technologies Librarian, currently based in New Hampshire, a Zine Librarian who has worked with the Forgotten Zine Archive (based in Dublin), and a folk punk enthusiast. She uses both they/them and she/her pronouns. You can usually find them in the forest.

Maty Cropley, they/them, Boston, Massachusetts

Maty originally studied clothing design and worked in the fashion industry for 15 years before following their mother's path to public librarianship. Presently, they work with teens in the Boston Public Library's Teen Central space. A particular focus of their work has been building relationships with partners to bring library outreach services to underserved and marginalized youth across the city of Boston.

Victor Benitez, he/him, Washington DC

Víctor Benítez is the Interim Manager of the Labs at DC Public Library in Washington, DC, he has been a Labs Librarian since 2014. Victor is a board member of the DC Library Association, where he has served as secretary, newsletter editor, and systems director (currently). Victor is from Chicago, completed library school at the iSchool at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Victor lives in Petworth, Washington, D.C.

Patricia B. Ball, she/her, Marietta, Georgia

Patricia B. Ball is currently the branch manager of the Joanne P. Stratton Library, a branch of the Cobb County Public Library System in Marietta, Georgia a part of Metro Atlanta. She has been a public librarian for many years. She holds a Masters of Media Technology from Alabama A&M University, Masters of Library Science from Florida State University and a Ph.D. from University of Pittsburgh. She has taught library courses at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia; Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, Shorter College, College Park, Georgia and Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia. She has also held positions with Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Her motto is to provide library services that impact and change lives. She has a passion for services to special populations, digital literacy, the digital divide and technology. These issues are relevant to privacy and surveillance. She is excited about being accepted into the Library Freedom Institute so that she can help guide her community in protecting their privacy as they engage online. She recognizes the need for the public to be informed concerning issues related to data mining, privacy and about personal data that is collected and stored as they engage online. It will not only help the public but also her colleagues in better understanding issues concerning privacy and surveillance.

Haley Holmes, she/her, San Antonio, Texas

Haley Holmes is the Coordinator of Services to Adults for the San Antonio Public Library. She oversees all programming for adults for the Library system and coordinates the four LEARN @ SAPL adult learning centers. Haley has been with the San Antonio Public Library for 14 years, serving as a branch manager for 7 of those years. Before moving to San Antonio, she worked in academic libraries and at the Library of Congress.

Andrea Puglisi, she/her, Longmeadow, Massachusetts

Andrea Puglisi is the Adult & Technology Services Director at Storrs Library, the public library of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Andrea Puglisi has a strong background in public librarianship and instructing on technology. She worked at Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield's Public Library as the Technology Engagement & Digital Services Librarian, and was a technology workshop instructor at Berkshire Community College. Her experience working in a small town and in a rural, urban library setting has given Andrea a strong understanding of the public's challenges, perceptions and competencies on technology and the issues that surround user data.

Chad Clark, he/him, Highland Park, Illinois Chad is a librarian, artist, writer and dad focused on privacy, security, and the freedom of information. He has written multiple published works that focus on the impacts of technology in informal learning environments and over the years deployed an array of recognized public art installation works spotlighting the relationship between surveillance and sound. Chad is currently the Assistant Director at Highland Park Public Library in Highland Park, IL.

Jeffrey Lambert, he/him, Queens, New York

Jeff Lambert is a librarian and technology integrator interested in how libraries serve as community hubs for lifelong learning. He has worked with public, school, and academic libraries in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York on projects ranging from 3D printing to virtual reality. As the Digital Literacy Coordinator at Queens Library, Jeff works with staff to design and implement basic-to-advanced technology classes for patrons of all ages.

Symphony Bruce, she/her, Washington, DC

Symphony Bruce is a librarian and educator who combines her background in teaching with her interest in information literacy to provide student-centered instruction. She is currently the Resident Librarian at American University Library, where she works closely with the Writing Studies Program to provide information literacy instruction to first-year students. Before arriving at AU, Symphony worked as a reference librarian at Webster University and taught high school English for six years in St.Louis, Missouri. Her research interests include information literacy for pre-service teachers, care ethics for librarianship, and online education.

Kristy Cooper, she/her, Canton, Michigan

Kristy Cooper is an Information Services Librarian at the Canton Public Library and a trustee for the Ypsilanti District Library. She also founded The Library Defense Network, which is a library advocacy organization that specializes in helping library workers and communities respond to threats to libraries when their administrations either can’t or won't fight for robust library services and funding.

Wren Kominos-Marvell, he/him, Jackson, Wyoming

Wren provides technology related services at the Teton County Library in Jackson, Wyoming. He is currently attending a MLIS program at Wayne State University. He is interested in finding new ways to educate others on the importance of internet privacy. When not corrupting the youth, you can find him learning about pen-testing.

Nicole Becwar, she/her, Gunnison, Colorado

Nicole Becwar is the Technical Services Librarian & Archivist at Western Colorado University. She teaches primary source literacy, is working with the first cohort of OER grant recipients establishing open education course materials for students on campus, and is an advisor for the Women's Student Lounge committee at Western. Nicole is also a fellow with the Colorado Association of Libraries Leadership Institute.

Megan Shanholtz, she/her, Romney, West Virginia

Megan Shanholtz is a Library Director who works in rural Appalachia ensuring that literacy, health, and educational resources are available to the community. Megan believes that libraries should serve every member of their communities, which is why her library strives to offer a diverse collection and programming. Megan works for the Hampshire County Public Library and has volunteered for both the Association of Rural and Small Libraries and the West Virginia Library Association. Megan has an MLIS from the Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

Grace Riario, she/her, Middletown, New York

Grace Riario has twenty-years of experience working in a diverse public and college libraries. Currently, she is the Deputy Director and Outreach Coordinator at the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS) in Middletown, NY. She received her MLIS from Queens College and her MPA from Penn State University as well as an advanced certificate in Public Library Administration through Long Island University. For the last seven years, she has partnered with other New York State Library Systems to develop the New York State trustee education curriculum and to update the library minimum standards. Her professional interests include educational law, open meeting law, customer service best practices, trustee education, human resources, strategic planning and cybersecurity. She listens to Intelligence Matters podcasts on her way to work.

Ellie Avis, she/her, Williams, Oregon

Ellie Avis is the branch manager of the rural Williams library, part of the Josephine Community Library District in southern Oregon. Ellie works to connect library patrons with the information and services they need to improve their lives. She has a master’s degree in city planning from UC Berkeley and previously worked as a researcher and policy analyst at the Center for Labor Research and Education. She is part of the 2019 cohort of NTEN Digital Inclusion Fellows, a year-long fellowship promoting digital literacy and internet access in underserved communities. In her free time, Ellie has been working on starting Sugarloaf Resource Center, a non-profit unschooling center, infoshop, and all-ages DIY venue.

Jonathan Hernandez Perez, he/him, Mexico City

Jonathan Hernández is an associated researcher at the Library and Information Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, he is also president of the National College of Librarians of Mexico, member of the Free Access to Information and Freedom of Expression Committee (IFLA).He is an active member of the seminar "Information and Society" of UNAM where topics such as misinformation, censorship, privacy, and digital forgotten are studied. He has participated in many conferences, seminars and workshops advocating for access to information, libraries in the 2030 Agenda, internet governance and related. His recent publications focus on information diversity on the internet, the digital forgotten and internet misinformation from a library perspective.

Qiana Johnson, she/her, Chicago, Illinois

Qiana Johnson is the Collection and Organizational Data Analysis Librarian at the Northwestern University Libraries and is the subject specialist for Global Health and Public Policy. She has worked at the Northwestern University Libraries since 2004 first as a Reference and Instruction Librarian before moving into her current position in 2014. Her recent research interests include collection assessment methods at large research libraries and strategic planning for collections. She is a member of the American Library Association's Policy Corps, a group of advocates for libraries and librarians.

Ashley J. Brown, she/her, Auburn, Alabama

Ashley J. Brown is the Engagement and Outreach Librarian at the Auburn Public Library in Auburn, Alabama. She has worked in libraries for in libraries for 17 years in various positions, but any position where she can lead a story time is her favorite. As the Engagement and Outreach Librarian, she oversees all of the library’s programs and outreach initiatives.

Stephanie Milberger, she/her, Rockwall, Texas Stephanie is a librarian for Rockwall County Library in Rockwall, Texas, where she works with teens and adults. She is currently working with a local artist and teens to create a mural for the library in response to the city’s civic arts movement. In addition to art, Stephanie is also passionate about music, live storytelling, and digital privacy. She holds an MLS from the University of North Texas and a BA in English Literature from the University of New Mexico.

Bel Outwater, she/her, Auburn, Georgia

Bel Outwater is the Library Manager for the Auburn Public Library in Auburn, GA. She lives with her husband and two spoiled dogs in Barrow County, GA, and is currently working on her Masters of Library and Information Science at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Before libraries, she worked for Borders Books (RIP) for almost a decade. She loves penguins, sloths, and dinosaurs (in that order). Hobbies are reading books, thinking about books, talking about books, and waiting for her letter to Hogwarts.

Michele Alaniz, she/her, San Francisco

Michele is a California native currently living in the Bay Area. She is a librarian who has primarily worked in the community college environment and is currently the Distance Education librarian at City College of San Francisco. She also teaches online within the Library Information Technology program at CCSF. She has a Master’s in Library & Information Science and a Master’s in Instructional Science & Technology. In her work, she focuses on distance education, user experience, accessibility and information competency. When she is not at work, she likes to grow succulents, knit socks, read mysteries and hike some trails.

Oscar Gittemeier, he/him, Atlanta, Georgia

Oscar Gittemeier currently works as the adult outreach librarian with the Fulton County Library in Atlanta. He received a BA in Sociology and an MA in Women’s Studies from Georgia State University, and a master’s in Library and Information Science with a certificate in Leadership and Management from Florida State University. Oscar is a former Beard Scholarship recipient and a graduate of the Georgia Public Library Service PINNACLE Leadership Institute. Over the last ten years he has worked as a library associate, youth services librarian, and branch manager. Oscar also serves as the Georgia Library Association Vice-President for Membership. In his free time Oscar enjoys snuggling with his labradane Jasper and hunting for the world’s greatest French toast.

Junior Tidal, he/him, New York City, New York

Junior Tidal is the Multimedia and Web Services Librarian and Associate Professor for the Ursula C. Schwerin Library at the New York City College of Technology, City University of New York. As Multimedia and Web Services librarian, he has conducted a variety of tasks including media collection development, reference support for students and faculty, server administration, web development, and supervising College Assistants for the library’s Multimedia Resource Center. His research interests include mobile web development, usability, and web analytics. Originally from Whitesburg, Kentucky, he has earned a MLS and a Master’s in Information Science from Indiana University.

Jessica Krill, she/her, Los Angeles, California Jessica Krill graduated with her MLIS in 2012 and has worked in a variety of libraries including a museum research institute, a Catholic school, and a university before moving into the realm of public libraries. She currently works as a Digital Content Librarian for Los Angeles Public Library where she creates content for the library's website, newsletters, and other digital presences. Jessica lives with her partner, Kyle, and their cats in Los Angeles. She enjoys traveling, concerts, and collecting vinyl records.

Carolyn Bennett Glauda, she/her, Highland, New York

Carolyn Bennett Glauda is the Education and Outreach Librarian at Southeastern NY Library Resources Council, a multi-type library organization with members from New York's Hudson Valley. In this role, she develops and produces professional development for librarians, educators, and library staff in the region. She has an MSIS and an MA in History from the University at Albany. Prior to being a librarian, she was at times a stage manager, a location scout, an insurance salesperson, and a bookseller.

T.J. Lamanna, he/him, Cherry Hill, New Jersey T.J. Lamanna is the emerging technologies librarian at the Cherry Hill Public Library in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. His focus is on advocating for both librarian and patron privacy concerns. The past president of the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the New Jersey Library Association as well as member of ALA's IFC Privacy Subcommittee, he spends an inordinate amount of time exploring these topics.

Tracy Treece, she/her, Denver, Colorado

Tracy Treece is the Digital Inclusion Manager at the Denver Public Library where she coordinates system-wide efforts to promote and enhance technology access and training for both the public and library staff, as well as overseeing the library's 5 makerspaces. She has been teaching technology at libraries for over a decade. Tracy is passionate about bridging the digital divide and making sure people have access to the tech tools, skills and info they need to do whatever it is they want to do.