Stacey Aldrich began her career in the great state of Maryland over 20 years ago. Since then, she has been the State Librarian of California, Pennsylvania and now Hawaii. She has also spent time working with a futuring think tank in Washington, DC, where she honed her skills in thinking about the future. She and her husband live in Hawaii Kai on Oahu with their retired greyhound and two goofy cats.
Dr. Patricia Ball
Patricia B. Ball currently works as a Branch Manager for the Cobb County Public Library System in Marietta, GA. She previously worked for Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library as a lead librarian and as a library science professor at Clark Atlanta University Library School and James Madison University. Ms. Ball serves on many ALA and LITA committees including Top Technology, Office of Information Technology Policy, E-Government and Committee on Legislation.
Dr. Clara Chu
Dr. Clara M. Chu is Director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, and Mortenson Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She held positions as a faculty member at the University of California at Los Angeles and as Department Chair of Library and Information Studies at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Chu’s research focuses on understanding the library and information needs, uses and barriers faced by multicultural communities and how they can shape information practices and institutions in the provision of equitable information access and foster social change. She has an international education, publishes, presents and consults in English and Spanish, and is currently serving on the boards of Libri and Library Trends. At the Mortenson Center, she is coordinating projects that address libraries for peace http://librariesforpeace.org/ and services to refugees https://publish.illinois.edu/projectwelcome/.
Asha is an Outreach Librarian for GLASS (Georgia Libraries for Accessible Statewide Services). She travels the state of Georgia raising awareness about GLASS and fostering partnerships with agencies that serve similar populations. Asha's goal is to engage with various service agencies--those who serve the visually impaired and the sighted alike-- to raise awareness of GLASS resources and services.
Allison Jessing joined Howard County Library System as the Events and Seminars Manager in 2015. Previously, Allison was an interpretive educator at the Smithsonian Institution for nine years where she developed collections-inspired engagement and education opportunities. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Allison graduated from the College of Communication at Boston University with an MFA in 2004 and now resides in Howard County, MD.
Jackie is the director of the Marengo Public Library. She has lived in Marengo with her husband Earnest, son Josh, daughter Anna and youngest son Jake since 2004. Jackie worked for the Iowa Valley Elementary School in the pre-school for almost 9 years. She brings to the library her passion to promote early childhood literacy and her desire to make the library a place that the whole community will enjoy. Including being at the library , she coaches high school cheerleading and is the secretary of the Marengo Recreation Council. Jackie also is an avid volunteer in the community and loves to spend time watching her children participate in school activities.
As a refugee from Laos, Touger Vang came to the United States at the age of 10 with his family to resettle in Mobile, Alabama. He completed his MLIS at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he was an ACE Scholar. Touger has been the Outreach and Programming Librarian at Yolo County Public Library, West Sacremento, California since 2015. His Hmong culture has taught him about “family” and as a result, his adult life has been spent helping immigrant and refugee families. He is a community organizer and has founded student organizations to address community needs. He is currently involved in Project Welcome; Libraries Serving Refugees and Asylum Seekers.
Tara Bannon Williamson
Tara currently works as a Senior Librarian at the Park Hill Branch Library, which is a part of the Denver Public Library system. Awarded the Nell I. Scott Employee of the Year Award in 2013, Tara continues to innovate and inspire. Tara's current pursuits include intentional community building through deliberative dialogue and civic engagement and locating Denver's best nachos.