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NLA 2015 Elections
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Candidate Bios 

Nebraska Library Association

Vice President/President Elect

Robin Bernstein

Robin has worked at the Bellevue University Library since 1978 and has been the Director since 1994. Robin received her BA in Business Administration from Bellevue University and her MLS from Emporia State University.

Robin has been very active in NLA for over 20 years and has served on several committees including the Intellectual Freedom Committee, Nominating Committee, Citations Committee, Scholarship Committee, and was the very first Chair of the newly formed Scholarship & Awards Committee in 2012. In addition, Robin chaired C&U Section in 2001/02, chaired the Citation Committee in 2004/05, and within the C&U Section, Robin chaired the Nominating Committee for many years. In 2008, Robin received the College and University Section “Distinguished Service Award,” and in 2012, Robin received the Nebraska Library Association “Presidential Award for Excellence.” Further commitments to the State include serving on the Eastern Library Board from 2006 until 2012, and as an alternate through 2013, serving as President for the 2011/12 term. Robin also served on the State Advisory Council on Libraries from 2009 through 2014.

In addition to her commitment within the State, Robin is an active member of ALA, ACRL, LAMA and MPLA. Some of the many committees Robin has served are: LAMA Membership Committee, ACRL Conference Program Planning Committee, and LAMA Statistics Section Committee. Furthermore, Robin's professional work includes conference presentations, participating on several panel sessions, and conducting numerous workshops focusing on library-related topics, computer-related topics, teambuilding, and assessment.

Robin thoroughly enjoys her job and is extremely passionate about her work. She is committed to providing the best quality service to all and hopes to continue this tradition of service on behalf of Nebraska Libraries by serving as Vice President/President of the Nebraska Library Association.

Angela Kroeger

Angela Kroeger started at the Criss Library at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1995--earlier if you count a couple of semesters as a student worker. After a year in Circulation and another year in Reference, she made her way to Cataloging, where she happily served for 16 years. In summer 2013, she transferred into Archives and Special Collections, still at the same library. Her interests include metadata, standards, and ethics, and how all of these things influence user access to library resources.

In May 2015, she completed her Master's degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Missouri. She attended the Nebraska Library Leadership Institute in 2005. She joined the Nebraska Library Association late in 2006 and served as Chair of the Paraprofessional Section in 2009-2010 and Chair of the Technical Services Round Table in 2012-2013. When not serving in an elected office, she has served as By-Laws Chair for either the Paras or TSRT. During her two Chair experiences, she enjoyed being a part of the NLA Board, and is eager to continue serving NLA.


Christa Burns

Christa Burns is the Library Development Consultant at the Nebraska Library Commission. Her duties include assisting libraries with their Strategic Planning process and E-rate applications, through training, consultation, and review. Christa also coordinates, produces, and hosts the Commission's weekly webinar series, NCompass Live.

Previously, she was the Special Projects Librarian, Technology & Access Services, at the Nebraska Library Commission. She provided organization, training, and consultation for special projects, such as E-rate, Nebraska Learns 2.0, group purchases of library products and services, and Gates Foundation Grants for libraries. In her first position at the Library Commission, she was the OCLC Member Services Coordinator for NEBASE, the OCLC Regional Service Provider for Nebraska, providing support and training on OCLC products and services at conferences and meetings across Nebraska.

Christa has been a member of NLA since 2000. She served as Secretary of the College & University Section from 2003-2005, Secretary of ITART from 2011-2015, and has been the Website Coordinator for ITART since 2013.

Before coming to Nebraska in 2000, Christa spent 8 and 1/2 years at Pace University in Westchester County, NY, starting as a Reference Librarian and working her way up to become Head of Research & Information Services. She received her MLS from the University of Albany School of Information Science and Policy in 1991, and her BA from the University of Binghamton in English Literature and Folklore.

In her spare time, Christa is a gamer, bibliophile, floriculturist, amateur chef, and cat minion.

Margaret Mering

Margaret (Meg) Mering is the Coordinator of Cataloging and Metadata at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She is a past chair of TSRT. She has presented at NLA annual conferences and spring meetings. She has served as an officer of the Serials Sections of IFLA and the American Librarian Association’s ALCTS and NASIG. As the ALCTS Planning Chair this past year, she oversaw the revision of its strategic plan. She edited and wrote the RDA Workbook with other Nebraska librarians. She was recently named a co-editor of a column for Serials Review.

MPLA Representative

Wendy Lukert

Hello everyone, my name is Wendy Lukert. I have worked at the Blair Public Library since January 2010 as the Young Adult/ Adult Services librarian up until recently.  I am currently serving as the Children’s/Adult Services Librarian. I am also currently in the process of applying to San Jose to begin working on my MLS.  I would love the opportunity to serve as the MPLA representative for NLA.


Jake Rundle

Jake is the Technology and User Services Librarian at Hastings Public Library. He's been the MPLA rep for the NLA the last three years. Prior to that, he was the chair of NLA's Young Adult Round Table.

In his spare time, he enjoys reading and going to the gym.



College & University Section

Vice-Chair/Chair Elect

Sherrie Dux-Ideus

My name is Sherrie Dux-Ideus.  I am the Resource Center Supervisor (Librarian) at Central Community College, Hastings, Nebraska.  I have worked at Central Community College since 2004.  Previously, I worked in several library positions including academic, public, and special libraries for more than twenty-five years.  I have a Master’s Degree from Emporia State University (Kansas) in Library Science, In addition, I have a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.  In addition, I have a Master’s Degree in Education also from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.  I have a Nebraska Teaching Certificate with endorsements in Library/Media and History.  I am married and have a grown daughter teaching at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Margaret Emons

I have been a librarian for 20+ years, working in special, public and academic libraries.  My educational background includes a BS from Nebraska Wesleyan University in History, English and Library Science, and MLIS from Emporia State University.   I am currently University Librarian at Cochrane-Woods Library, Nebraska Wesleyan University.  Previously I held positions at Iowa Central Community College, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln Public Libraries, and the Nebraska State Historical Society.  I am also active in National History Day and the Center for Great Plains Studies.

Terri Rickel

My name is Terri Rickel and I have worked for the University of Nebraska Libraries since October 2001.  Even though I have been on staff here for a while, I am still relatively new NLA.  I am working for User Services which includes Interlibrary Loan and Circulation.  I serve as the ILL Lending Team Leader.  Since the merge of ILL and Circulation, new doors and opportunities have opened up to me.  I attended my first NLA in the fall of 2013 at which I gave a presentation sponsored by ITART on Microsoft Lync.  Since then, I have presented at the C & U Section Meeting on Camtasia and flipping the classroom, the ITART spring meeting where I presented on workflows using Popplet and Prezi, as well as NLA last fall where a co-worker and I presented about conflict, team building, and leadership.   

I attended the Nebraska Library Leadership Institute and have gained in knowledge as well as experience in leadership and team building.  This year, I have earned a Masters in TLTE with a specialty of teaching with technology.  I have served as secretary for the NMRT and continue to try and become a stronger, more experienced leader in the library community, especially in the areas of instruction and technology. I look forward to putting all these skills to use for the C & U section and NLA as a vice-chair.


Holli Duggan

Holli Duggan is the Distance Education & E-Resources Librarian at Concordia University in Seward. Holli received her MA from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2011. She also holds a master's degree in learning technologies from UNL (2014) and just completed her first semester in UNL's Educational Studies Ed.D. program (hoping to focus on online learners and libraries).

Holli has served as the C&U secretary from 2013-2015 and would be delighted to continue in this role. 

Jayne Germer

Jayne Germer has been at Doane College since 2007, first as the Collection Development Librarian and now as the Learning & E-resources Librarian. Her previous professional positions were at Cloud County Community College in Kansas, where she worked as a librarian for 14 years and then as the library director for 3 years. She was a member of the Kansas Library Association from 1990 to 2007. During that time she was involved in the college and university libraries section, serving as president 2006-2007; the library instruction round table, which she chaired 1999-2000; and the two-year college libraries interest group. She also has been a long-time member of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Library Instruction Round Table, and the Reference and User Services Association. In addition, she had the honor to be selected and attend the Mountain-Plains Library Association's Leadership Institute in 2014.

Paraprofessional Section

Vice-Chair/Chair Elect

Willa Bitney-Garay

Willa worked at Lincoln City Libraries as a paraprofessional and a Library Assistant from February 2009 to May of 2011. While working as a stay at home parent she continued to study Library Science and was awarded the 21st Century Librarian Scholarship in August 2011. In May, 2013, Willa earned her Master of the Arts in Library Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She currently works as a newsletter writer for News Link.


Janet Gresser

I have worked at the Nebraska Library Commission for 20 some years in their Computer Department (no details you might guess my age). Of that time I have been a member of the Para Section for almost all of it. I am not a Librarian, but I tell my family I play one 8-5 M-F then my calling card says I am an Infrastructure Support Analyst (big words for Computer Helpdesk, I do just about what anyone asks me to do and if I don’t know how I find them one of my experts). I have been on the Para Board before in different positions, currently the Webmaster & Bylaws Chair. Being on the board I know how we handle most items that come up – as a team. That is a blessing so when what needs to be done can and will be done by the team member who has the time, knowledge, ability, or comfort level (I don’t like to call people I’m more comfortable face to face so that task gets handed off). I have a great deal of flexibility in my office so going to meetings (board, planning, etc, as long as there are snacks).

Public Library and Trustee Section

Vice Chair/Chair Elect

Stephanie O'Connor

Hello, I am Stephanie O’Connor, the Library Director of the Alliance Public Library. I am a nominee for the position of Vice Chair of the Public Library and Trustee Section of the Nebraska Library Association.

I have been at my library for 8 years, during which I served the first three years in the role of the Children’s Librarian. I have been a lifelong user of libraries and I know full well that the key to a successful library is the strong support of the community that hosts it. Funding for libraries has been challenged recently in so many ways, and my library here in Alliance has been no exception. As our Library Director, I have had to take a stand on several levels to protect our library’s funding, with the most challenging of those stands being the introduction of a non-resident fee being implemented in our library policy. When challenged with a strained collection that was not being funded by many of our non-resident users, I was tasked with finding ways to increase our materials budget to meet the demand being placed upon it. And, while the decision to begin a $25 annual fee for non-residents did not win me any popularity votes with our county users, it did allow for us to use the funds from these fees to increase our book buying ability. I spent many hours speaking to local organizations about the importance of this fee and what it meant to the success of our library. I found that through patient understanding of both sides I was able to bring about an understanding of how important the support of the library is by ALL that use and benefit from it. This process taught me that listening, understanding, and responding to all those concerned is what results in great support for libraries. When using these guidelines, I think the possibilities for every library at the center of a community are endless. Encouraging citizens to get out and know what the possibilities of their library are is the crucial key to its support.  This approach has worked for us here in Alliance thus far, and I would like the opportunity to share ideas with libraries across the state on ways we have advocated here in Alliance while hearing and learning from their stories of success. 

I have been a resident of Nebraska for 20 years. My educational background includes Bachelor’s degrees in Business Management and Library Information Management.  A current project for our library is the completion of our basement to hold the Children’s Library, which will again require a very large undertaking of advocacy on my part. I would like nothing more than to share my experiences here with others and in turn to have the opportunity to learn from them as well.

Deb Robertson

The first thing Deb Robertson does after arriving at a new library is join the state library association -- which she did when she returned to Nebraska the fall of 2013.  After that she begins to look for leadership opportunities, which is why she wholeheartedly accepted this nomination to run for the Vice Chair/Chair Elect position of the Public Library and Trustee Section.  Deb is currently serving as the director of the public library in York where is involved in several community organizations and projects.  Since earning her MLS degree from Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, in 2000 Deb has directed academic libraries at community colleges in Nebraska and Virginia and at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa.  While in Iowa, Deb’s passion for working with others and providing educational opportunities led into an appointment to the Iowa Library Association and Iowa Association of School Librarians joint steering committee working to strengthen information literacy opportunities for students in Iowa schools and colleges.  In 2012 Deb accepted an appointment by Iowa’s Governor Branstad to represent libraries on the NW Iowa STEM Advisory Board.  Before leaving Nebraska in 2006, Deb was instrumental in developing the coursework for what is now the LIS degree offered through Central Community College in Nebraska.  Deb has also been fortunate to be selected to attend the Nebraska Library Leadership Institute in 2001, the Mountain Plains Leadership Institute in 2002, and the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)/EDUCAUSE Leading Change Fellowship, held in Washington, D.C., in 2013.  If elected, Deb Robertson will be thrilled to lead the PLTS of NLA.

Heather St. Clair

I began volunteering at my local library when I was fourteen and that lead to a job working there. I worked in a variety of libraries all the way through college. I was co-chair for the Student Chapter of SLA and help organize and hold the  I received my MLIS in 2008 from the University of Hawaii, and while there I was co-chair for the Student Chapter of SLA and helped organize and hold the library program’s first annual mini-conference, highlighting the work of the students with a poster session and presentations.

I began my professional career at the Columbus (NE) Public Library, , as their Reference Librarian. I have since moved to Ashland and  am the Director of the Ashland Public Library. I have spent my time here working towards a new building, which opened earlier this year and am currently working on expanding our services to the community.

I am also interested in becoming more involved in the library community, as the PLTS vice-chair. I enjoyed serving on the student SLA board and would like to serve in a similar capacity, bringing workshops to and keeping library employees and trustees informed about the current state and future of public libraries.

School, Children's, & Young People's Section

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect

Jill Annis

I'm heading into my 18th year of teaching and have 10 years of library experience.  I began teaching 4th-6th grades for 8 years, and I had the opportunity to become an elementary school librarian at Peter Sarpy Elementary in Bellevue.  After finishing my practicum through UNO at Mickle Middle School, I felt a push to move up.  I became the school librarian at Elkhorn Ridge Middle School and remained in that position for four years.  When an opportunity came my way to help open a new middle school in Elkhorn, I jumped right in.  I am currently at Elkhorn Grandview Middle School and am also the YA Golden Sower Readers Coordinator.  I've been happily married for 16 years to my husband, Brad, and have a daughter (Hanna) who will be in 6th grade and a son (Caden) who will be in 2nd. 

Karen Berry

I have worked for Omaha Public Library for 21 years.  I’m presently located at the Bess Johnson Elkhorn Branch.  My current title is Youth Service Librarian.   I enjoy my job and location very much.   I love it that I get to work will all ages of youth.     One of the many joys I receive from my job is that I get to see children excited about reading.   I enjoy  learning all the new technology that is coming to libraries and how we can  be  stepping stone to the future for our patrons

I have two adult children and I enjoy traveling, reading and  meeting new people.

Special & Institutional Section

Special Election to be held at Conference

New Members Round Table

Vice-Chair/Chair Elect

Allison Buss

My name is Allison Buss and I live in Norfolk, Nebraska. I’m the Library Technical Services Specialist at Northeast Community College. I’m responsible for cataloging incoming material, maintaining serials, and assisting students with research and resources. I spend most of my days happily navigating the ins and outs of MARC records. Prior to joining the library world, I taught 6th grade English for three years and enjoyed introducing new novels to the young readers in my classroom.

I love coffee, coffee-flavored ice cream, and dark chocolate. My husband, Chance, and I like to road trip during the summer and we have one dog, named Luna, who keeps us laughing. We recently embarked on the adventure of home-ownership, and are tackling one renovation project at a time. 

Terri Rickel

My name is Terri Rickel and I have worked for the University of Nebraska Libraries since October 2001.  Even though I have been on staff here for a while, I am still relatively new NLA.  I am working for User Services which includes Interlibrary Loan and Circulation.  I serve as the ILL Lending Team Leader.  I attended my first NLA in the fall of 2013 at which I gave a presentation sponsored by ITART on Microsoft Lync.  Since then, I have presented at the C & U Section Meeting, the ITART spring meeting, as well as NLA last fall.   I attended the Nebraska Library Leadership Institute and have gained in knowledge as well as experience in leadership and team building.  This year, I have earned a Masters in TLTE with a specialty of teaching with technology.  I look forward to putting all these skills to use for NMRT and NLA.


Julie Kirk

My name is Julie Kirk and I work at the UNL Libraries.  I’ve worked at the UNL Libraries since 2001- most of that time at C.Y. Thompson Library (CYT), the library on UNL’s East Campus.  While at CYT, I was the main contact person for Interlibrary Loan, local Document Delivery, Financial Services, General Library Supplies and Payroll- a little of everything.  For the last 6 months I’ve moved to Love Library and am now working with Interlibrary Loan Borrowing team and am responsible for ordering materials through our Interlibrary Loan Purchasing Project. 

I attended my first NLA Conference the fall of 2014 and really enjoyed it.  I would like to be more involved with New Members Roundtable to help create a rich inviting atmosphere for first time attendees.  I am looking forward to becoming more involved in the organization and to further the NLA mission.  

Jessica Votipka

Jessica Votipka is the director of the Exeter Public Library (Exeter, Neb.). She started working at the library in several years ago as the Assistant Librarian. As director of Exeter’s library, she has written several grant applications. Grant monies awarded to the Exeter Public Library have been instrumental in establishing a “Tech Lounge”, which includes a computer designed for children ages 2-8. Plans and fundraising are underway for major renovations to the library’s park (Storybook Park). This is a joint effort between Jessica and the Exeter Public Library Board.

Since becoming a member of the Nebraska Library Association, Jessica has joined the editorial staff of Nebraska Libraries. She is certified by the Nebraska Library Commission, and is working towards her Cataloging Certificate.

Prior to her adventures in librarianship, Jessica was a journalist. She is a 2007 graduate of Doane College-Crete, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in Speech Communication. During her time at Doane, Jessica was a staff member of The Doane Owl, competed on the forensics team, and was on the editorial staff of Xanadu (Doane College’s literary journal). She looks forward to someday earning her master’s degree in library science, and getting more involved in the profession’s learning and leadership opportunities. Jessica hopes that serving as NMRT secretary will be included in these pursuits. 

Intellectual Freedom Round Table

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect

Michael Elsener

Michael Elsener received his Master’s degree in Information Science and Learning Technologies through the University of Missouri in 2013. Previously, Michael worked as an English teacher in Taiwan and taught civics classes to immigrants and refugees at the Lincoln Literacy Council. Michael was a project manager for youth aging out of foster care in Nebraska and is a community leader working with at risk young adults with a serious mental health diagnosis. Michael is also an active member of the Lincoln Homeless Coalition and Street Outreach Committee.

Michael worked as a library service associate in Lincoln, Nebraska and completed his internship at Polley Music Library. He is an avid reader of non-fiction and a lifelong learner of science and history. Through his library work, he learned about the need to focus on intellectual freedom and believes in unlimited access to information without restriction. He is a passionate believer of providing cutting edge library services to the community. Through all of his work, he emphasizes training, learning, and contributing to the theories and practice of library studies.

Sue Ann Gardner

Sue Ann Gardner, MLS
Scholarly Communications Librarian
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Biographical information
I currently work with two publishing experts, Paul Royster and Linnea Fredrickson, in the area of scholarly communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. We help build the public repository at UNL, making scholarship freely available to anyone with access to an Internet connection. We also publish scholarly books. I have been working in this area since 2008, and was a cataloger, map librarian, and science librarian before that. I have been a librarian since 1992, and have worked in libraries since I volunteered at my local public library when I was 13 years old.
Candidate’s statement
Information freedom refers to more than just challenges to specific titles in public and school libraries. It’s about easy access to information that helps us make decisions, participate fully as citizens, communicate effectively in all spheres of life, and realize our full potential. The most challenging threats to overcome are the subtle ones. It behooves us to work together to be vigilant to ensure that information remains free. As vice chair and chair, I would work to bring issues of interest to the membership and help bring meaningful programs to the statewide conferences.

Information Technology and Access Round Table

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect

Paul "Pete" Fey

Pete Fey has been intrigued by the intersection of libraries and technology ever since the summer of 2000, when he discovered he could play Age of Empires II on the computers at the A.V. Sorensen library. He is now a clerk at the Downtown Branch in Omaha. When not at the information desk he can be found reading, writing poetry, or searching for loose change to pay his library fines.


Technical Services Round Table

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect

Melanie Feyerherm Schultz

Melanie F. Schultz is currently the Collection Processing Manager at Omaha Public Library. She has held various roles at Omaha Public Library since 2010 and started her library career at Baright Public Library (Ralston, NE) in 2009. Prior to entering the library world, she spent time working with youth as an AmeriCorps volunteer and was a training manager at a data management system company in Colorado.

Melanie earned her master’s degree in library science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Melanie is a member of NLA and ALA and has served as the Secretary of NLA’s Young Adult Round Table from 2011-2012 and served as an ALA Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Blog Advisory Board Member from 2011-2013.  In 2011, she received the BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant for Baright Public Library’s young adult collection. 
Melanie attended the Nebraska Library Leadership Institute in 2013 and participated in OPL’s grant-funded community engagement facilitation project over the past two years.

Melanie is passionate about the future of libraries and the ways that traditional technical services can evolve. As Vice Chair, Melanie would be interested in finding more ways for TSRT members across the state to connect, share ideas and learn from each other.

Allison Reisig

I am the Technical Services Librarian at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff, Ne.  Before coming to work at the college I was the Director of the Morrill Public Library for five years.  During my time at the public library, I oversaw many large projects including adding our collection to an ILS and then joining the Panhandle Library Consortium a few years later.  At the college I oversee all the cataloging and processing of new materials, as well as editing the website.

During my lack of free time I enjoy spending time with my two children, husband, and our menagerie of animals.  I also enjoy gardening, crocheting, and trying to make my way through my constantly growing “to be read” pile.

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