2021 WLA Library Career Lab Panelists

Career Lab Home | Why Work in Libraries?Panelist Biographies


Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Every Level of Your Library
Monday, May 3 | 12-1 p.m.

Danielle Miller
has been the director and regional librarian at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library since 2008. She has also worked in public and academic libraries. Danielle got her start by working as the assistant to the Dean at the UW iSchool and falling in love with the school and all things library.


CiKeithia Pugh has a background in early learning and family engagement. Her direct service experiences include work in early childhood centers, home visiting and library settings. CiKeithia is also a a trained and experienced Race and Social Justice facilitator. Her work includes leading conversations around race, working with systems level and grassroots community organizations in talking about race.

Dominica Myers
is Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at King County Library System.

Jessica Koshi-Lum (she/hers) is the Associate Dean of the Library at Renton Technical College. Hailing from Honolulu, she started her library career working as a circulation assistant at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa libraries in 2008 after a few years working as a makeup artist at various department stores. Since then, she has worn many hats from being a reference assistant for a graduate research library to being a tenure-track faculty librarian in the community and technical college system. On top of being a dean, she is also currently pursuing her Doctorate of Education in Leadership at the City University of Seattle, where her research interests revolve around Asian American library leaders in the community college setting and Critical Race Theory.

Nic Figley started as a fine artist in college but became more involved with researching history, eventually working for the library at their university. Reading and explorative learning were a big element in their childhood, as was activism, which informed their interest in the pubic library realm. It felt like a natural shift for them.
Their values and sense of social justice are what Nic believes has allowed them to connect strongly with public libraries. Nic has kept their career trajectory loose, but specifically looks for places where they can find allies and help influence library systems positively. This has been their waystone in life.
So You Want to Work in Academic Libraries?
Wednesday, May 5 | 12-1 p.m.
  Caitlan Maxwell is a Student Engagement Librarian at Western Washington University Libraries. Before that she worked at the University of Washington Bothell/Cascadia College Library and the UW Foster Business Library. She has an MLIS from UW.
  Lydia Bello started working in public libraries as a shelver, studied the history of the built environment in undergrad, and went to library school to become an archivist. In library school she discovered science librarianship as a career and after graduation became a STEM Librarian at the Claremont Colleges Library in Southern California before moving to Seattle University.
  Ben Tucker completed his MLIS in 2010 at UW iSchool, and worked at Amazon on Kindle book content doing copyright and other work. He started at University of Puget Sound in 2012 as a social sciences liaison, but his portfolio has always been quite varied there. In addition to instruction, reference, and collection management, Ben managed the university’s institutional repository, conducted UX research, worked with media collections, and served on faculty committees. In 2020 he transitioned to a role of Digital Projects & Outreach Librarian. Currently he chairs Digital Projects Team, organizes and leads library’s open education resources and open access scholarship efforts. Ben also provides library support for Freedom Education Project Puget Sound (FEPPS) – a liberal arts program for women at Washington Corrections Center for Women.

Caitlin Bagley got her start in libraries after college from a referral from a friend in her Latin class, who knew of a place that was hiring.  She started as a circulation manager at a small theological library, where almost everything catalogued was in the Bs. This work motivated her to get her MLS at Indiana University. From there, she got her first job as a reference librarian at Murray State University, and after a few years there, she ended up across the country in Spokane at Gonzaga University, where she’s now a Reference & Instruction librarian, and chair of the library faculty.

  Elena Maans-Lorincz exercised her passion for sharing information by being a docent every summer from age 12 to 18 at her local small town museum.  From that experience she went on to get an undergraduate degree in United States History from Dominican University. She continued at Dominican, getting her MLIS with a focus in academic libraries. Elena started her career in academic libraries as an adjunct librarian at Moraine Valley Community College where her passion for community colleges was discovered.  After spending time working as the Outreach Librarian for Yakima Valley Libraries, since 2016 she has been the Outreach Librarian at Bellevue College and she could not be happier serving the Bellevue College community!
  Laura Dimmit Smyth came to academic libraries after discovering that, while she did not want to be a full-time college instructor, she still wanted to engage with and support college learners. Laura completed her MSLS degree at UNC-Chapel Hill while working as a Graduate Assistant at the R.B. House Undergraduate Library, which provided invaluable experience in information literacy instruction, reference, and printer-repair. After graduation, Laura followed a job offer to Washington state, and she has been a librarian for fine arts and other assorted humanities disciplines at the UW Bothell & Cascadia College Campus Library since 2016.
 More than a Résumé Line: Advancing Your Career Through an Association 
Friday, May 7 | 12-1:30 p.m.
Ahniwa Ferrari
is the Associate Dean of Library Operations at The Evergreen State College. His career includes work at community colleges as well as private and public colleges and universities.
  Alycia Ensminger is the Assistant Manager at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library. With experience in both the private and public sectors, Alycia has worked at the global architecture and design firm NBBJ, PNC Bank, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the University of Pittsburgh's Library System. After graduating with an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh during the Great Recession, her interests in public and academic librarianship gave way to incredible and unexpected adventures in the world of special libraries.
  Hillary Marshall is the Library Media Specialist at Washougal High School and has spent 25 years in education. Prior to working in the Washougal School District, she taught fourth grade and was an Elementary Library Media Specialist in the Sumner School District; she also taught overseas as a Library Media Specialist in the Philippines, Brazil and South Korea for 12 years. Through networking and continually cultivating her passion for working in school libraries, she recently joined Antioch University, Seattle as an Adjunct Professor.
  Rick Stoddart (pronouns he/his) is the former President and current Treasurer of the Pacific Northwest Library Association. He believes libraries and librarians play an essential role in changing lives and building communities. He works at the University of Oregon Libraries as their Library Assessment and Strategic Communications Coordinator to articulate library value and impact to stakeholders.
  Steven Bailey attended the University of Washington’s iSchool, earning his MLIS in 2005. A Directed Fieldwork at the Burien Library, part of the King County Library System, during graduate school led directly to a position as an Adult Services Librarian with KCLS in 2006. Eighteen months later, he was hired as the Branch Manager of the Auburn Library, a position he held until KCLS restructured in 2012, and he transitioned to Librarian Services Manager, a regional position overseeing collections, programming, and community outreach for multiple KCLS branches (currently six locations in South King County). In 2013, Steven joined WLA and was appointed to a two-year term on the Alki Editorial Board. In 2014, he was accepted into a yearlong leadership development program with the Leadership Institute of South Puget Sound, and in 2015 he completed the ALA Leadership Institute, a four-day immersive program. Steven has served on ALA’s BRASS committee for business reference, interned with ALA’s Chapter Relations Committee, and currently serves on ALA Council as the chapter councilor for WLA.

 Taking Care of Yourself at Work 
Monday, May 10 | 12-1 p.m.
  Elizabeth Iaukea started working at her local public library as a volunteer page at age 12 and progressed to paid position in multiple roles while attending college. After a gap year traveling, she got her MLIS at FL State Univ. and promptly moved cross-county to Seattle to work for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, traveling the US installing computers in libraries and training library staff to use them. She left the Foundation as the US Library Program was winding down to work for 6 years at the State Library as Bibliographic Instruction Librarian and then Statewide Library CE Coordinator. Another 6 years saw her make the rounds working in all 3 public libraries in Pierce County. She currently works at the State Library, combining her passions for supporting library staff and their communities to use and embrace new technology, advance their careers, solidify public libraries as valued partners in workforce development, and bridging the digital divide.
  Crystal Alberthal accidentally started her career in libraries in 1995, working a part time evening job in a corporate library while attending college. Five years later she accepted a full time position at the University of Washington Gallagher Law Library and has been there ever since. She completed her BA in Society, Ethics & Human Behavior at the University of Washington and her MLIS at the University of Washington iSchool. Crystal has worked in Technical Services and Public Services. While she enjoys the challenge of teaching legal research, conducting legal reference and directly helping library patrons, she is most passionate about the acquisitions to discovery process of library resources, and became Head of Technical Services in the fall of 2020. Crystal is an active member of regional and national library associations: AALL, WLA, NASIG, LLOPS (AALL local chapter) and WestPac (AALL regional chapter).
  Debra Westwood recently retired after 30 years in public libraries — most recently as manager of a group of 6 branches in a busy, urban system. Debra teaches workshops on change management and on workplace and personal resilience through Seattle’s Primary Source and through the CA State Library. She brings a broad spectrum of experience to her presentations, everything from from the corporate world to the Boy Scouts to Weight Watchers, and takes pride in examining topics related to personal growth and development with humor, respect, and compassion.
  Kris Barnes' love for the library began as a child climbing the steps of the Book Mobile over 60 years ago! But her library career began 35 years ago. She worked in circulation, performed story time, and provided reference services. She was a Library Supervisor for over 20 years and supervised the day-to-day operations of a community library. 4 months ago, she challenged myself and applied for the Customer Service Manager position at Spokane County Library District. To her surprise, she was offered the position. Kris now oversees the schedule, customer service, and implementation of circulation services at 11 branches.
So You Want to Work in Public Libraries? 
Wednesday, May 12 | 12-1:30 p.m.
  Rickey Barnett began his career in libraries as a student library assistant at the University of Kentucky (UK) while studying music in his undergraduate career. However, he soon realized that libraries not only interested him greatly, but that he should seriously consider a career as a librarian. After finishing his degree in music, he immediately enrolled in the Master’s of Library and Information Science program at UK. Rickey was a Graduate Assistant for a few months before accepting a position managing collection maintenance and catalog projects for the University. Upon completing his MSLS, Rickey was ready for something new in his career, so he accepted his first public library position at Sno-Isle Libraries. He has worked at Sno-Isle Libraries for five years now.
Jannah Minnix
is a Librarian at Sno-Isle Libraries. She currently serves as Vice Chair/Chair-Elect of the Washington Library Association's Public Library Division.
  Josephine Yaba Camarillo started her career as a Children's and Young Adult Librarian in a small, rural library in 2000. It was her first professional job after graduating Library School and a perfect stepping stone towards working in a larger city and system. However, after being in her role for 15 years, she has never felt so much at home and a sense of real belonging in a small town. When she moved up to Library Director in 2016, she was absolutely certain she was meant to stay and help grow her library to its potential. She's a big city girl with a small town heart.
Jennifer Vaughn began working for the Navy’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation department in 2015. Serving service members and their families was deeply gratifying work, so when her husband got stationed in Bremerton, Washington, Jennifer hoped to find a similar job in their new community. She was hired as a library assistant at Kitsap Regional Library in 2018. Within a few months Jennifer entered the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Undergraduate Library Science program, and she will be graduating this winter. KRL has helped her grow professionally and begin to build a career she loves.
Melissa Little changed careers to libraries after 10 years in bookstore management. She started as a part-time library assistant with Anaheim Public Library (CA). She worked on all the services desks as well as the bookmobile. That helped her decide to begin work on her MLIS. Melissa was able to get a full-time job as a Circulation Supervisor at the Palos Verdes Library District (CA) while in school. Upon completion of her MLIS, she was hired as the Access Services Manager for the Beaverton City Library (OR). Recently she took a position as an Area Manager for NCW Libraries.
Robbin Price has worked in libraries since 1989, starting as a public children's librarian in California, moving on to be a middle school librarian in Bellevue, WA, and coming full circle to be a children's librarian again for King County Library System. Even when she took a break to do the home-with-little-kids gig, she couldn't resist doing story times at the preschool and making booklists for the other parents. (You can take the librarian out of the library, but....) She firmly believes that she has the best job in the world. Teen and adult services librarians have it pretty good, but she thinks her patrons are cuter.
Stephanie Zero has worked for King County Library System for 20 years, 13 years as a Teen Services Librarian, and seven years as a Library Assistant before that. She came to the library field with a journalism background and a background in the culinary arts. She was at a turning point in her career when she reflected that wherever she lived, she had always volunteered at the library. She took that as a sign that she should pursue a career in the library field. Stephanie received her MLIS degree from the University of Washington iSchool in 2007, and her first Teen Services Librarian position was at Maple Valley Library in 2008. She has been serving the community of the City of Redmond since 2013. She is known for her work with LGBTQ+ youth and is passionate about providing space for Queer youth to reduce isolation and have a sense of belonging.
Why Work in Libraries?
Saturday, May 15 | 12-1 p.m.
  Nancy Garrett has worked for nearly 20 years as a Teen Services Librarian at the Lake City Branch of Seattle Public Library, providing reference, reader's advisory, and community outreach services and coordinating an after school Homework Help program for K-12 students. She also provides college prep, job readiness, and paid teen internship programs for high school students. In addition, she offers programming for middle school students to build skills and support social-emotional learning and growth.
  Sara Peté is currently the Community Outreach Librarian at the Washington State Library where she coordinates AskWA: The Statewide Virtual Reference Cooperative, co-manages the Washington Center for the Book with her colleague Linda Johns at The Seattle Public Library, and manages the WSL’s social media accounts. Before joining WSL in 2019, she spent 15 years at the Olympia Timberland Library where she was the head of the branch’s adult services department. Sara got her MLIS at Dominican University in Chicago and she worked in libraries at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago while she was a student.
  Sara Jones is the Washington State Librarian. She previously served as the director of the Marin County Free Library from July 2013-February 2021. Prior to her time in California, Jones held positions in Nevada libraries for 25 years, including serving as the Carson City Library Director, the Elko-Lander-Eureka County Library System Director and Youth Services Coordinator, and Nevada State Librarian and Administrator of the State Library and Archives from 2000-2007.
  TuesD Chambers serves as a teacher librarian at Ballard High School in Seattle Public Schools. She has been an educator for over twenty years and earned her MEd in Professional Development and Leadership with a media library endorsement. She teaches digital leadership, literacy, and 21st century skills to students and was chosen as the Washington State Teacher Librarian of the Year for 2019. She has presented at ISTE, SXSW EDU, and OC6 about the intentional use of technology to impact the learning and culture of a school. She is a firm believer in the power of collaboration and works with teachers and librarians to create student-centered classrooms in her role as a Content Library Specialist. Find her on Twitter @BeaverReaders, or Instagram at @beaverreadersbhs as she loves to connect with other passionate educational leaders.
Brianna Hoffman
is the Executive Director for the Washington Library Association; she is also a Project Coordinator with WebJunction.
Library School 101
Monday, May 17 | 4-5 p.m.
  Emily Keller has been the Political Science and Public Policy Librarian at UW Libraries, Seattle campus since 2007. Her first library job was working at the Allen Information Desk, and then as a Graduate Reference Assistant in Suzzallo Reference and Government Publications while she earned her MLIS, which she completed in 2002. Her first job was as a reference & instruction librarian at the University of Washington Tacoma campus library. She also worked at the Pierce College Library, Puyallup campus. She is active in the Washington Library Association and currently serves as the Past-President.
  Alena Wolotira is the Head of Public Services at the University of Washington School of Law's Gallagher Law Library. She received her B.A. (2007) and M.L.I.S. (2011) from the University of Washington and her J.D. (2010) from Gonzaga University School of Law. Alena oversees the law librarianship intern program at Gallagher, where UW iSchool students specializing in law librarianship get practical experience working as Gallagher Public Services employees. Alena lives across the Puget Sound from Seattle in Kingston, Washington, where she lives with her partner, her two-year old child, a dog, a cat, and a yard full of bees.
  Cindy Aden graduated from the UW Ischool and was hired to work as an intern at the Library of Congress. After two years she returned to the NW for a position at UW as a graduate reference librarian. While at UW, Cindy also served as a reference librarian at the undergraduate library and head of circulation at the Gallagher Law Library. She was recruited to be an Associate Director for Public Services at Kitsap Regional Library, a public library, then headed up cataloging at Amazon.com and Corbis. OCLC recruited her to be in business development, where she worked with Silicon Valley companies on partnerships with libraries, with companies like Google, Goodreads, and Yelp. She was the Washington State Librarian for 4 years before coming to UW to teach as the Professor of Practice.
  Sarah O’Hare is a new Librarian on the Career Resources and Business Services team with the Spokane County Library District and is a recent MLIS graduate from the University of Arizona. She also holds an MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and she is a co-Chair for the City of Spokane’s Ethics Commission. Her current dream job is the Library Manager position for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
So You Want to Work in School Libraries?
Wednesday, May 19 | 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  Elizabeth Roberts is in her 10th year as a school librarian. Her first 4 years she was the K-12 teacher-librarian at an international school in Brazil. Upon returning home to the US, she joined the Bellevue School District as an elementary librarian. She is also in her third year as the Information Literacy Curriculum Developer for the K-2 Librarians in Bellevue. Elizabeth is serving her second year as Secretary/Communications on the Washington Library Association School Library Division.
Sarah Logan began her career as a secondary English teacher.  She earned her MLIS in 2012 and began working as a Teacher Librarian at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, CA.  In 2015, Sarah moved to Vancouver, WA and accepted a position as Teacher Librarian at Dorothy Fox Elementary School in Camas, WA.  She loves serving the families at DFE, and currently serves as the chair of WLA's School Library Division.
Rebecca Wynkoop is in her 20th year as a teacher librarian. She started her career at a K-12 independent school in Seattle and then moved to Seattle Public Schools after 5 years. For the last 15 years she has worked K-8 at Eckstein Middle School, Daniel Bagley Elementary School and she has had the honor and privilege of opening a brand new school, and library, at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School. Rebecca is currently the School Library Division Board Member for the Washington Library Association.
Christina Larrechea has spent over 20 years in education. She started as a High School ELA teacher while getting her MS in School Libraries. She has worked four years in elementary school libraries, over 10 years in middle school libraries, and seven years in high school libraries. Christina was also the Teacher Librarian in charge of the district elementary school paras that worked in school libraries, and she also taught several collegiate classes, both traditional in-person and online/hybrid classes in Children's Literature and created and taught a YA Literature class, both at Fresno Pacific University. She is currently the Teacher Librarian at Frontier Middle School in Vancouver, WA in the Evergreen Public Schools district.
Pamela Johnson serves as the librarian for a private Junior High/High school of about 500 students. In addition, she manages the K-12 digital resources (such as Britannica School, NewsBank, Learn360, and EBSCO) for a school district of over 1,000 students and faculty. Pamela started her career as an assistant in a K-6 elementary library, and has almost 10 years of experience in school libraries. She is in her third year earning an MLIS from the University of Washington. Prior to finding her passion in the library sciences, Pamela worked 23 years as a technical writer, including work for Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard.
Michelle Batali taught high school business education for 10 years. She went back to school and added her library media endorsement. Michelle completed her internship in a junior high school. This is her 4th year as a middle school librarian. Now she gets to work with almost every teacher in her school and gets to see every student in her school.
Morgen Larsen
is a Librarian at Central Valley High School.
Interview "Speed Dating"
Friday, May 21 | 12-1:30 p.m.
  Kate Laughlin has worked in service and management for more than 30 years, including over 20 of those working in or with libraries on the front lines, in circulation and reference provision, branch management, staff training, strategic planning, and association management. Kate has a passion for service excellence and the furthering of libraries and their missions. Before "going rogue" in 2007, Kate was the Staff Training Coordinator for The Seattle Public Library. Since then she has trained in and consulted with dozens of small and rural libraries and previously served as the Conference Coordinator and then Executive Director for the Washington Library Association. Kate has also worked with the national Association for Rural & Small Libraries since early 2018 and became its Executive Director in 2020.
Changing Course in Your Career
Monday, May 24 | 12-1 p.m.
  Crystal Miller is a Business and Career Development Librarian at the Spokane County Library District and has been working in libraries for 16 years. She has a master’s degree in library and information science from Simmons University and has worked at the Harvard Development Office Library, MIT Libraries, and the Coeur d’Alene Public Library. When she is not at the library, she can be found at the dog park with her two fur babies or with a cookbook in hand, flipping through the pages, looking for the next recipe to try out.
  Cadi Russell Sauvé started her career in academic libraries, moved into program evaluation and research around public access to technology at public libraries, and now finds herself in e-commerce. She is currently at REI.com building taxonomies, modeling ontologies, aiding natural language auto-classification, and promoting data completeness and consistency across all REI's offerings to encourage people to head outdoors. In her spare time she can be found backpacking the Pacific North West, glamping when dehydrated food isn’t appealing, hiking, gardening, and walking her cat around the neighborhood.
Darcy Brixey
started as a page so many years ago and decided library work was where she wanted to be. From college music libraries, to circulation desks, she found joy. Darcy spent over twenty years in public libraries and recently made a change to schools.
  Georgia Reitmire has had just about every job a person can do. She worked in retail, sold insurance, been a receptionist, a dental assistant and a 7th grade science teacher. She started in a school library as a library media specialist and literally fell into a job as a children's services library technician in a military library. That led to her getting her MLIS and basically fast tracking to library management for the Marine Corps and Navy. In the last 6 years she has been working in a public library as a manager in Yakima, Washington. She grew up here and wanted to come home to finish out her library career.
So You Want to Work in Special Libraries?
Wednesday, May 26 | 12-1 p.m.
  Laura Edmonston is the Deputy Law Librarian for the Washington State Law Library and the current Chair of the WLA Special Libraries Division. Laura joined the law library staff in 2015 and serves as the Reference manager. In addition, she is an embedded librarian for the Washington State Courts’ Gender and Justice and Minority and Justice Commissions. Laura’s career has also included a position at the Louisiana Legislative Research Library and she started her career as a youth services librarian for the Independence Public Library in Independence, OR. She holds a B.A. from the University of Oregon, M.L.I.S. from Louisiana State University and a Certificate of Paralegal Studies from Duke University.
Sara Peté is currently the Community Outreach Librarian at the Washington State Library where she coordinates AskWA: The Statewide Virtual Reference Cooperative, co-manages the Washington Center for the Book with her colleague Linda Johns at The Seattle Public Library, and manages the WSL’s social media accounts. Before joining WSL in 2019, she spent 15 years at the Olympia Timberland Library where she was the head of the branch’s adult services department. Sara got her MLIS at Dominican University in Chicago and she worked in libraries at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago while she was a student.
Anna Nash's career in libraries began when she was three and volunteered shelving board books in her local bookmobile. Her first paying job in the field was as a page in high school; since then, she has worked in libraries in public, academic, prison, and psychiatric hospital settings. She started working for the Washington State Library’s Institutional Library Services program in 2009, and earned her MLS from the University of Washington iSchool in 2014.
Stephanie Earls is currently a solo librarian running the Washington Geology Library for the Washington Department of Natural Resources. She has been in this job for eight years. Prior to this position, she ran a similar library for the Utah Department of Natural Resources for three years. Her background includes a B.S. in Geology, a handful of years working as a environmental consultant, and an M.S. in Library & Information Science.
Connie Sterner was that kid who spent many Saturdays at the public library, and it was her mom who suggested maybe she should become a librarian. Before she got her MLS, her first job was in the Circulation Dept. at the University of Miami. Connie then worked full time at the University of Arizona Main Library while attending library school. After graduation, she took a position as Government Documents Librarian for the Virgin Islands Library system, then a similar position at the State Library of Florida. Then, back to Arizona, where she worked as a solo librarian in a corporate library for a small research firm. Connie took a few years off to raise children, then took her current position as the Librarian for the Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, where she's again working solo.