2022 Speakers

Big Talk From Small Libraries 2022

Mollie Beaumont, she/her/hers, Children’s Librarian, Walled Lake City Library, Walled Lake, MI (Population served: 7,000)

Stealth in Your Library – Small Changes to Better Serve Marginalized Communities

Mollie Beaumont earned a MLIS from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2014, and has served in large and small libraries in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. Taking advice from Cheryl Sandburg, she has played on the jungle gym of librarianship, serving as Youth Services Department Manager, to Children’s Librarian, to Adult Supervisor Librarian, to Page Supervisor/Teen Librarian. Her current role allows her to tap into her creative side with music storytime, and honor her Latinx roots with bilingual storytime. Her hobbies include knitting and listening to audiobooks, playing boardgames, and learning new instruments. 

Cali Biaggi, Online Learning Librarian, Doane University, Crete, NE (FTE: 2,500)

In Search of the Perfect Potato Chip: Engaging First-Year Students with a Virtual Escape Room

Cali Biaggi is an early career librarian working at her undergraduate alma mater, Doane University. She received her MLIS from the University of Denver in 2017. She is the Online Learning Librarian at Doane, and the subject liaison for both the sciences and the humanities. Her favorite parts of her job are building relationships with Doane community members, helping them achieve research success, and constantly learning new things.

Julie Elmore, Library Director, Oakland City – Columbia Township Public Library, Oakland City, IN (Population served: 3,830)

Food in the Library: Reading & Feeding Your Community

Julie Elmore has been the Library Director in Oakland City, Indiana for over 12 years. She serves a community of less than 3,900 people. Jule has been very active with The Association for Rural & Small Libraries serving as a past Board Member (2014-2021) and on a variety of committees from Marketing to Conference and is now involved with the Advocacy Committee.  Julie holds a Masters Degree in Library Science from Clarion University and in her free time has learned to embrace her favorite saying “I just want to read and take naps.”

Jennifer Garden, Library Director, Milledgeville Public Library, Milledgeville, IL (Population served: 1,327)

Ditching Dewey

Jennifer Garden is a lifelong user of libraries. After re-learning in her mid-teens that washing machines like to eat library books, she did some volunteering at her local library. That went so well that they hired her to work part-time and she was off! Picking up books here and there, attending webinars, and reading websites and research papers when needed, she learned everything she needed to know from acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, and readers advisory on the job. She didn’t think to make libraries her focus in college, so she studied modern languages instead. During several jobs in the book distribution and publishing industries, she maintained her work at that first small town public library. Eventually, when the opportunity presented, she took a job as a three-quarter-time library director/solo librarian at the Milledgeville Public Library in rural northwest Illinois. After 5 years, she finally feels like she’s gaining her footing and learning how to do things (and how not to do them!). 

About 3 years into the job, she decided that the Dewey system wasn’t working for her library and did some research. Her library has been Dewey free for several years now and the patrons and staff love it. 

Deborah Tritt Harmon, Instruction/Reference Librarian and Associate Professor, Gregg-Graniteville Library, University of South Carolina Aiken, Aiken, SC (FTE: 3,865)

Citation Instruction & Support at a Small Academic Library

Deborah Tritt Harmon is an instruction/reference librarian and associate professor at the University of South Carolina Aiken. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Georgia, possesses a Master’s of Library and Information Science, and earned a Master’s of Science in Information Technology. Her publications include journal articles in College & Undergraduate Libraries, Collaborative Librarianship, and Computers in Libraries, as well two articles on special topics related to librarians at small and rural academic libraries. Additionally, she co-edited the book The Small and Rural Academic Library: Leveraging Resources, Overcoming Limitations published by the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Brandy Horne, Instruction/Reference Librarian and Associate Professor, Gregg-Graniteville Library, University of South Carolina Aiken, Aiken, SC (FTE: 3,865)

Citation Instruction & Support at a Small Academic Library

Brandy R. Horne is an instruction/reference librarian and associate professor at the University of South Carolina Aiken. She has a BA in English and Political Science from Georgia College and State University and an MLIS from Valdosta State University. Horne’s work and research in undergraduate citation support has resulted in several conference presentations and a co-authored article in Collaborative Librarianship.

Sarah Jefferson, Library Media Specialist, Flippin High School Library, Flippin, AR (FTE: 350)

Genrefying the Small School Library

Sarah Jefferson is a lifelong bibliophile and has known even from a young age that she wanted to be a librarian. She spent her first seven years in education teaching second grade, where her greatest joy was fostering a love of reading in her students. Since receiving her graduate degree from the University of Central Arkansas in 2016, she has been living the dream as the Library Media Specialist at Flippin High School.

Emily Morrison, Library Associate, Blair Public Library and Technology Center, Blair, NE (Population served: 10,000)

Finding the Gold in the Garbage: Adventures in Re-organizing a Genealogy Room

Emily Morrison serves as a part-time Library Associate at the Blair Public Library and Technology Center located in Blair, Nebraska. She began pursuing a career in librarianship in college, working as a page at the Omaha Public Library’s Millard Branch and a student worker at Wayne State College’s Conn Library. After earning a B.S. in History, she started working towards her Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is set to graduate in May 2022. Along with her interest in special collections, she has a passion for public libraries, access, and intellectual freedom.

Sherry Preston, Public Services Librarian, Gering Public Library, Gering, NE (Population served: 8,000)

ALL for Fun: Programming for People With Developmental Disabilities

Sherry Preston took undergraduate classes from the University of Wyoming in “dirt” and “sticks and twigs.” After a ten year stint with the USDA she found a job at a library. Sherry is currently taking classes like “information hide and seek” for her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies from the other UW, the University of Wisconsin. Being a librarian is the perfect intersection of her insatiable curiosity and reading habit.  Sherry’s favorite part of being a librarian is being able to say, “Yes! I can help you do that.”

Marc Ross, Head, Hanley and Haskell Libraries, University of Pittsburgh Bradford and Titusville, PA (FTE: 1,300)

Small Staff, Big Personalities – Managing Conflict in a Small Library

Marc Ross has been working at the smallest of the University of Pittsburgh’s regional campuses as the Head of the Haskell Memorial Library at the University of Pittsburgh Titusville since 2014. He recently accepted a dual position as the Head of the Hanley Library at the University of Pittsburgh Bradford in addition to his duties in Titusville.

Prior to being named Head librarian in Titusville, Marc held several library positions on the Pittsburgh campus, including information technology facilitation specialist, research assistant, and EZBorrow and circulation desk specialist.

Marc earned his Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh and is currently working on his Doctor of Education from Pitt as well. 

Allie Stevens, Director, Calhoun County Library, Hampton, AR (Population served: 5,000)

Crystal Queer: Creating Clearly Supportive and Inclusive Libraries for Communities of All Sizes

Allie Stevens is the Director of the Calhoun County Library, a very small, rural library in southern Arkansas. Allie founded a Facebook group called Tiny Library Think Tank to connect librarians in other very rural areas, was a member of the 2018 ALA Emerging Leaders class, and is currently one of 22 librarians participating in the inaugural Rural Library Fellowship program. Allie is on Twitter (@alphabeticallie), and can also be reached at allie@calcolibrary.com

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