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Tag Archives: Nebraska Library Commission Staff
Meet Craig Lefteroff, who joined the Nebraska Library Commission as our Technology Innovation Librarian a year ago this month. Craig was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi and attended college at Delta State University, in Cleveland, Mississippi, graduating with a BA in English. After graduation, Craig taught English and speech for one year in a Mississippi Delta town with one store and a prison. This experience encouraged Craig to seek new employment, so he moved to Versailles (pronounced ver-say-elles), Kentucky, where he cleaned computers for Walmart. Next up was a job as an accountant for a Holiday Inn in Lexington, Kentucky. This job afforded him some flexibility so, affirming his love for books and literature, he enrolled in library school at the University of Kentucky.
Craig’s first professional library job was as a reference librarian at St. Tammany Parish Library north of Lake Pontchartrain after Hurricane Katrina. A tipping point occurred during this chapter of Craig’s life and it was time to try living closer if not north of the Mason-Dixon Line. To fill a job title of Reference and Electronics Librarian, Craig moved to West Virginia to work for the Kanawha City Public Library where he lived at the top of a hill. When Craig was selected by the Nebraska Library Commission, it was a priority to be able to walk to work as this was never a possibility in Elkview.
It is typical for librarians to have eclectic interests and Craig fits this description. He surrounds himself with a variety of people and enjoys movies, music, and reading. Some of Craig’s favorite authors are Thomas Hardy, George Elliot, Herman Melville, Cormac McCarthy, and Mary Roach. A book that Craig has read at least five times is Stoner by John Williams owing to the theme of a young man growing up in the south who falls in love with literature. If money were no issue, he would spend his time reading and traveling first to Italy. When asked what other profession he would like to practice, Craig would be a writer and when I asked him to comment on his associations about his workplace, he responded: food day.
We’re grateful Craig has made the Midwest his home and is willing to share his skills and interests with those of us in Nebraska libraries.
Holly began working at the Library Commission in 2010 in a temporary grant position and proved invaluable so we hired her as a permanent employee. Holly is one of the very few Commission employees who is a non-Nebraska native. She was born in Bad Hersfeld, Germany and adopted by an American family living in Paris, France while her father was serving as an aide-de-camp to the General in charge of NATO. She became a naturalized citizen at the age of 3. As the daughter of a career Air Force officer in the intelligence field, Holly lived in Annandale, Virginia; Oahu, Hawaii, and Ramstein, Germany. She graduated from High School in Hawaii and as her parents had Iowa nativity (which allowed in-state tuition for dependent children), she attended the University of Iowa where she received degrees in both Computer Science and Political Science. Her first job was as Systems Analyst at UNL. She met her husband Wayne at the Zoo Bar in Lincoln although unbeknownst to both of them, his father had worked for her father in Vietnam and both swam competitively at some of the same competitions in Hawaii. Together Wayne and Holly have three children: Weston age 26; Dylan age 24; and Cara age 22; and live on an acreage north of Lincoln. Wayne is a professor of Biosystems Engineering at UNL. He told their children they could major in anything as long as it was engineering because they’d always be able to find a job with that degree.
What makes Holly the right person for this job is that she has a love for technology and a passion for teaching how computers can be useful. Holly has been to many of your libraries to help unpack boxes and install computers and adaptive technology. During this time, many of you have become friends and Holly has learned about your libraries and your communities. She’s heard stories of how these computers have made a difference to your library customers as she continues to be a source of help with these services. Holly is in awe of librarians and their tenacity in serving the needs of their community. As Holly thinks about retirement in San Antonio, she would like to teach water aerobics to her neighbors in her 55+ Community. We’re grateful Holly is part of our library community
Allison is a fifth generation Montanan and comes to us with what she describes as a homestead work ethic: hardworking, rarely sedentary, and not taking modern conveniences for granted. She worked at several Montana institutions including the Montana State Library and the Montana State Historical Society. She most recently worked at the Montana Office of Public Instruction doing cataloging, interlibrary loan, collection management, and reference assistance. She received her BA in History from Rocky Mountain College and an MA in History from the University of Montana Missoula. While working as a historian for a research firm, she encountered library catalogs that weren’t particularly helpful nor were they the most efficient pathfinders so she started thinking about becoming a cataloger which required an MLS. Her choice for this education was the University of North Texas in Denton which could be achieved mostly online with a few in person classes.
When Allison is not at work, she is quite happy at home sitting on her deck, reading, watching television, or taking a walk. She also enjoys cooking and baking. One of her signature items is butter brickle bars for which all of the ingredients are always on hand. Which books have influenced Allison the most? Two titles come to mind – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because of Jane’s ability to see inside the human character and Isabelle Allende’s House of the Spirits. She read it the first time in high school and with each subsequent reading gleans something new. Allison feels books are like old friends worth reading again and again. When I asked Allison how she describes her workplace she said she feels like she’s always worked at the Library Commission and that it is a natural fit with the staff. There is an ease and respect amongst her colleagues. We are pleased to have Allison in Nebraska and at our library.
Chances are, you’ve already met Aimee – but just in case …
Meet Aimee Scoville Owen who joined the Nebraska Library Commission in the Talking Book and Braille Service in December 2013. Aimee is a native of Elwood, NE and a graduate of UNO where she received a BS in Management Information Systems and two master’s degrees; the first in Information Technology and the second in Library and Information Science. Aimee and her husband of nearly 10 years, Lowell, share a home in Omaha with their two children – Asher, age 5, Margot, 6 months, and Ryker the 12 year old miniature schnauzer. In June of 2015, Aimee joined the Information Services Team and is a voice you’ll hear answering the Library Commission phone or calling you for updates for our library directory. Aimee came to us from the Omaha Public Library and has been well-connected with NLA, so many of you have already worked with her, but did you know she has a gaggle of relatives in Nebraska that also work in libraries?
This group currently includes: Alicia Lassen – Media Specialist at Overton Public School (2nd cousin); Barb Keep – Media Specialist at Elm Creek Public School (aunt); Shawna Lindner – Librarian at Kearney Public Library (2nd cousin’s wife); and Karrie Huryta – Director of Ravenna Public Library (cousin’s sister-in-law).
In her rare spare time, Aimee participates in the Raqs Awn Bellydance Troupe, the NLA Paraprofessional Section (secretary), and the GirlFriends volunteer guild board for Girls Inc. of Omaha, as well as reading the Golden Sower nominees for primary and intermediate level, and striving to meet an annual reading goal of 120 books, all while taking kids to violin, soccer, and basketball.
Meet the Library Commission Reference and Interlibrary Loan Staff!
In the past year and half, we’ve experienced several changes in personnel on our reference and interlibrary loan team. Here are the updates as to the whereabouts of our former staff in addition to our new arrivals:
Julie Pinnell – leaves the Library Commission after nearly 17 years of service to become the director of the Doane College Library.
Beth Goble – becomes part time and is now our Historical Services Librarian. She still spends time at the reference desk answering email questions and will celebrate 20 years with the state this July. Beth and her husband Ron travel regularly to Michigan to visit their two granddaughters and also spend time at their other home in Alberta, Canada. Not to be left out are the family pets, Arwen, a Sheltie and Allie, a rescue cat.
Dave Eckmann leaves the reference team to return to working with the Talking Book and Braille Service.
Evelyn Kubert retires after 13 years of doing ILL for the Library Commission and just received happy news of grandchild number 6.
Mary Sauers comes to us by way of Lincoln City Libraries where she worked at the Anderson and Bethany Branches in public services. Prior to moving to Nebraska in 2009 she worked at BCR, the former OCLC regional network located in Denver. It was there that she met her husband, Michael Sauers, who you may recognize as another employee of the Library Commission. Mary has two daughters (Diana and Sara), three dogs, and spends many hours in her greenhouse.
Mary Geibel is already recognizable to many of you since she’s been answering and routing incoming calls to the Nebraska Library Commission for many years as a member of the Administrative Services team. Since the reference desk recently took over “switchboard” duties it’s a particularly fitting time for Mary to transition to our team, where she will be one of several team members answering the phones. Mary will also now be your first contact for book group reservations and questions. Mary and her husband John have two sons (Sean and Nikolas) and two dogs. Mary cares for her mother in her home and also enjoys regular meetings with her scrapbook friends.
Lynda Clause is our most recent team member and also comes to us by way of Lincoln City Libraries. Lynda will be working primarily with Interlibrary Loan and helping and guiding us in our change to WorldShare. Lynda will also be at the reference desk and will be corresponding with you all by email. Lynda is planning to return to school this fall to study Digital Humanities, but she will still be here at NLC full time. Lynda and her partner Eric enjoy hiking and live music, and are planning to adopt a dog from the Humane Society this summer and we are all eager to see who will join their home.
Bonnie Henzel continues helping the team on Friday mornings. Bonnie works with Nebraska State Publications and is the proud mom of a son Alex and twin high school graduates (Alaina and Kayla) who will matriculate at Peru State College this fall. Bonnie is married to Vince and together they are active in coaching basketball and volleyball. Last but not least in their home is Bonnie’s Golden Retriever Chloe.
Susan Knisely is a part of the Technology and Access Services Team but also spend time at the reference desk on Mondays. Susan is the person you speak to for overdrive and database subscription questions in addition to many other topics. Susan and her husband Will share their home with their son Ian and 4 rabbits.
Lisa Kelly remains at the reference desk after 20 years and has learned many new tasks as people have come and gone. Lisa lives with her rescue cat named Moon in the historical Stuart Building where she organized a book group that has been meeting for 12 years. Susan and Lisa are a month apart in age and have planned their joint retirement party for the year 2035.