2016 MLA Board Candidate Statements

MLA President-Elect Candidates

The position of President-Elect requires the elected person to serve one year as President-Elect (2016) and one year as President (2017). Per the MLA bylaws and handbook, the elected person shall attend all Executive Board meetings, serve in lieu of the President when s/he is unavailable, serve on the Conference Site Selection Committee, and attend at least one meeting of each Standing Committee to better understand the association’s infrastructure and business. Additional roles and responsibilities are specified in the MLA bylaws and handbook.


photo of candidate BakerVicky Baker, Associate Director for Public Service, Mid-Continent Public Library vbaker@mymcpl.org

Biography: Vicky Baker is an Associate Director for Public Services for Mid-Continent Public Library. She received her MLS from the University of Oklahoma many more than a couple of years ago and is also an Adjunct Professor for the University of Missouri, teaching a variety of classes including reference and management. Vicky worked as a Main Library reference librarian in Oklahoma City before moving to the Kansas City area and joining Mid-Continent Public Library 30 years ago. After starting out and remaining the Branch Manager of a very busy branch for nearly 20 years, she became Associate Director in 2003. Vicky has been a frequent presenter at the Missouri Library Association and served as CSRT chair. She currently serves on two national committees, LLAMA’s Buildings and Equipment Section and on a PLA committee about Continuing Education. Vicky lives in Lee’s Summit with her husband and two cats. Reading and gardening (and Pinterest) are the activities that Vicky enjoys.

Statement: I am pleased to be asked to run for President-Elect for such a member driven organization. MLA has changed dramatically from the organization it was in the past, and is much more responsive to members as a result. And what do those members want? · A good conference– it’s the highlight of the year. It provides not only great educational opportunities for the continuing education of its members, but it also provides the absolute best time to network and learn from your co-attendees. · Members want the association to represent them in Jefferson City, MO and Washington, D.C. The situation with our state government this year proves why it is important for us to be heard, but there is still a lot more to be done. Libraries of all kinds are worried about funding challenges that continue even as libraries are expected to meet commitments and user needs. · Libraries are also at a point where they are reinventing themselves into what is important for the future. What does this future look like? Building space is part of this new future and that may mean deselecting some materials. The space in a library may also be impacted by the funding for digital collections. Conversations about this throughout the association could be helpful. · Libraries need to learn how to find staff that reflect their communities and that means an active recruitment system is needed. Baby Boomers are really going to start retiring and when they go some of the institutional knowledge will go as well. Newer staff needs to have a little time to absorb some of that knowledge. Millennials, both the employees and the users, have different needs and the library needs to be responsive to those needs. How are libraries doing this successfully? Most of the information that we receive from other organizations like Pew Research Center say that the majority of America believes libraries are important. Yet when it comes to getting the funding to do the things that make us valuable, we are often turned down. As an organization, I would like everyone to have an opportunity to learn how to advocate for their organization. It is vital that, whether you can make it to Library Advocacy Day or not, you know how to explain to your local funders what you need. If elected, I will work hard to make sure members have opportunities to learn this.



photo of Candidate OliverCandice Oliver, System Administrator, Municipal Library Consortium of St. Louis

Biography: Candice Gwin Oliver is the Library Systems Administrator for the Municipal Library Consortium of St Louis County. She received her MLIS from the University of Alabama and her BA in English and Communications from the University of South Alabama. Candice moved to St. Louis after finishing library school, and has held management roles at both Kirkwood Public Library and St Louis County Library. She also has experience in sales and consulting with library technology vendors. Candice has been active in the Missouri Library Association since 2005, and has held various leadership roles within the association including chair of the Public Library Division, chair of the Public Relations Committee, and chair of PEER SIG. She served on the 2016 Conference site selection committee and served as co-coordinator of the 2013 MLA Conference. Candice was a member of the first ALA Emerging Leaders class, and also received the Library Journal Movers and Shakers award in 2008. Candice and her husband live in the city of St. Louis with their 4 ½ year old twins and their dog Chad. She enjoys organizing adventures around St. Louis for her family, running (slowly) in races around town, cheering for her beloved Crimson Tide (Roll Tide!!), reading when she can get a quiet moment, and taking road trips.

Statement: I am honored to be running for the position of President-Elect for the Missouri Library Association. I have been involved in all levels of the organization and have grown tremendously in my understanding of how the Association operates and how it serves as a resource for Missouri libraries and librarians. I believe there is strength in a well-rounded member base and will strive to ensure that our organization continues to reach out to, and recruit, potential members across the state and is able to show a clear return on investment. It is also my goal that the MLA continues to be an advocate for libraries at all levels, and that we have a clear message we can communicate when challenged. Today, more than ever, we need to band together and share our message outside of our library walls. The more we talk and the more we share, the stronger we are, and I will work hard to communicate effectively and thoroughly across the organization and with our state government. I believe that no matter how differently we operate on our individual levels, we all have the same goal at the end of the day: to serve our patrons to the best of our ability and then some. I want to serve the membership of the Missouri Library Association to the best of my ability and then some; I want you to know that your MLA is a good investment of your time and talents, and that you are an integral part of the Association. I would be honored to serve as your President-Elect and President, and I can commit to you my sincere interest in expanding the value of MLA to libraries, librarians and library staff across the state of Missouri.



photo of candidate SchinkChristy Schink, Youth Services Librarian, Scenic Regional Public Library cschink@scenicregional.org

Biography: Christy Schink has been the Youth Services Librarian for Scenic Regional Library since 2003. She received her MLIS from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1991. Prior to her current position at Scenic Regional Library, she was the Library Director and Associate Professor at the Kuskokwim Campus of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks for 8 years. And before that, Library Director and faculty member at St. Louis Christian College in Florissant, MO for four years. She considers the move from management to youth services the best decision she ever made. Working with children and promoting literacy is exceedingly rewarding and fun.

Christy has been actively involved with MLA for the entire 12 years that she has been back in Missouri. She has served on the Building Block Picture Book Award committee for 12 years, including a term as Chair. She has been involved in youth services through its many acronyms, CSRT, YSD and now YSCI, including serving as YSCI Chair. She has taught youth services workshops at MLA Annual, MASL Spring Conference, and the Conference on the Young Years. She also served on the Notable Children’s Video committee for the American Library Association for 2 years. She is most proud of the preconference she did at MLA in 2014, “Uke Can Do It,” where she taught 32 children’s librarians how to play ukulele for storytime and they each got to take home a ukulele. In her free time, Christy enjoys playing ukulele and traveling to ukulele festivals all over the country, reading and gaming.

Statement: Throughout my library career, I have seen the benefit of being involved in state and national library organizations. Nowhere was this more obvious than in Alaska, where many of us were the only librarian within a 100 mile radius. I learned that to do our best, we need each other. To me the Missouri Library Association is about education, networking and empowering us to do our best for our communities. My goals are to continue to bring new and innovative ideas into our state to keep our libraries current and indispensable, and to encourage people young and old to enter into a profession where you can look forward to going to work every day, as I do.


MLA Members-at-Large Candidates

The 2014 slate of candidates for Members-at-Large include eight public and academic librarians whose past professional histories all demonstrate their ability to forge connections and understand the needs of the entire membership. In each election, MLA members are asked to select three of these candidates to represent the entire Missouri Library Association membership for two years terms as Members-at-Large (2016-2017). Their responsibilities include discovering members’ concerns, representing the entire membership, serving as members of the Conference Site Selection Committee, and possibly serving as Secretary, Treasurer, or Assistant Treasurer. Additional roles and responsibilities are specified in the MLA bylaws and handbook.


Dahms-StinsonNancee Dahms-Stinson, Youth Services Coordinator, Springfield-Greene County Library nanceed@thelibrary.org

Biography: Nancee Dahms-Stinson is constantly revitalized, challenged and enchanted by the staff she works with at the Springfield-Greene County Library District (SGCL). When she started her job there in 2006, she expected to learn a lot, but the opportunities to grow and learn have never stopped, and it has kept the job exciting. Prior to her work at SGCL, Nancee served as the youth services consultant at the Missouri State Library, providing assistance and support to librarians across the state in their work to build and maintain quality library services for youth and their families. Nancee received her BS and MLIS at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked for libraries in North Carolina and Tennessee prior to returning to Missouri, her home state. She has been a member of ALA and MLA for more than eight years, and serves on the Publication Committee. She was a member of the MLA board in 2011 and helped launch the Youth Services Committee of Interest.

Statement: I loved the time I spent on the MLA board five years ago; it was especially exciting to be involved in helping MLA transition to its new organizational model. I met so many committed and knowledgeable librarians that I still enjoy working with today! MLA has seen many positive changes in the past few years, and I want to continue to be a part of this vital and dynamic organization that supports and serves libraries and library staffs. Missouri has incredible diversity in its libraries, with strengths that make a world of difference to our state’s economic, educational and social well-being. However, our libraries also face a number of challenges, which MLA is committed to helping library staff address. I would like to serve the MLA membership as a member-at-large, to continue strengthening our libraries and support the staff who work in them.



McCarthyMeredith McCarthy, Branch Manager, Jefferson County Library– Arnold Branch mmcarthy@jeffcolib.org

Biography: Meredith McCarthy is currently the Branch Manager of the Arnold Branch of the Jefferson County Library District. After a brief time working in a bookstore after college, Meredith followed her lifelong love of libraries into a successful professional career. She started with the district in 1996 as a Reference Library Associate, and after obtaining her MLIS from the University of Missouri in 1999, has steadily risen through the ranks. Meredith greatly enjoys the high level of responsibility afforded in a smaller library district where managers wear a multitude of hats and have the opportunity to shepherd many district wide projects. Meredith served as the point person for JCL’s inclusion into the MOLIB2GO Overdrive consortium and the deployment of ebooks for both staff and patrons. Another exciting project was taking the Arnold Branch Seed Library from a germ of an idea to a vibrant collection with over 700 seed packets checked out in a little over a year. Meredith has been a long time member of MLA and was appointed to the MLA Publications Committee in 2012 and has served as Chair of the Social Media Subcommittee since 2014. Meredith has a passion for technology and gadgets and sees MLA’s social media presence as a great way to connect with the MLA membership. In 2014 she was elected to the St. Louis Regional Library Network Council and currently serves as Secretary. Meredith is also a long time member of the American Library Association with past membership in the Reference and User Services Association – Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee and current membership in the Public Library Association.

Statement: I am very grateful for the opportunity to run for the Member-at-Large position with the Missouri Library Association. I would love to take my passion for libraries as a continuing vital resource for lifelong learning to the next level as a member of the MLA Board. In a world where the uninformed see libraries as being made obsolete by today’s cloud-based technology, we should embrace, as part of our mission, the education of the general public as well as the “decision-makers” of the innovative services we offer in addition to traditional library services. Libraries are a doorway to taxpayer-funded digital content that no one consumer could afford on their own, and we need to make sure that they know it. Libraries also often serve as vibrant community centers offering free (or minimal cost recovery) hands on activities for children and adults to build skills and expand their knowledge base on a huge range of topics from basic literacy through 3D modeling and printing. It has never been more important to campaign for continued support for Missouri libraries as we face severe funding cuts at both the state and federal levels. I believe communication is the key for our organization’s success and the overall success of Missouri libraries. If elected I would be a voice for public libraries on the MLA Board and take every opportunity to improve MLA’s dialogue with both its membership and the greater community to achieve our objective of championing Missouri library professionals and Missouri libraries.



PetersJennifer Peters, Content Management-Discovery Services Librarian, Rockhurst University jpeters2511@gmail.com

Biography: Jennifer Peters is the Content Management and Discovery Services Librarian for Rockhurst University Greenlease Library. Jennifer has a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Missouri Columbia and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science from Quincy University. Jennifer lives in the metro Kansas City area with her husband, two children, two cats and two dogs. In her free time she enjoys embarrassing her children, playing volleyball, and continuing the quest to be the kind of person her dogs think she is.

Jennifer has been a member of MLA since 2010. She is currently the chair of the Communities of Interest Council, and serves on the Marketing Subcommittee, Recorder of PEER, and Vendor Relations co-chair for the 2015 Joint Conference. Jennifer has also served as chair of the Technical Services Community of Interest. She is a member of American Library Association, Library Leadership & Management Association (LLAMA), Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS). Jennifer is an MLA sponsored, American Library Association 2015 Emerging Leader. She just completed an ALCTS sponsored project for Emerging Leaders entitled, Developing a Mentoring Framework for 21st Century Librarians. Jennifer is active at the national level serving as an intern for the ALA Website Advisory Committee, member and upcoming co-chair of the Cataloging and Metadata Management Continuing Education Committee, and ARCL representative to the Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Advisory Group.

Statement: I am honored to run for the Member-at-Large position of the Missouri Library Association. MLA has been an essential part of my professional development, from attending my first conference in 2010, to broadening my knowledge of librarianship, networking with a community of dedicated and passionate librarians and being able to serve on a variety of committees and groups over the years. MLA helps build community and cooperation across all types of libraries. I’m proud of what MLA has been able to do to advocate and promote libraries within Missouri, but I recognize that it requires a sustained ongoing effort to continue to promote the value of libraries to those within our state and at the national level. Commitment to our local association is key to continue the work that has been done and will continue to be done both at the national and state level.



RevelsMary Beth Revels, Director, St. Joseph Public Library mrevels@sjpl.lib.mo.us

Biography: Mary Beth Revels is director of the St. Joseph Public Library. She began her library career in 1997 as a reference librarian at the River Bluffs Regional Library in St. Joseph. She is a past chair of MLA’s Public Library Division, now a Community of Interest. She is a member of ALA and PLA. She serves on the board of the Mid America Library Alliance and is past president of the Missouri Public Library Directors group. She currently serves as a member representing public libraries on the Secretary of State’s Council on Library Development. Mary Beth has an MA in Library Science from the University of Missouri, Columbia. She earned a BS in Business Administration from Truman State University.

Statement: I have been a member of the Missouri Library Association since I was an MLS student at MU. I was involved on the board level several years ago and want to get more involved once again. MLA is there for all libraries in Missouri through coordinating advocacy efforts and providing opportunities for all kinds of librarians to meet and learn from each other and also to network and have fun. I want to do my part to keep our organization strong and vital for librarians across the state.



SchneiderKatie Schneider, Assistant Branch Manager, Mid-Continent Public Library, schneiderk100@gmail.com

Biography: Katie Schneider has worked for the Mid-Continent Public Library system in Kansas City since 2012 and has been working in the public library system since 2010. She is currently the Assistant Branch Manager of the Woodneath Library Center, where she has been employed since 2013.

Katie earned her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (LIS) from the University of Missouri in 2010. While enrolled in the LIS program Katie was a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) Miller Nichols Library from 2009 to 2010.

Upon graduation in 2010 Katie worked as a Substitute Library Associate at the Kansas City Public Library system from 2010-2012.
Katie has been a member of the Missouri Library Association since 2009. She has presented poster presentations on professional development and readers advisory topics at the annual MLA Conference in 2010 and 2013. Katie is currently serving as the 2015 MLA/KLA Conference Poster Session Committee Chairwoman as well as serving on the Table Talks Committee for the 2011 MLA Conference. Katie was a member of the American Library Association from 2009-2014 as well as a member of the Special Library Association in 2011.

Statement: I am honored and excited to be asked to run for the office of MLA Member-at-Large. Having been a member of MLA since 2009 I can attest to the value of forging connections with fellow librarians across the state in order to support our ever evolving field of work. Operating in times of change requires leadership that is inspired to work with people across many disciplines to address common problems and solutions. If given this opportunity I am excited to present my peers’ concerns to the leadership board of the Missouri Library Association in order to address their opinions and desires. I look forward to working with members of MLA to continue developing an organization that facilitates a growing network of professional support and friendship. Thank You!



ShapiroBeth Hemke Shapiro, JD, MA, bhemkeshapiro@gmail.com

Biography: Beth Hemke Shapiro received her MA in Information Science and Learning Technologies with an emphasis in Library Science from University of Missouri – Columbia in May 2015. During the program she was a graduate teaching assistant, teaching Information Use semester-long classes and providing reference and instruction at Ellis Library. Beth also holds BA (philosophy) and JD (law) degrees from Northwestern University.

Prior to attending library school, Beth worked for a decade in accounting and finance at The Art Institute of Chicago, sang professionally in a Chicago baroque ensemble, was employed by a Big Six accounting firm as a tax consultant, was a freelance writer, and was a stay-at-home mom.

Beth has long been committed to community service and has served on many boards and committees, including the following:

  • reading panelist for Columbia’s One Read program;
  • member of Columbia’s Cultural Affairs commission;
  • chair of Columbia’s Cultural Affairs commission’s small request committee;
  • congregational president, as well as chair of communications committee and member of various other committees at St. Andrew’s ELCA Lutheran Church;
  • grant review panelist for the Missouri Arts Council; and
  • co-secretary of Rock Bridge High School Band Boosters.

Statement: I am excited to jump right in and get involved in MLA! I am a current member of its Intellectual Freedom committee and co-presented “Reference Librarians on the Prowl: Implementing Roving Reference in an Academic Library” at the fall 2014 conference. While I am a relative newcomer to the library field, I bring a strong history of working hard to collaborate well with others and to be responsive to community needs and wishes. I would be honored to serve on the MLA board.