Jessica Fredrickson – CO 2016

picI’m a teacher turned library lady loving my new life in the stacks!  Formerly I was a kindergarten teacher with a BA in English and Elementary Education.  My favorite part of the day was inspiring a love of literacy in my littles.  Nowadays my favorite time of the day is still storytime, but connecting patrons of all ages to new books, community resources and information comes in at a close second.  In the rare moments when I’m not working on homework, I enjoy hiking in my beautiful state, blogging, reading, volunteering as a tutor, and trying (often failing) to make Pinterest-inspired projects!  My professional passions include development, early literacy and community outreach.

I’m proud to have served as your SCALA President for the past year and excited I’ll still get to serve on the team, at least until graduation in January of 2017!

Contact Jessica at jfredri2[at]

Mary Leyva – CO 2016

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-9-20-59-pmHello! My name is Mary. I am a member of the 2016 Colorado cohort, working towards my MLS degree with a concentration in Youth Services. I hold a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder. During the day, I work full time as the Library Assistant at Colorado Academy, serving students in both the elementary and the middle/high school libraries. In my free time, you’ll most likely find me out on a hike with my husband or curled up reading with our two cats on my lap and a mug of tea nearby. I am very interested in serving my cohort as a SCALA Representative! I strongly believe in building a professional and social community that will support us throughout our education and careers.

Contact her at

Diana Ortiz – CO 2016

DSCI0177Hello everyone! My name is Diana Ortiz and I just started my first semester at Emporia State. After serving in the military, I separated and remained in Colorado to continue my education. My AA in Logistics was achieved through the Community College of the Air Force and my BS in Finance was achieved through Regis University. I am fairly new to the library community, but it is my goal to become an academic librarian. My hobbies consist of reading, running, and traveling.

Contact Diana at

Zoey Nelson –CO 2017

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-9-38-32-pm“My name is Zoey Wyn Nelson. I graduated from the University of Denver in June of 2013, and have worked in libraries ever since. My experience is diverse: I have run an entire high school library program; worked as a material handler and as customer experience specialist in a public library; and most recently I have worked in the material services department maintaining the collection and getting new items out to the branches.

I want to share that attending the Public Library Conference last year was so much fun and awe inspiring (my bag was so heavy with ARCs), and affirmed my desire to work in this magic filled vocation. Also, Information Professionals know how to throw a party. It would have been even more fun and amazing to do that with my fellow cohorts! I’m excited to continue expanding my network alongside the rest of CO17.”

Contact her at

Isabel Soto-Luna — CO 2017

15541933_1446892681995084_6288592523357644640_nHello, I’m Isabel. I currently live in Colorado Springs and I’m a mom to a very energetic 7-year-old boy. He keeps my husband and I very busy!

Currently, I am the Development Associate for Pikes Peak Library District. I do donor relations, sponsorships, fundraising events, and social media for the PPLD Foundation. Prior to my current position, I was an Archives Assistant for the Colorado State University – Pueblo Library. It during this time that I realized that working in a public library was a calling for me. I really want to work in an outreach position that will allow me to work closely with the community. I am bilingual and a professional interpreter and translator. These are skills that have already been helpful at the library and I am hoping I will get to use even more in future positions.

While I was discovering my passion at the university library, I worked on my Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish.

I am very much a believer in social justice and our responsibility to our community and each other, especially now more than ever.

Overland Park

Jeannine Linnane –OP 2017

screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-12-37-27-pmI began my career as a reporter after getting a B.A. in journalism from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities then an M.A. in political reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

I worked for six years in Eastern Oregon (the dry side of the state) for two newspapers and learned to like rodeo, enjoy smaller towns but learned I’m a city kid at heart. I took a job as the statehouse bureau chief for the Wichita Eagle moved back to the Midwest and covered Kansas politics in Topeka for four Legislative sessions while living in Lawrence. I’m now the director of communications for the Kansas Department of Revenue.

While I lived in Oregon, I was also active in the local Society of Professional Journalists chapter the serving as both the president and vice president. I helped expand membership outreach activities, began a training component in First Amendment rights with local high schools and represented the chapter at the national conference.

I’m originally from the Kansas City-area and now live in Northeast Johnson County with my husband and our 1-year-old son. We are both avid readers and are working on building a library in our house, and our wedding reception was in a library.

Katie Althoff — OP 2017

screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-12-38-38-pmMy name is Katie Althoff. I am interested in serving as a representative for the Overland Park Cohort. I currently work for The Midwest Genealogy Center, part of Mid-­‐Continent Public Library System. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Teaching English to Language Learners; I have a Master of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and am currently working towards a Master of Library Science Degree.

I have worked in public and academic libraries throughout the past 17 years as a way to financially support myself through school and as a complementary job while teaching. Service organizations I have volunteered with include, Special Olympics, Habitats for Humanity, and Harvesters. The past three years I have served on a council that benefits local youth leaders and youth. Each of these service opportunities has given me experience in event planning, volunteer coordinating, organizing service projects, and collecting monetary donations.

I enjoy serving and looking for ways to make a difference in the world around me. How can I help SCALA?

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-9-13-07-pmSara Roberts –OP 2016

Hello everyone! My name is Sara Roberts. I am originally from Kentucky, but currently live and work in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 2011 I received my BA from Murray State University in English Literature with a concentration in poetry. I started SLIM in January 2016 and plan to graduate this coming December 2017. A two year position as manuscript processor at Texas Tech University catalyzed my love for libraries and environmental studies. Since that position, I’ve primary worked in academic libraries and archives. That being said, I’m interested in pursing a career in archives either public or academic. When I’m not working or studying, I volunteer at Lincoln City Public Libraries. I love volunteering with my public library and the experience has begun to rival my love of archives. In my free time, my husband and I love to travel and have a quest to visit every National Park in the US.

Contact her at

Jeni Thornton

“Hello! My name is Jeni Thornton and I was raised in Manhattan, Kansas. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Kansas State University. I kindled my love of libraries while working in circulation services at the Manhattan Public Library as an undergrad. I have since taught special education language arts for 10th and 11th grade. I am currently in my second year as a Reading Interventionist for the Wamego Public School district. I teach tier 2 and tier 3 reading intervention to grades 6 – 12, with about 50 students in total. In my spare time I enjoy being outside, preferably barefooted and in the grass, with my spouse and our mini Austrailian Shepard pup! I once wrote a paper in middle school arguing that public education shouldn’t stop at 12th grade because we can always learn more! I am excited to pursue my career in librarianship because I feel that knowledge really is powerful. I am open to working in medical/academic libraries, public libraries, or even elementary school libraries! As with any distance education program, I am interested in ways to collaborate and communicate effectively with my peers, which is why I am happy to be representing SCALA through the Overland Park cohort.”

Contact Jeni at

Salt Lake City/Orem

Melinda Whitaker–Utah 2017

IMG_2085I’m Melinda, living in Provo, Utah, far from my eastern roots in Michigan and Pennsylvania. I’m excited to be working towards my MLS after earning my BA in Visual Arts in 2014. My passion for ALL the things lead me to Library Science. It’s just the perfect field; I can keep learning my whole life and help others learn too, what could be better?
I’m an ENFP-Slytherin-Wampus-hobbit who likes food, movies, food, reading, food, art, food, swearing, food, laughing, food, languages, food, social justice, food, history and mythology/folklore/stories in general, food, medicine/health, food, driving, food, and travel. And the Oxford comma.
Contact her at

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-9-19-14-pmErin Hawkins — Utah 2017

Hi, I’m Erin Hawkins and I’m a 23-year-old student from Sandy, Utah. I am currently working on my Master’s in Library Science degree while working in the Instruction, Media, and Digital Services Department at the Harold B. Lee Library in Provo, Utah. I thrive off of helping others in their quests for information and love providing “light-bulb” moments for patrons of the library. Alongside my passion for libraries, I have a passion for soccer, family and the great outdoors.

I’ve been in many leadership roles including student body president of my high school of 1400 students. Though that was over 5 years ago, I still find my time there effecting my ability to lead and work effectively today.

Contact her at

Heidi Bell
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“Hi, I’m Heidi. I like long walks on the beach…kidding.  Mostly because I live in Utah and a walk worthy beach is far far away. I aspire to be a librarian (preferably an academic one, and preferably at the college level).  My goal in life is to get through my masters in one piece. I have worked in libraries for about six years.  I currently work at a public library, but I am working on getting back in the academic world. I hate shoes. If I can be barefoot I am. I’m sort of a nerd and I’m ok with that. I’m a little bit sarcastic.  (Sorry, I’m working on it.)  And that’s me in 30 seconds or less.”

Contact Heidi at


Andrew Schafer

I have just started my second year in the SLIM program and have chosen not to pursue a concentration because there is not one particular aspect of librarianship that I am most interested in. I have a BS in Anthropology from Washburn University.

While I haven’t been employed at a library yet, I caught the library bug from working inAndrew Schafer profile - Andrew Schafer the Records Unit of the Topeka Police Department. In my current position, I assist customers in fulfilling their information needs in regards to police and legal matters. My assistance is mainly directional in nature, but I have to perform a brief interview to assess customers’ needs and determine a course of action. I especially enjoy the challenge of finding records about which I’ve been given little information and the satisfaction of providing a pleasant and helpful service experience. My goal is to defy the stereotype of the bureaucrat, assisting customers to the best of my ability and, if I’m unable to, providing informed referrals to the agency that will be able to fulfill their need.

If given the option, I would most like to work in public libraries, preferably in a reference librarian position. However, as I learn more about the different roles and functions within libraries, I’ve found things that I like about most positions within libraries, so could really see myself landing anywhere. I have a passion for organization, learning, and organization.

In my spare time, I like having fun with my wife and daughters, eating interesting food, listening to audiobooks, and trying to understand the nature of reality.

Daniel Agbaji

Hi! I am DANIEL Agbaji and this is my first year in the SLIM program. I got my Bachelor of Technology in Library and Information Technology from the Federal University of Technology, Minna-Nigeria. My double major background during my undergraduate WIN_20160914_09_02_02_Pro - DANIEL Agbajistudy, created the opportunity for me to work as an Information technology professional and also as a librarian. With my technological skills, I have worked with IT firms and taught Computer Science as a subject for high school students. While using my librarianship skills to work as a school librarian and a library science subject teacher back home in Nigeria.

My interest in pursuing a master in the SLIM program is to further my career as a librarian and information professional. I have interest in academic librarianship, and I look forward to become an instructor in a library science school someday after my acquiring my Ph.D. For me learning is a lifelong thing and I am not planning to stop any soon. I look forward to work with and learn from everyone as the opportunity provides itself. Thank you!