MiALA Candidate Information

MiALA Board Candidate Information

Vice President (two-year term, one as Vice President, one as President)
 Kate Langan
Brief biography
I joined WMU Libraries in 2009 as the liaison to the humanities department for what was then called the Central Reference department. The department has grown and changed into the Department of Instruction and Outreach, but my primary responsibilities remain centered on teaching, learning, and research support for faculty and students in those disciplines. My research in the recent past has focused on critical librarianship and critical pedagogy. I am currently researching how library closures due to the pandemic have impacted access to instruction materials in higher education and how lack of access has affected the quality instructional design. I currently serve as the department lead for WMU Libraries’ Instruction and Outreach department and guide a team of 10 librarians through strategic planning and programming initiatives.

List prior leadership experience
Over the years, I have also focused on serving the Libraries, the University, and the profession. With time, much of this committee work evolved into leadership roles. In addition to my role as the WMU Libraries Instruction and Outreach Department, Lead (2019-2021) I have also served in the following leadership roles: 

-WMU Libraries Executive Committee, Chair (2018-2019) responsibilities and major accomplishments include convening the faculty as a whole to draft and edit the department policy statement (a critical document that defines workload and tenure and promotion expectations) through the approval process. 
-WMU-AAUP Chapter Officer, Contract Administrator (2015-2016) worked with senior university administration and individual university faculty members on contractual resolutions as they pertained to workload agreement, tenure and promotion process and appeals, or other issues that impacted the WMU AAUP as a whole. 
-WMU Faculty Senate, Campus Planning and Finance Committee, Vice-Chair (2014-2015) responsibilities include convening a committee of 10-12 members and worked with senior administration on budgetary and the campus infrastructure.

I have also been a part of many university, state, and national committees. Over the years I have participated at the state and national level, including:
Michigan Library Association
-Communities of Practice. 2010-2011
-Membership Committee. 2010-2012
-Conference Juror. Spring 2013
-Project Outcome Editorial Board (July 1, 2020- June 30, 2022)
-Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee. 2014-2015
-Information Literacy Website Committee, 2013-2015
-CRL/LES Committee 2014 ALA Conference Program Planning, Las Vegas, NV. 2013-2014

Why would you like to serve on the MiALA board?
I have been highly involved in leadership at the University and Libraries level. In those positions, I have experienced the benefits of connecting beyond departments, colleges, and units. I would like to serve on the Mi-ALA board as a way to continue working with a broader community. More pressing is how Mi-ALA will weather the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. Academic librarianship might look very different in the coming months and years as our individual universities and colleges adapt to meet the teaching, learning, and research mission of their institutions. It is sobering to know that Mi-ALA and its members will not be immune or go untouched by radical change in higher education. I envision Mi-ALA to be a source of professional support for our colleagues across the state and regionally as our institutions and roles adapt. In the coming years Mi-ALA will require a leadership team with creativity and flexibility in strategic planning in order to support our colleagues across the state as we move independently yet collectively through this change. I have been in multiple situations where discussion and strategic planning have been core responsibilities, including addressing my own university library system’s response to the COVID-19 closures. Those conversations included continuation of services and programming and contingency plans for return to work. I can bring my experience and compassion to the Mi-ALA leadership team. I would be honored to serve my profession and engage with my colleagues from across the state.
 Tim Peters
Brief biography
I am the Associate Dean of University Libraries at Central Michigan University. Prior to becoming Associate Dean in August 2018, I served as Director of Library Research and Instruction Services (2010-2018) and Director of Off-Campus Library Services (2007-2010). Before arriving at CMU I spent sixteen years as a community college library director at two institutions, one in Michigan and one in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I began my career as a Cataloger/Reference Librarian at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

My professional interests lie in the areas of leadership, change management, re-purposing library spaces to meet the needs of our users. In my current position I involve myself with all of these topics. Like all of us, I am keenly interested in the future of libraries and librarianship, and that of higher education in general, and I believe we need to be bold when determining what the future of libraries will be.

I have a Bachelor degree from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, an MLIS from Louisiana State University, and a Masters in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University.

List prior leadership experience
I have gained valuable leadership experience in my current position and have leadership experience from my previous positions as well. While leadership readings and trainings are a valuable part of anyone’s development, there is no substitute for real-world experience. I served as the Vice-Chair/Chair/Past Chair of the Distance Learning Section of ACRL from 2012 to 2015. Additionally, I served as the Chair of the Michigan COLD Public Services group from 2012 to 2016.

I lead and serve on a multitude of committees within the CMU Libraries, as well as across campus. From 2007 through 2018 I was responsible for the planning and administration of the biennial Distance Library Services Conference, an international conference which typically drew between 250 and 300 attendees per event. Overseeing this event was a lot of work but really an enjoyable experience.

Why would you like to serve on the MiALA board?
I always appreciate the interactions I have with my colleagues from around the state because I find them informative and helpful. As academic institutions, we share similarities and can learn from one another, as we can learn from all types of libraries and librarians. And I’m a big believer in exploring ideas and practices from organizations and institutions beyond the library world as well. MiALA is a great connecting point for Michigan libraries and I would like to be an active part of the organization that brings us together, spurs important conversations, and creates opportunities for learning and improvement. As I look into the future I see more active and strategic collaboration between libraries (much of it driven by necessity) and I would like to be part of the professional organization helping to create these new relationships.
 Elizabeth Walker-Papke
Brief biography
Elizabeth is the Online and Distance Learning Librarian at Spring Arbor University and is a strong leader in our Michigan academic library community. She has volunteered with MiALA for a number of years, most recently as the Distance and Online Learning IG Chair, and also Chair of the Scholarship Committee for the Conference Planning Committee. Elizabeth is also an administrator for the Research Help Now academic library chat consortium, which has 16 institutional members from across the state, and has chaired their transcript awards committee for three years. Always going above and beyond, she is dedicated and passionate about serving the Michigan library community.

In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys a fantastic cup of coffee and spending time with her husband and rescue 'bully-breed' dogs.

List prior leadership experience
Member at Large-IGCC
Chair-Distance and Online Learning IG
Annual Conference Committee member; Chair of the Scholarship subcommittee
Membership Committee Member

Annual Conference Committee member; underrepresented scholarship and poster presentation committees - now one of the active participants of the sessions (moved online)

Spring Arbor University:
Co-Chair of the Cultural Life Committee (at SAU)
Member of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council (at SAU)
Secretary/Treasurer of the Faculty Forum (at SAU)
Student Worker Supervisor of The Workroom (project production lab at SAU)

Why would you like to serve on the MiALA board?
Elizabeth has always strongly believed in the Academic Library and the scaffold it builds in the lives of the students and faculty members. MiALA was established early in her tenure as a librarian, and it has provided tremendous support, encouragement and mentorship in her abilities and professional journey. As she states, “I truly believe that we are all stronger together, regardless of which institution we serve, and I deeply value the connections made and knowledge gained through my participation in this group. I would love to continue growing and developing my leadership skills while giving back to an organization that  means so much in my life.”

She's dynamic, a real go-getter, and will help MiALA to expand and develop new connections across our state.

Treasurer (two-year term)
 Rachel Minkin
Brief biography
Currently Head of Reference Services at Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI), Rachel has also served as an information literacy librarian at MSU, a reference and instruction librarian at Lansing Community College (Lansing, MI) and a reference librarian at the Graduate Theological Union's Flora Lamson Hewlett Library (Berkeley, CA). Rachel's earned her MLIS at University of Pittsburgh and also holds a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) from Vanderbilt Divinity School (Nashville, TN).

Areas of interest: Virtual Reference services, promotion of library eco-systems at the state level

List prior leadership experience
Michigan Academic Library Association (MiALA) 2014- present
Annual Conference Planning Chair, 2018
Advocacy Committee, 2017-2020: Co-chair, 2019-2020
Past President, 2016-2017
President, 2015-2016
Interim Board Co-Chair, 2014-2015
Fall Event Planning, Local Host, 2014
Founding member of steering committee, 2014

Association of College and Research Libraries 2004- present
External Liaisons Committee, 2019-2021: Chair, 2020-2021
Membership, 2014- 2020: Chair, 2017-2018
Chapters Council, 2015- 2019: Chair, 2017-2018

Reference and User Services Association 2014- 2018
RSS Services for Jobs Seeking Patrons, 2014- 2018: Chair, 2016-2018

Why would you like to serve on the MiALA board?
I look back on my Board time as difficult, frustrating, but also exceptionally rewarding. MiALA, in many ways, made my career what it is, and I have leaned on the organization as I've progressed in my career. I owe MiALA and what better way to pay back (and maybe pay forward?) than with the gift of my time and energy and effort.

MiALA allows me to serve the profession in a way that is immediate (providing space, time, and resources for academic library professional development) and long term (establishing relationships with other library professionals through the state and at the national level in preparation of future upheavals!) Although the work was (and never will be) easy, I enjoy working on a team engaged in meaningful work: support of academic libraries and library personnel in Michigan.


Publicly Funded University Representative (two-year term)
 Margaret Danowski
Brief biography
I am currently the Health Professions Librarian at Central Michigan University's Park Library.  My subject areas include Athletic Training, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Food and Nutrition Science, Health Professions, Health Sciences, Nursing, Physical Education and Sports, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant and Public Health.

I earned my M.I.L.S. at The University of Michigan in 1990 and my B.A. in Classical Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology at The University of Michigan in 1985.  Prior to coming to Central Michigan University, I worked for 23 years as an Assistant Professor and IT/Reference Librarian at Madonna University in Livonia, MI.  I was the Liaison to the College of Nursing and Health at Madonna University and worked closely with the nursing and hospice faculty.  I taught instruction sessions at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and collaborated with the nursing and hospice faculty on assignments, acquisitions and curriculum development. My areas of research interest include library instruction, user experience and the role of the health sciences librarian.

I have prior experience on other executive boards, including the Southeastern Michigan League of Libraries (SEMLOL) and most recently I have been elected to serve on the Nominating Committee for the Metropolitan Detroit Medical Library Group.

List prior leadership experience
2020-Present        Metropolitan Detroit Medical Library Group, Nominating Committee
2014-Present        Metropolitan Detroit Medical Library Group, Member
2013-2014        Southeastern Michigan League of Libraries (SEMLOL) Board, Past Chair
2012-2013        Southeastern Michigan League of Libraries (SEMLOL) Board, Chair
2002-2012        Southeastern Michigan League of Libraries (SEMLOL) Board, Secretary
1996-Present        Southeastern Michigan League of Libraries (SEMLOL), Member

Why would you like to serve on the MiALA board?
I would like to serve on the MiALA board because I feel the need to become more active again in professional organizations.  It is time for me to take an active role in service to my profession and I believe that MiALA is a good place to start. I served for many years on the SEMLOL Executive Board and I miss the interaction and sense of accomplishment I felt whenever a goal was reached and a program successfully planned and implemented.  I have a great deal of enthusiasm and initiative and I feel that I would be an asset to the board.

 Emilia Marcyk
Brief biography
Emilia Marcyk has been a Teaching & Learning Librarian at Michigan State University since 2014, where she develops instructional content, leads information literacy sessions for the First Year Writing program, and supervises student reference assistants. She received her MS in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her BA in English from Bryn Mawr College. 

List prior leadership experience
-Library Instruction Roundtable Awards Committee (Co-Chair, 2019-2021, Member, 2017-2019)
-Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online Committee (Member, 2018-2020, Secretary, 2017-2018)
-Rainbow Roundtable [formerly GLBTRT] News Committee (Co-chair, 2016-2017, Member 2015-2016) 

-Data Literacy Bootcamp Planning Committee (2018-2019)
-MiALA Section Taskforce (2017-2018)
-User Experience Section Chair (2017-2018)
-User Experience Section Chair-Elect (2016-2017)
-User Experience Section Member-at-Large (2015-2016)
-Information Literacy and Instruction Interest Group Secretary (2015-2017)

Why would you like to serve on the MiALA board?
I have been broadly involved with MiALA since its founding, and would like additional opportunities to give back and help shape the organization by serving on the Board. I think my experience at the (former) section level and with interest groups will be a positive asset for the role.
 Jonathan Scherger
Brief biography
I am currently an Assistant Professor at the Western Michigan University Libraries. I serve as the Department Lead for User Services, overseeing staff at three branches of the Libraries on WMU’s Kalamazoo campus. Previously, I held the positions of Interlibrary Loan Librarian and Head of User Services at the University of Michigan-Dearborn Mardigian Library. I received my MLIS from Wayne State University and hold a BA from the University of Michigan. My research interests include user experience, management in libraries, and assessment. I have presented on innovative approaches to library programming, new technologies in libraries, and reference referrals between library departments. 

List prior leadership experience
My role for the past 10 years has been as Department Lead/Head at two different institutions. I have served as a representative to both the Council of Library Deans (COLD) Resource Sharing and Public Services groups. I have also been involved with the MiALA Access Services IG. I was elected chair of the Southeastern Michigan League of Libraries (SEMLOL) Executive Committee in 2014, and served through my term as past chair in 2017. Prior to my election as chair, I served as a SEMLOL Executive Committee member-at-large from 2012 to 2014.

I have a record of leadership and service to the institutions I have served. I have been appointed to WMU’s Instruction Contingency Task Force for Fall 2020. My service also includes representing the Libraries on the University Assessment Steering Committee. I have organized and chaired a number of campus and library events and orientations for students and student employees. I was recently elected to the University Libraries Faculty Executive Committee by my colleagues. 

Why would you like to serve on the MiALA board?
I feel a deep commitment to advocating for the value of libraries to the academy and for our contributions to student learning and student success. I also strongly believe in the power of mentorship within the library profession. 

We should remember the substantial hardships that our campuses, communities, and our membership have gone through, and will continue to endure over the weeks and months ahead. I would like to work toward increasing opportunities for members in the face of so much change. I feel I have the appropriate mix of empathy and experience to be a effective representative for our peers.
Private University Representative (two-year term)
 Brenna Wade
Brief biography
I have been a librarian for 9 years, working at Hillsdale College in both technical services (2011-2014) and public services (2014-present). My current position of Public Services Librarian includes instruction, reference, interlibrary loan, and outreach responsibilities. My professional interests focus mostly on library marketing and outreach, and the intersection of finding and providing access to resources.   

List prior leadership experience
-Chair of the Interest Group Coordinating Council (IGCC) 2019-2020 
-Member-at-large of the User Experience (UX) Section August 2017-2018 
-Member of the Membership Committee 2018-present
-Chair of the Outreach Interest Group (IG) 2017-2018
-Organized the merging of the Community Engagement and Outreach/Liaison IGs into the Outreach IG March/April 2017
-Served as chair-elect and chair of the former Community Engagement IG

Why would you like to serve on the MiALA board?
I would like to become more involved with and contribute to MiALA as an organization. I have thoroughly enjoyed connecting with and learning from colleagues through conferences, workshops, and IG activities. As the chair of the IGCC, I served this past year as an ex-officio, non-voting, member of the board, and I would love to continue to serve as a voting member and contribute further to the collegiality, learning, and professional development that MiALA provides.

Community College Representative (two-year term)
 Darlene Johnson- Bignotti
Brief biography
I am Library Faculty at  Oakland Community College and have spent most of my 17 years at our urban campus in downtown Royal Oak. Aside from one-shot instruction, reference, and collection management, I teach in rotation with my colleagues a one-credit research skills class. 

Prior to joining OCC I worked briefly for Detroit Public Library, and six weeks short of a decade at Southfield Public Library as the Business Librarian.

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Grand Valley State University (actually GVS Colleges when I attended; I’m a “Willy Jay” alum) and a Master’s Degree in Library Science from Wayne State University.

I am a 2011 graduate of the Galileo Teacher Leadership Academy, a two year cohort focusing on service leadership.  

In my Me Time I help my husband grow and harvest food from our small-scale farm, read biographies, and dream about catching a concert and traveling sometime soon.    

List prior leadership experience
This past year I’ve served as the Community College Interest Group Chair, a position which has allowed me to match names and faces and provided a hands-on orientation to the inner workings of the association. 

At OCC I have led many committees and activities. Presently I am a Campus Academic Senate Chair and a member of the college-wide Senate Leadership Council. I ended a four year appointment as a Department Chair in December 2019. 

I served several terms as an appointed and elected Trustee for the Ferndale Public Library from 2004 to 2011. Before joining the board I volunteered to help kick-start a Friends group and became its Co-Chair (Ferndale’s FOL has since become a model for other libraries). 

As a member of the Michigan Library Association, I was the Reference Division Chair and Executive Board member from 2003- 2004. I was also Reference Division Secretary and Treasurer from 2001-2003.

Why would you like to serve on the MiALA board?
I have been a MiALA member since its inception. Working as a volunteer at the first annual conference, I knew that I wanted to contribute to the energy and growth of the association. One message that has come through clearly in my interactions with other CC librarians is that we want to be “in the room where it happens”. We are eager to collaborate and learn from our colleagues in all sectors, but we also need a voice that will help tell our stories, as many of the challenges that four year institutions are encountering, particularly with underprepared students or staffing, are common to us. I feel that my many years as a CC librarian and prior board experience qualifies me to be that voice, and I would consider it an honor to do so. 

Current board members who will remain on the board for the 2020-2021 year.
Incoming PresidentCynthia Simpson
Immediate Past PresidentBeth Martin
SecretaryGina Bolger
Community College RepresentativeBethany Kennedy
Private College RepresentativeDavid Malone
Publicly Funded University RepresentativeElaine Meyer

Click here for IGCC Nominee Information

Ballots will be sent by email to all current members on Monday, June 1. Ballots will need to be completed no later than June 12 at 5:00 pm.