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Top tags: Aaron Dobbs  Amy Deuink  Chris Snyder  Dana Barber  Elizabeth Davis  Janis Stubbs  Josh Berk  Kelly Clever  Marcia Stiller  Marguerite Dube  Melissa Rowse  Susan Jefferey 

Meet Aaron Dobbs, PaLA Teaching, Learning & Technology Round Table Chair

Posted By Aaron Dobbs, Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I joined PaLA in 2014 (or was it 2013?), seven or eight years after moving to Pennsylvania for a library job. I had been heavily involved in the Tennessee Library Association and was (still am) crazy-active nationally in ALA. I’m sure there was some lame excuse for not joining when I got here, I have no idea what it was, but now that I am a member (an active member, of course) I really wish I’d joined from day one.

     Why get involved at the state level?

That’s easy: everything is local, results can be seen more quickly, and all politics start at the local level.

     How did I become involved in libraries?

That’s a long convoluted tale: Mom brought me to our excellent town library as a wee bairn… My active involvement starts with receiving help from a girl-friend who worked at Storrs Library in high school, continues with a girlfriend who worked in the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library in college; it dips into improbability when a truck driver & NYC nightclub bouncer (me) gets a job at the NYPL Research Libraries (page in the stacks, library assistant 1 in Manuscripts and Archives, library assistant 3 in the Office of Special Collections), discovered for myself that working in libraries is COOL, and applies (and gets) a teaching assistant position at a library school in Tennessee where I met my wife; and then wends its way through public libraries (Brooklyn NY & Chattanooga TN), special libraries (SunTrust Equitable Securities Investment Banking Group), and into academic libraries (Austin Peay State University (TN) & now Shippensburg University. There are a terrifying number of stories along that path, most many some of which are even believable.

•     What sort of interesting, yet improbable, info is available about me?

Well: [redacted, it’s too soon], [redacted, to protect the identities of the innocent], I’ve served on ALA Council since just after I moved to PA (2007), and I have physically crossed into and out of more than half the counties of the United States at least once – depending on which of my Rand McNally atlases I reference, I have either one or five PA counties to go: Elk, Forest, McKean, Sullivan, & Warren.

Tags:  Aaron Dobbs 

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Meet Susan Jeffery, Library Director and PaLA Member

Posted By Susan Jefferey, Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My name is Susan Jeffery, and I am the Library Director at North Pocono Public Library in Moscow, PA.

  • I have been the director of the North Pocono Public Library for 7+ years and during that time, we raised funds and built a beautiful, new 8,400 sq. foot library. Our library has a unique Reading Tree and a 7 foot giraffe named Kevin, our mascot!
  • I have worked in several different public libraries and have found that it is important to recognize that every community is different and our job is to meet and exceed the expectations of that community!
  • PaLA is an important part of my professional life. It provides opportunities for networking, gathering new information, learning new concepts and gaining new perspectives on librarianship. It helps me to better serve my community.
  • I love PA Forward and work to promote it in my library! I serve as the Chair for the Health Literacy Committee. We are working on a grant from the NN/LM MAR, to promote consumer health literacy and to learn more about effective evaluation of programs in libraries!
  • My favorite children’s books include: Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom, Caps for Sale, and Julie Edward’s Mandy. I love when I have the opportunity to do our music and movement story time – singing and dancing with the toddlers makes me happy! 

Tags:  Susan Jefferey 

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Meet Chris Snyder, PaLA Member since 1982

Posted By Chris Snyder, Thursday, May 26, 2016

I knew I was going to be a librarian since 2nd grade when my mom, who was a volunteer at my elementary school in Brooklyn, harangued the principal about why the school library was closed. “Well, Rose”, she said, “open it.” And so we did. I spent hours with her during the summer un-mothballing the one-room library. When school started in September, I became her only ‘paid’ assistant (a weekly treat from the school store). There was never a doubt in my mind that this was what I was meant to do with my life.

Fast forward 13 years to when I graduated Shippensburg University with a degree in school librarianship and secondary English education and became the first female teacher in an all-male high school.  It was quite the experience and two of the school’s worst troublemakers were, hands-down, my best library aides. (“Hey, Ms. S, you want us to get you those overdue fines?”   “No, no! I’ll take care of it…”)

After five years, I took a job as a cataloger in a public library and changed my PSLA (PA School Librarians Association) membership for a PaLA membership (although it was PLA back then). My years in PaLA served me well as I moved along in my career from cataloger to Technical Services Manager to System Administrator and now, to District Consultant for Bucks County. I served on committees for SEPLA and attended workshops and conferences which strengthened my job skills and taught me to network.  I’m proud to have been asked to serve on state-level committees and give back to an association that has helped me so much professionally AND given me a cadre of friends who actually understand what I’m talking about when I feel the need to grump about RDA or celebrate getting a sticky piece of ILS coding to cooperate.  PaLA members don’t roll their eyes at these stories as much as my husband and children do…

Thank you, PaLA!!!

Tags:  Chris Snyder 

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Meet Marcia Stiller, PaLA Northwest Chapter

Posted By Marcia Stiller, Monday, March 7, 2016

I’m Marcia Stiller, the Director of the Corry Public Library in southeast Erie County (yes that does sound like an oxymoron). I am also the 2016 past-chair of the NW Chapter of PaLA.

I joined PaLA when I became a library director in 2011. The Library Board had decided to send me to the annual conference and (ICYMI) members receive a discounted rate.  At that time I was only measuring value in cost; a mistake I think many of us may be guilty of. The value provided by PaLA is much more than discounts to conferences & workshops or coupons from vendors.

PaLA provides a platform for Pennsylvania library professionals to exchange ideas and collaborate. PaLA provides tools like PA Forward that help us in our everyday advocacy efforts. Also PaLA sponsors professional development opportunities on both the state and chapter levels.

Yes, you may (gasp!) get asked to volunteer. But why would you say no to helping further libraries and engage the public? Unless I’m mistaken you’re doing these things already. So why not borrow ideas from others doing the same? Why not use the PA Forward brand to strengthen your grant requests and advocacy efforts? (Plus, it will save you time!) 

Tags:  Marcia Stiller 

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Meet Janis Stubbs, 2015 PaLA Past-President

Posted By Janis Stubbs, Thursday, December 10, 2015

Let’s see…a few words about me.  I’m the assistant director and district consultant for the Delaware County Library System.  A few of my duties include adult collection development for ebooks and audio (love it), van delivery (not so much), and interacting with library boards (actually enjoy it).  I joined PaLA when I first moved to Pennsylvania and it was still called PLA.  I always went to conferences and took advantage of workshops, but it wasn’t until I became active in SEPLA that it hit me just how powerful membership is.  It is powerful on a personal level in that I’ve met so many smart and talented and, most importantly, helpful people who became my friends.  And I know they’re friends because they still take my phone calls in spite of the number of times I’ve bothered them with questions.  It’s powerful on a professional level because—just like PA Forward says—success comes when we speak with a collective voice.  The more of us there are, the better.  The more patrons and trustees, too, that we can get to help make our case in Harrisburg, the better.

I feel so fortunate in being able to serve the association, having served a term on the board as Director-at-Large and as President last year.  I’m on the PA Forward Steering Committee, the Membership Committee and the Legislative Information Committee, as well, and have been a mentor for PALS, PaLA’s incomparable leadership development program, four times.  If I could commandeer the entire PaLA website to gush about PALS, I would, but just know that if you’re a new librarian and are interested in learning about leadership and meeting a lot of awesome people who, with any luck, will always take your phone calls no matter how many times you bother them, you should look into it.  And if you’re not a member of PaLA, you should join, and if you are a member, go find somebody who isn’t and tell them how great it is!

Tags:  Janis Stubbs 

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Meet Kelly Clever, 2015 Southwest Chapter Chair

Posted By Kelly Clever, Wednesday, November 4, 2015

In my grandparents’ house, there is still a small bookcase that contains a dozen or so children’s books. In the back of each of those books is a pocket and sign-out card that I created and used to check out One Fish, Two Fish and Caps for Sale to my brother or grandfather before Papa would read to us. It seems that I chose my profession early.

Twenty-fiveish years later, I’m a librarian, which may have been inevitable! As an academic, I don’t automatically experience connection and idea-sharing with other librarians at district meetings, etc. PaLA has been invaluable in connecting me with the regional librarians beyond my own university.

I’ve learned so much from my attendance and participation in our local group (go, Southwest Chapter!) and at the state level. My classroom teaching, liaison responsibilities, committee roles, technical abilities, organizational skills, and more have all improved as a result of my participation in PaLA over the last eight years, well repaying the investment that I and my university have made in the organization. 

By the way, my last name is pronounced just like the word. I’m literally a clever librarian.

Tags:  Kelly Clever 

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Meet Amy Deuink, 2015 PaLA Conference Chair

Posted By Amy Deuink, Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It’s surprising to me to realize I have been working in Penn State University Libraries for 21 years, the last 12 as a librarian. As a student at Penn State I worked part-time in the library while studying anthropology and archaeology. Both anthropology and the library research I love to do share a sense of adventure and discovery, with deep regard for people and our past. For now my adventure remains in the library, but I hope my retirement years will be filled with summers in the dirt as a volunteer on archaeological digs!

I’ve been involved with PaLA since I became and librarian and have had a lot of opportunities to connect with PA librarians, especially through service to the Lehigh Valley Chapter, the College & Research Division (CRD), and now as 2nd Vice-President (Conference Chair). For a number of years I have been working to bring online programming to PaLA members and I am glad to see the Connect & Communicate community thriving under the leadership of Jill Hallam-Miller.

PaLA works hard for Pennsylvania libraries, and I am proud to be a member!

Tags:  Amy Deuink 

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Meet Marguerite Dube, 2015 PaLA Treasurer

Posted By Marguerite Dube, Thursday, August 6, 2015


I’m Marguerite Dube, Director of the Chester County and Henrietta Hankin Branch Libraries in Exton, PA. I have been a member of PaLA since 2006, and am presently serving on the Board as Treasurer.

I have received many benefits from this wonderful organization. As an MLIS student at Drexel University, I received a substantial tuition discount through my membership.  In 2010, I was fortunate to be chosen to participate in the PaLA Leadership Academy (PALS), which helped me significantly in developing my leadership skills as a new library director and while serving on the board of PaLA’s Southeast chapter

Through my participating in PaLA, I have met an energetic, talented and fun group of individuals who are committed to providing excellent library services to the citizens of Pennsylvania.  I have learned a lot from them, and once my term is up as Treasurer, I look forward to serving with them in some capacity in the future. 

Tags:  Marguerite Dube 

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Meet Melissa Rowse, PaLA Membership Chair 2015-2017

Posted By Melissa Rowse, Friday, July 10, 2015
Updated: Monday, May 11, 2015

I have a confession ~ I love change and no other profession changes as much as we do.

Not only do we metamorphose daily from decoding a reference question to singing songs at storytime to delivering presentation, but also over time our profession has fully embraced the rapid changes in technology. 

I am proud to be a librarian and even happier to be member of PaLA.  When I am not touting the benefits of libraries, you can catch me on a run, vacuuming, or surrounded by canines.  I volunteer and foster for a rescue organization called Haven to Home.  True to my breed (of favorite dogs - that is), I am friendly, loyal, and need daily exercise and water. 

I am so happy to be a pack member moving PA Forward.

Tags:  Melissa Rowse 

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Meet Dana Barber, PaLA Director at Large and Library Director

Posted By Dana Barber, Friday, June 26, 2015
Updated: Monday, May 11, 2015

I am the Director of the Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Library in Bristol, PA and proudly serving as PaLA’s Director-at-Large.

A few points about me:

  • Honest, loyal, and always armed with a smile
  • Proud mother of two bright and beautiful girls
  • Avid music enthusiast with a complete lack of musical talent
  • Passionate about library service and free and equal access for all
  • Committed to lifelong learning and to building strong communities

My Personal goal: Make the world a better place in whatever way I can

Why I joined PaLA:

The voice of libraries is stronger when delivered through PaLA. I believe the only way to make a true and monumental difference is to do it together. PaLA members are not only committed to library service and passionate about what they do, they also have an astounding generosity of spirit. I am so grateful to have them in my life as advisors, mentors, sounding boards, and cheerleaders.

That is why I belong. I am in it for libraries, I am in it for the community I serve, and I am in it for me.

Tags:  Dana Barber 

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