2022 WVLA Slate

The slate of candidates below was approved by the West Virginia Library Association Executive Board.

Angie is the Collection & Resource Management Librarian at Marshall University.  This role also includes the role of Budget Manager for Libraries and Online Learning.  She also serves on the Conference Planning Committee for WPWVC-ACRL (Western Pennsylvania-West Virginia Chapter, Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of ALA), WVer Consortia Steering Committee and Materials Selection Committee, and a PALCI Consortia Prospective Collections Committee member, as well as several Marshall University campus committees.

Angie’s WVLA board experience includes serving a term as Secretary from 2011-2013, and currently as the Academic Division Chair.  She welcomes the opportunity to continue to serve the West Virginia Library Association in this new capacity.

Mission Statement:

I believe the WVLA Board of Directors is currently on an uphill slope – working very hard to improve and add value to the organization through improved access for members. These enhancements have helped to renew energy in the association as well. I’d like the opportunity to continue this trajectory of change and improvement in the association. As librarians, we strive to make information as available and as accessible as possible, and our association framework should be no different. Our conferences should be no different. I believe if we all work together, we can continue to add value to the association. In turn, we will add value to the membership of the association by providing a rich source of library information, continuing education, and overall support for all types of libraries across the state.

Angela started work in the Cabell County Public Library system in January 1999, working most of her time in the Circulation department of the main library as the supervisor. Angela started as the Manager at the Cox Landing Branch in June of 2016. She completed her MLS from the University of North Texas in the spring of 2020. She received her BS in Library Informatics from Northern Kentucky University.

She was appointed as the 2nd Vice President mid-term and serves on the nominating committee; she’s a member of WVLA, ALA, PLA and is a member of COSUGI.  She welcomes the opportunity to continue to serve in this capacity for an organization that she believes in its mission.

On a personal note: When I started work at the library, I did so because I needed a job. I was always a big reader, but mostly magazines. Because of my time spent as a volunteer in the Tri-State Literacy Department located within the library, I applied for the part-time position in the Circulation department. I had no idea how my life would change by accepting that job. The library played a significant role in my education.

Addie Gilkerson is currently the Assistant Director at the Raleigh County Public Library in Beckley, WV. Born and raised in Southern West Virginia, Gilkerson gained a love for libraries and serving others at an early age when her mother was employed at the Pineville Library in Wyoming County. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Concord University and a Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of North Texas (UNT). While at UNT, she developed a special passion for collection development and managing digital content. She also earned a Graduate Academic Certificate in Digital Content Management at UNT.

Gilkerson has been employed at the Raleigh County Public Library since June, 2009. She began as a part-time Computer Lab Assistant, and then quickly worked her way up to full-time Reference Assistant. She was later promoted to Head of Circulation. At this time, she was encouraged to get her Master’s Degree. Once the degree was obtained, she was transferred to the Shady Spring Branch Library to serve as temporary Branch Manager. When a position for Head of Reference came open at the main branch, Gilkerson jumped at the opportunity to come back to Beckley. Following the hire of a new director, she was offered to keep the Head of Reference position and add Assistant Director to the title.

Gilkerson has been supervising the reference staff, ordering materials, helping catalog and process items, creating content for the website and maintaining that site as well as the social media for the library for approximately five years. She also handles administrative duties such as counting money and receipting daily deposits and funding checks. There isn’t much in the library that Gilkerson hasn’t done in the past 12 years. She was recently given the job title of her dreams (and a private office!) to focus on acquisitions and data services. She is very much looking forward to dedicating more of her time and energy to providing excellent materials and web services to the public. She will officially begin as Acquisitions and Data Services Librarian on July 1, 2021.

Gilkerson is the member-at-large for the WV Reads committee. She also serves on the Circulation committee for WVLN and was a former Circulation committee member for MLN.

As for her personal life, Gilkerson has a very smart and funny five year old son, a sweet 13 year old dog, and three spoiled kitties that were rescued during the COVID-19 lockdown. She enjoys playing home decorating apps on her phone, listening to thrillers on audiobook, spending time with her Wyoming County family, and going to concerts.

Larissa has been working as a librarian since 2016. She started as the Circulation Manager at the Marion County Public Library, was promoted to Assistant Director in 2018, and promoted to the position of Library Director in July 2020. She obtained my MLIS degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016. Prior to starting her career as a librarian, she worked as an attorney for 19 years.

Emily began her role as Head of Metadata at WVU last July, having returned to the Region after a career in academic and special libraries spanning roles in Access Services, Metadata Services, Reference, Assessment, and Administration that has carried her across the country from Southwest PA, to NC, to CO, to AK, and back. She recently completed a 5 year term as Secretary for my public library in Nederland, CO, which role expanded my perspective on user needs and community priorities beyond the relatively specialized services I provide in Research Libraries.

Nederland Community Library was a rural public library in a community where remote access to library resources fell on two sides of a wide divide, and she was proud to accomplish several initiatives as a member of the Board that began to build a bridge, including the circulation of hot spots and other equipment to the public and the installation of solar panels that allowed the library facility to serve as a hot spot during power outages related to frequent, severe weather. Historical resources the library helped to steward shared commonalities with WV libraries and cultural institutions along topical lines, relating to mining, geological engineering, and the social impacts of extractive industries. She helped the area Historical Society, through her role on the Board, to evaluate content management systems for their collections. She feels that this position would give her a wonderful opportunity to actively listen to a broad survey of Regional needs, especially as they relate to equitable access to resources.

Erika Connelly has been a West Virginia public library director for over twenty years and currently working at the Kanawha County Public Library as Director. Her passion for public service, providing excellent customer care, and cultivating imaginative programming started at the Doddridge County Public Library as a clerk in 1998, into her first directorship at the Taylor County Public Library, and most recently at the Marion County Public Library. She has been influenced over the years by her many relationships with North Central WV libraries. She enjoys traveling, learning new technologies, and brainstorming with other librarians to push the boundaries of the modern public library patron experience. She has a BA from Fairmont State University and an MLIS from the University of South Carolina.

Khader is a faculty/librarian at Marshall University since 1989. Currently he is the Associate University Librarian/Director of the Morrow Library. He has a BA, MS, Post MS Certificate of Advanced Study, and Ph.D. in Library and Information Science. Khader has been an active member of WVLA since 1990. He is a member of WVLA Executive Board, and the past chair of WVLA/GODORT. He published several articles in WV Libraries, and presented several papers on various topics related to librarianship during past WVLA professional development opportunities.

Khader also has been an active member of ALA since 1986. He served on various ALA and ACRL committees including ALA Advocacy Committee, ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, ALA Chapter Relations Committee, ALA Education Committee, ACRL Racial and Ethnic Diversity Committee, and ACRL International Relations Committee. He was also a past chair of ACRL Asian, African, and Middle Eastern Section (AAMES), past chair of ALA Near East and South Asia (NESA), and past vice-chair of ACRL/IRC.

It is not just an honor to represent WVLA at ALA, it is also an opportunity to be an advocate for WV libraries, library users, staff, librarians, and the profession. If re-elected to ALA council, I feel that it is my role to actively engage in conversations, work with other councilors and ALA administration on resolving issues that have a direct impact on the day to day operations of libraries. I will perform my duties to the best of my ability and act as the conduit for information flow between both organizations. I welcome this opportunity to serve you and an organization for which I have the utmost respect. I appreciate your support.

Eryn Roles, MA, MSLS, has served as a research and instruction librarian at Marshall University for ten years. She received her BA from Concord University, her MA from Marshall University, and her MSLS from the University of Kentucky. Throughout her time at Marshall, she has been fortunate enough to attend two ALA annual conferences and each time was struck by the welcoming environment, the scale of her profession, and the lives it touches. The main reason she decided to run is to continue the representation of West Virginia on a national level and shine a light on the remarkable things libraries in West Virginia are doing. West Virginia’s public and academic libraries work diligently to provide information and services to rural, sometimes disadvantaged, and underrepresented populations. Eryn’s work as a research and instruction librarian has brought opportunities to help the Appalachian population through her work in Information Literacy, Digital Humanities, Appalachian Studies, and most recently scholarly publication processes. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, West Virginia’s libraries have remained focused on serving patrons and maintaining the access this population needs to live, thrive, and learn and Eryn believes that serving in this position would allow her to increase the visibility of West Virginia Libraries and gain knowledge about how WV libraries can improve their already exceptional and selfless work. Serving as the ALA Councilor for WVLA would be an honor.

2017 WVLA Slate

The slate of candidates below was approved by the West Virginia Library Association Executive Board.

Megan Tarbett is the Director of the Putnam County Library. The Putnam County Library consists of 5 locations that serve as houses of lifelong learning and as vibrant community hubs. She spent 5 years at the West Virginia Library Commission, most recently as the Digital Resource Librarian, before she accepted her present position. Tarbett is running for the position of 1st vice-president. She is looking forward to continuing her work with WVLA to grow the organization and move it forward. Tarbett is passionate about libraries, especially West Virginia libraries, and works daily to advocate for her library in her community and for libraries all across the state. She is currently the Roundtable Representative on the WVLA executive board. She has held the position of 2nd vice president-membership as well. She also volunteers for numerous community organizations and sits on the boards of the West Virginia Youth Symphony, Generation West Virginia, Putnam County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Generation Putnam. She is a member of the 2013 Class of Leadership West Virginia. Tarbett earned her BA in English from Bethany College, Bethany, WV and her MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

Megan Shanholtz is the director of the Hampshire County Public Library. She has an MLIS from Clarion University. She enjoys working in library land because not only is every day a little different but also that English degree is finally coming in handy. Her hobbies include: reading, enjoying the outdoors, and recklessly spoiling her niece and nephews.

Lynda (Suzie) Martin holds a B.S. degree in secondary education from WVU and a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina (11995). Her professional work experiences include working as a teacher-librarian in Preston County Schools, and head of Reference at Morgantown Public Library. She recently retired from the school library position she crafted over the last 20 years and resumed employment at Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library as Program Outreach Librarian. Her main interest is the evolving roles of all types of libraries and the professional development needed to meet these roles. She is also interested in the use of social media to convey libraries’ missions to the public. Suzie is a member of the West Virginia chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, ALA, AASL and PLA. She is the chair of WVLA’s School Library division and a member of the defunct West Virginia Children’s Book Award Committee. She organized and moderates Library NBCT Support in Google Plus. This group offers feedback for school librarians seeking National Board Teacher Certification in Library Media. She maintains several blogs aimed at various audiences: Random Thoughts , Library NBCT Support and InForm . Her resume can be found at the InForm blog.

WVLA Members, I am running for a fourth term as Treasurer of WVLA, and hope you will find me the best candidate for serving our association. I believe the following credentials will prepare me for the duties of the position:

  • Library Director for Parkersburg & Wood Co. PL for 15 years.
  • Class on Fraud and Embezzlement through local Chamber of Commerce, taught by Edward C. McMillan, CPA (Fraud Guru – http://www.nonprofitguru.com/).
  • Member of WVLA Audit Committee for one year
  • WVLA Public Library Chair
  • WVLA 1st Vice President, President, and Past President
  • WVLA Treasurer since December 2011

I have a strong desire to serve WVLA with my best talents. Those of you who know me can say I have a strange love of working with numbers, and that I am a stickler for following the rules. As Director, I am always looking for ways to make sure the money is well accounted for and that our procedures keep the integrity of the books as well as the people who handle them in good standing. I truly believe the Treasurer position is one of the most important positions in the association, and I would be honored to continue serving in that role.

If you have any further questions about me or my qualifications, please feel free to contact me.

Brian E. Raitz,

2016 WVLA Slate

The slate of candidates below was approved by the West Virginia Library Association Executive Board via email vote on Thursday, June 9th.

Megan Tarbett is the Director of the Putnam County Library. She spent 5 years at the West Virginia Library Commission, most recently as the Digital Resource Librarian, before she accepted her present position. Tarbett is passionate about libraries, especially West Virginia libraries, and works daily to advocate for her library in her community, and for libraries all across the state.

Tarbett is a candidate for 2nd Vice-President/Membership. A five-year member of WVLA, Tarbett is looking forward to getting more involved in the organization. She knows that a strong member base is critical and will work to strengthen and grow WVLA’s numbers, while providing support and service to the new and long-standing members of the organization.

Steven M. Shackelford is the Adult Services Librarian at the Parkersburg & Wood County Public Library in Parkersburg, WV. Previously, Mr. Shackelford served as the Agency Manager II of the Cossitt, East Shelby, and South Branches of the Memphis Public Library & Information Center in Memphis, TN

Mr. Shackelford earned his Bachelor of Arts at West Virginia University and his Master of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University.

Statement of Concern:

I am a native West Virginian, spending most of my formative years on the Marion—Monongalia County border in the small, unincorporated community of Opekiska. My first library card was issued by the Marion County Public Library.

Three years of service in some of the most economically disadvantaged zip codes in the United States have revealed to me the necessity of public libraries. Public libraries provide vital links to social services—especially in economically challenged areas. For example, in both Memphis and Parkersburg, applications for HUD benefits must be completed online. Job applications for ubiquitous companies – like McDonald’s – are often no longer available in paper format. Thus, for patrons without internet access at home, public libraries connect them to critical social services and job opportunities.

With West Virginia Libraries providing vital, and often the only, links between the digitally disconnected and various social services, as well as job opportunities, it is essential that our libraries remain strong and stable.  Especially given the vast outmigration of population from the State of West Virginia, our libraries must continue to serve as refuges, information hubs, and collaborative workspaces. Perhaps, libraries can serve as catalysts that enable people to stay in West Virginia?

WVLA must continue to provide professional development opportunities, education, and resources to support these essential services.

Dr. Charles A. “Chuck” Julian is a 1971 graduate of Warwood High School (Wheeling) and received a bachelor’s degree in education from Glenville State College. He attended the University of Sheffield, England on a Rotary International Fellowship where he earned a master’s degree in information studies. He obtained a master’s in library science degree from George Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University and completed a doctor of philosophy degree in library science from the Florida State University.

Previously, Julian worked as a library/information specialist at Adena High School in Frankfort, Ohio; Moundsville Junior High School; Parkersburg Community College; and at Glenville State College. In 1992, he joined the staff at the Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center (NTTC) at Wheeling Jesuit University where he served 19 years before assuming the directorship of the Paul Meek Library at the University of Tennessee-Martin.   In August 2015, Julian returned to West Virginia and became Director of the Mary F. Shipper Library/Associate University Librarian at Potomac State College of West Virginia University.

Over the years, Dr. Julian, a native West Virginian, has participated in a number of professional associations including the American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, Special Libraries Association, and the West Virginia Library Association.  He has previously served as and is currently a gubernatorial appointee to the West Virginia Library Commission.   Julian is active in the Keyser community as a member of the Rotary Club and is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. He is a frequent presenter at professional and other organizations.

Julian is a WVLA Life Member.  Previous WVLA offices have included:  President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, Secretary, Chair-Junior Members Round Table, Chair-College and University Section, and service on numerous committees.  In 1986, he received the WVLA Junior Member Round Table’s Outstanding Library Service Award and in 1991 the WVLA Dora Ruth Parks Award.

Statement of Concern

Within the state of West Virginia, there have always been challenges and opportunities for libraries and library professionals. But, too frequently, we forget the influence and impact that libraries have upon our fellow citizens.  We can get blinded by the trees in the forest — it’s hard to be philosophical or inspirational when struggling to garner enough dollars to meet local maintenance of effort funding.  However, libraries do truly transform!

The American Library Association has it right when it proclaims that we need a “clear, energetic voice for our profession, showcasing the transformative nature of today’s libraries and elevating the critical role libraries play in the digital age.”  The West Virginia Library Association should take the lead in our state to be one of those clear voices – to assist those library supporters in the effective telling of our story through initiatives that address awareness, perception, and engagement.

Within the Association, we can better serve members by functioning as a clearinghouse for advocacy issues and information and by improving our communication with WVLA members.  We need to sharpen our website and to consider innovative ways to deliver our message.  If travel budgets shrink, we need to be more proactive in online and virtual meetings and conferences.  We need to demonstrate the value that the Association brings to its members in real and tangible ways.  Also, we need our members to fully engage with the West Virginia Library Association.

As a long-time WVLA member, during my decades-long affiliations there have been exceptionally innovative years, times of upheaval, and periods of dullness.  But, for anyone wishing to make a professional difference, the Association can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.

After 40 years as an active library/information professional, I still joyfully go to work every day.   Becoming a librarian has been one of the best decisions of my life!

Ultimately serving again as your WVLA President would be both an honor and a privilege.

I am a 2001 graduate of Southern High School in Racine, Ohio. After high school I went on to the University of Rio Grande in Rio Grande, Ohio where I Majored in Psychology and minored in Anthropology. The most extraordinary thing to happen to me during that time though, was that I got a part-time job as a library clerk at the Meigs County District Public Library and a love affair with library services was born. I loved being surrounded by books and seeing our most dedicated patrons each week. I was also drawn to the work of Librarianship because of the social services and referrals that we were able to provide to people regardless of their individual situations or backgrounds.  I worked as a Library Clerk with MCDPL for the next decade and knew without a doubt, as time progressed, that working within the library world was my passion in life and that I had found what I was truly great at doing. I worked my way up from part-time circulation clerk to Adult Services Coordinator. I went on to earn my Masters of Library and Information Science from Kent State University in the spring of 2010.  I specialized in Library Services for Youth and completed my Practicum Training at the Columbus Metropolitan Library in Columbus Ohio. I began my career as a West Virginia Librarian later that fall as the Youth Services Director at the South Charleston Public Library. I grew to really enjoy my job duties there which included selecting and organizing materials and creating dynamic programming and story-times for children of all ages. I gained a lot of great experience during my time in South Charleston that would help to prepare me for the next big move in my career as the Director of Library Services at the Vienna Public Library. I greatly enjoy leading the staff of my small municipal library. I am also active in the American Library Association community and attend their annual conferences. I feel that librarianship is truly necessary in a fully functioning democracy and that the work of librarians is very important to their communities. Many new and innovative things are happening in the library world and I am very excited to make sure that West Virginia Libraries are a part of those exciting changes.  Quality Libraries and adequate funding for them are needed more than ever in the state of WV as the nature of our economy is in a state of flux and many people are in need of the services that libraries are best able to provide in these uncertain times.  The WVLA is especially important in that endeavor because of the affordable opportunities for continuing education that they provide to West Virginia library staff all over the state. I am enjoying very much being a part of the West Virginia library community and I hope to serve the people of this state for many years to come.

Mary Strife has been in the WVU Libraries system for over 20 years, most recently as Lead Administrator, Library Resources, WVU Tech/Beckley.  She has been an academic librarian for almost 34 years, with an MLS from the University of Buffalo.  She has served WVLA on the Nominating Committee, Elections Committee, and as chair of the Academic and Special Libraries Divisions.  She was the sole person from WV on the team that reincorporated/re-established the Western PA/WV Chapter of ACRL and was elected the first president of the group after the process was completed.   Over the years, she has had various leadership positions in the SLA Pittsburgh and Upstate NY chapters, SLA Physics/Astronomy/Mathematics and Chemistry Divisions, and the NYLA Academic/Special Libraries Division.

Libraries, whether school, public, special or academic, are the heart of their domain.  Libraries provide places to read, study and learn.  They give people access to all kinds of information. programs,  and opportunities that would be otherwise missed.  They are an equalizer for affluent and needy.  Libraries introduce children and adults (young and old) to ideas, destinations, and information that they might not find on their own, without bias and in a place of safety.  Libraries help people dream and explore.

Now more than ever, we need to unite to demonstrate what happens without a strong, well-funded library.  The Internet is a wonderful tool but can never replace a caring librarian or library staff member, nor can it take the place of a safe, comfortable place to read, learn, dream, and develop technological savvy that will last a lifetime.  We need dedicated librarians and staff to promote the best of libraries.

Additional candidates may be nominated upon petition by at least ten members of the Association, provided the petitioners have secured the written consent of each nominee in advance.  Those names shall be forwarded to the Chair of the Nominating Committee, Martha Yancey (myancey@wvu.edu), no later than July 31st and shall be added to the slate of candidates.