Meet the Candidates

The PSLA Operations Committee would like to introduce you to the candidates who have agreed to serve on the PSLA Board of Directors.  The secretary and directors will serve for a two-year term while the vice president will serve a four-year term.   Serving on the Board of Directors means these individuals will be responsible for assisting the president in developing policies and procedures for the organization in all matters of state and national issues dealing with the school library profession.

Your vote is crucial for maintaining a strong, viable organization. Elections will be held from January 31, 2019 to February 21, 2019.  An email will be sent to all active PSLA members indicating when the election begins as well as directions for voting on the new PSLA website.  Complete biographical information will be included in the online ballot as well as the PSLA website.  As an active member of PSLA, you will be asked to vote for a vice president, treasurer and two directors.  The following information will give you the opportunity to learn more about the candidates including their backgrounds and their vision for PSLA. 

Each candidate addressed the following questions:

  1. PRIORITY GOALS FOR PSLA:   What goals do you think should have top priority for PSLA in 2019-2021?  Please provide your rationale.
  2. LEADERSHIP:  Briefly describe your leadership strengths and include examples if possible.
  3. 2025:  What do you see as the role of the school librarian in 2025?






NAME:  Laura Ward
CANDIDATE FOR: Vice-President, President Elect, President and Past President
for the 2019-2023 term
SCHOOL DISTRICT: Fox Chapel Area School District
SCHOOL: Fox Chapel Area High School, Pittsburgh, PA
TITLE/POSITION: High School Librarian
Doctor of Education Student, Point Park University, 2016- present
Master of Library and Information Science, University of Pittsburgh, 2010
Bachelor of Arts, English & Secondary Education, Point Park University, 2006
Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Robert Morris University, 2000


  • Co-chair, Communications Committee, 2016 - present
  • Committee Member, Teaching & Learning Committee, 2014 – 2016
  • Committee Member, Library Promotions Committee, 2012-2014
  • Committee Member, Media Selection & Review Committee, 2012-2014
  • Conference Moderator 2016-Present
  • Contributing Writer, Learning & Media, 2014
  • Presenter, PSLA Conference, “Leadership 101,” 2017
  • Presenter, PSLA Conference, “Be a Leader: Advocate for the Library Program Your Students Deserve,” 2016
  • Presenter, PSLA Conference, “YA Literature Review Roundtable,” 2016
  • Presenter, PSLA Conference, “YA Top 40,” 2014
  • Presenter, “2, 4, 6, 8 School Libraries Are Really Great!,” 2014
  • Participant and graduate, ELA2 (Emerging Leaders Academy), 2015-2016
  • Member, PSLA, 2012 – present
  • Attendee, PSLA Annual Conference, 2013 - present
  • Attendee, PSLA Leadership Summit, 2014 - present

PRIORITY GOALS FOR PSLA:   What goals do you think should have top priority for PSLA in 2019-2021?  Please provide your rationale.

            Creating a culture of inclusivity should be a priority for PSLA in 2019-2021.  There are school librarians across the state of Pennsylvania who do not know the benefits the PA School Librarians Association can provide them and there are far more school librarians who don’t even know there is even a professional organization in Pennsylvania. By creating a culture of inclusivity and outreach our current members can share their positive experiences and the benefits of PSLA with other school librarians.  The organization will grow metaphorically as well as with physical membership numbers when all Pennsylvania School librarians see the value of and their place within the organization. 

LEADERSHIP:  Briefly describe your leadership strengths and include examples if possible.

            Walking into the FCAHS Library on any given morning you might experience sensory overload.  Looking to the left you’ll see a group of students relaxing and socializing.  More students will be quietly huddled together cramming for a test.  You’ll see students vying for a desktop computer or signing out a laptop while other students hurriedly grab their DBQs from the printer.  Debates occur as students sign-in and discuss the day’s “would you rather” question.  Members of the school’s Social Activism Club might be hosting their weekly meeting in the library classroom with a guest speaker or the school’s mathletes may be participating in a national math exam. Students who suffered concussions make their way to the dimly lit library conference room for a quiet spot to recover.

            If you need a book or help finding research materials, student workers man the circulation desk.  All have found a place where they belong, are comfortable and most importantly are wanted.  You never know who will stop by; a PE teacher who tells bad library jokes, math teachers who pop in to talk about the latest teen romance books that are now movies on Netflix, or the ever-loyal English teachers who are looking for new suggestions for their struggling readers. 

            I have created a space where all stakeholders feel welcome.  The idea of creating a culture of inclusivity is at the core of my leadership style.  My approachability has made this one of the most popular locations in the school.  My organizing and planning skills allow for the establishment of fun and exciting contests and activities for students.  I also have a strong self-knowledge to understand the areas in which I need to work and strive to sharpen my leadership skills. The FCAHS Library is organized chaos, and not what you think of when you traditionally think of a library, but it directly reflects my leadership qualities.

2025:  What do you see as the role of the school librarian in 2025?

            A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away a librarian of Jedi Archives named Jocasta Nu was tasked with training Padawans in the importance of preserving their history and accessing information.  For those not as familiar with the epic of Star Wars, Jocasta Nu can be considered a school librarian.  Her role mirrors what the school librarian’s role will be in five years.  In 2025, the role of the school librarian will continue to be assisting students in accessing information and even preserving history.  School librarians give students the tools they need to locate, access, and synthesize the best information for the task at hand.  The way that information is presented has changed over time and will continue to change as online resources evolve, but the importance of the school librarian’s role in teaching students information literacy skills will remain constant.

EXPERIENCE IN OTHER ORGANIZATIONS:  What leadership roles do you have in these organizations?

  • Presenter, Point Park University Graduate Conference, “Diversity Initiatives in 3 Western Pennsylvania School Districts,” 2018 – Winner for Best Poster Presentation
  • Presenter, SXSWedu, “The Challenge of Curation,” 2017
  • Presenter, American Library Association Annual Conference, “The Core: A Year (Or More!) In, How Does This Affect Librarians?” 2015
  • Presenter Technology Enhanced Literacy & Learning, “Collaborators without Borders,” 2014
  • Member, Western Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, 2016-Present
  • Member, American LibraryAssociation, 2009-2012, 2015-Present
  • Member, American Association of School Libraries, 2009-2012, 2015-Present
  • Member, Young Adult Services Association, 2009-2012, 2015-Present
  • Attendee, Young Adult Services Association Symposium, 2017
  • Book Club Faculty Advisor, Fox Chapel Area High School, 2009-present
  • Social Activism Club Faculty Advisor, Fox Chapel Area High School, 2017- present
  • Girls Tennis Assistant, Fox Chapel Area High School, Coach 2009-2015
  • Teens for a Cure Sponsor, Fox Chapel Area High School, 2009-2018
  • Chess Club Faculty Advisor, Fox Chapel Area High School, 2013-2017
  • Student Government Sponsor, Fox Chapel Area High School, Social Committee Sponsor 2008-2012, Class Sponsor 2012-2013
  • U6 Soccer Coach, KO United, 2016
  • Sunday School Teacher, Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church, 2016 - present
  • Volunteer, Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church VBS, August 2016 – present
  • Team Captain, United States Tennis Association, 2015- 2018
  • Team Member, United States Tennis Association, 2012 – present
  • Member, Jr. League of Pittsburgh, 2011-2015
  • Delegate, Jr. League of Pittsburgh, 2014
  • Member, Jr. League of Pittsburgh, New Member Committee, 2014-2015
  • Member, Jr. League of Pittsburgh, Community Research & Development Committee, 2014-2015
  • Chair, Jr. League of Pittsburgh, American Girl Fashion Show, 2014
  • Co-chair, Jr. League of Pittsburgh, Provisional Project, 2012
  • Volunteer, Pittsburgh Marathon, 2009




Jane Farrell
SCHOOL DISTRICT:  Dallastown Area
SCHOOL:  Dallastown Area Intermediate School, York, PA 
EDUCATION:  Master of Library and Information Science, University of Pittsburgh  


  • Committee Member, Conference Committee, 2015 - present
  • Presenter, PSLA Conference, Hubs & Hybrids, 2015
  • Presenter, PSLA Conference, Creating a Manageable Makerspace, 2017
  • Presenter, SPIES, Creating a Manageable Makerspace,  2018
  • Participant and graduate, ELA (Emerging Leaders Academy), 2014-2015
  • Coach, SLA (Sustaining Leaders Academy), 2015-2016
  • Regional Coordinator, RLA (Regional Leaders Academy), 2016-present
  • Member, 2010 - present
  • Conference Attendee, 2010 - present
  • Attendee, PSLA Leadership Meeting, 2014-present
  • Attendee, Keystone Technology Summit, 2015
  • Attendee, PETE&C, 2015-present

PRIORITY GOALS FOR PSLA:   What goals do you think should have top priority for PSLA in 2019-2021?  Please provide your rationale.

The top priority for PSLA in 2019-2021 should continue to be advocating for the presence of a certified librarian in each school in every district.  The PSLA legislative committee has worked diligently to increase awareness of this at school administration and state levels through the efforts of House Bill 740.  Additionally, our goals should also focus on ensuring that as librarians, we are continuing to move toward 21st century education, and that the Model Curriculum for PA School Library Programs is being adopted by librarians across the state.  Opportunities for PA School Librarians to attend training in the Model Curriculum and the Educator Effectiveness System have been well provided in many locations across Pennsylvania.  PSLA has, and should continue, to make this a priority to keep school librarians a relevant force toward the success of learners. Additionally, implementing the new AASL National School Library Standards should be at the forefront of library curriculum across the state.  School librarians should take the time to attend one of the many training sessions being offered across the state, to familiarize themselves with the new standards and incorporate them into library curriculum.  The AASL NSLS domains align very well with the Danielson and Marzano frameworks, providing librarians with a standards resource specifically geared to our unique teaching community.   

Finally, heading toward 2025 librarians need to be not only instructors of information literacy, but also stewards of information literacy.  In an era of fake news, and divisiveness, it is essential that we instill a strong foundation of evaluating information for fairness and accuracy. We must be agents of communication democracy, and encourage our learners to listen, scrutinize, and evaluate information carefully.

LEADERSHIP:  Briefly describe your leadership strengths and include examples if possible.

I constantly strive to improve myself as an educator and school librarian through PSLA sponsored programs, and other professional development opportunities.  I was proud to have been selected for the inaugural cohort of the Emerging Leaders Academy.  My participation in ELA gave me the confidence to take on a more active role with PSLA, and become involved with the conference committee, and present various workshops at the annual conference.  I acted as chair of the Conference Committee’s Technology Learning Lab subcommittee and will continue this year as chair of the Poster Session subcommittee.  During the summer of 2016 I was honored to be asked to serve as a coach on the inaugural cohort of the Sustaining Leaders Academy, and humbled to share my experience with highly seasoned librarians.  This opportunity was as much a learning experience for me, as it was for the selected participants.  Following SLA, I was asked to join the Regional Leaders Academy as a Regional Coordinator.  RLA continues to work very hard to develop a strong network of communication for all school librarians across the state.

I also try to take on a leadership role in my district, through my participation in several building committees, such as our No Place for Hate and Spirit Committees.  Additionally, I am a member of our building’s Technology Advisory Committee.  This committee meets regularly to brainstorm ideas to ensure that our entire faculty is up to date with current trends in technology.  Our school is currently one to one with Chromebooks for all grades.  The TAC assists staff and students with apps and extensions from Google for Education.  We also host a parent Chromebook Camp, in which we invite parents to the library for an evening emersion into what technologies their students are using at school.  Our TAC group was the winner of a Google for Education Summit during the 2015-16 school year.  100 fifth grade students were chosen to become Google Sherpas, learn various technology tools, and then pay it forward by sharing what they learned with other students.  Furthermore, I am a presenter/facilitator in our district wide Chromebook Camp, held during the school year and over the summer.

Finally, I believe it is important to collaborate with other librarians, inside and outside of my district.  My participation in ELA, SLA, RLA and the Expert Panel on Leadership Development have opened a vast network of possibilities to work and learn with other librarians.  I’m happy to lead by example and bring the opportunities I have been given back to my district.  I enjoy sharing what I learn at the PSLA conference, as well as other events, with my fellow librarians, colleagues, and students.

2025:  What do you see as the role of the school librarian in 2025?

Starting now, and looking beyond 2025, the school librarian must be an agent for change.  We must strive to be innovative and expect our role as librarians to constantly evolve.  It is our responsibility to stay ahead of educational and technology trends and recreate our spaces to accommodate the changes that lie ahead of us.  I have been with my district for nine years and have seen my library go through many changes.  I have recreated my curriculum, adopted a hybrid learning environment, restructured the library schedule, genrefied my fiction section, and added technology and makerspace stations.  The loss of librarians across the commonwealth is not merely a threat, but a reality.  Our goal must be to prove that librarians are future ready leaders, instituting advancements in educational changes. We should be the force that leads learners far into the 21st century.

EXPERIENCE IN OTHER ORGANIZATIONS:  What leadership roles do you have in these organizations? 

  • PAECT—Member, South Central Region
  • Keystone Technology Innovators Program, Summer 2015
  • 2015 Keystone Technology Star
  • Member, Southern PA Information Exchange Source (SPIES)
  • PSLA—Member
    • Conference Committee—Poster Session Chair
  • Emerging Leaders Academy—2015 Inaugural Cohort
  • Sustaining Leaders Academy—2016 Coach
  • Regional Leaders Academy—2017 Regional Coordinator
  • Aspiring Association Leaders Academy—2018




M. E. (Beth) Shenefiel
SCHOOL: Eden Hall Upper Elementary School, Gibsonia, PA
EDUCATION: Master of Library and Information Science, University of Pittsburgh 


  • Contributor, Guidelines for Pennsylvania School Library Programs, 2018.
  • Attendee, PSLA Leadership Meeting, 2018.
  • Participant and graduate, SLA (Sustaining Leaders Academy), 2016 -2017.
  • Committee Member, Conference Committee, 2016 - present.
  • Conference Attendee, 2016 – present.
  • Presenter, “Learning 4 Life: School Libraries Retooled and Relevant,” 2011
  • Member, 2010 – present.

PRIORITY GOALS FOR PSLA: What goals do you think should have top priority for PSLA in 2019-2021? Please provide your rationale.

            In the near future, PSLA should place priority on three closely related goals: advocacy, communication, and strengthening professional relationships among Pennsylvania school librarians. Advocacy begins in the heart of the individual librarian. Too often we are guarded about what happens in our libraries even when we know that our achievements are amazing. We need to share these successes with our stakeholders so that they can understand the vital roles that school librarians play in the education of all our learners.

            We must not only have the confidence to recognize that our contributions are valuable and worth sharing, but also take the time and effort to communicate those stories. We each need to be intentional in our efforts to communicate with each other and to advocate at the local, state, and national levels. We need to tailor our communications to the audience so that we can build strong support for school library programs.

            Most importantly we need to build a strong system of support for our colleagues across the state. Many colleagues find that they are the sole voice for the school library within their learning community. As intimidating as it may seem, we all need to share our successes (as well as our failures) so that we can learn from each other. We grow as professionals when we trust each other with our stories.

            We are stronger when we work together. Through initiatives like the Key Communicator network, PSLA is already acknowledging that these goals are a priority. PSLA should continue to offer school librarians strategies for advocacy, communication and strengthening professional relationships. By working toward these goals, we can ensure that the value of our school libraries (and our school librarians) is not diminished.

LEADERSHIP: Briefly describe your leadership strengths and include examples if possible.

Throughout my career, I have been asked to serve in various leadership roles and have developed skills that have helped me be successful in these roles. As I consider the role of PSLA secretary I believe that my organizational and written communication skills will be invaluable. From 2016 through the present I have served on the Conference Committee and have been responsible for the design of the program which has been handed out to the attendees.  Working on this project involves keeping files organized, adhering to a deadline, and collaborating with other committee members to make sure that the information is accurate and complete.

 I am also adept at grasping how the individual components of the whole can come together to create solutions. I’m able to investigate options and foresee different outcomes. I am able to empathize and consider the problem from various points of view.  When I am unclear about a concept I won’t hesitate to ask for clarification. This capacity to envision the “the big picture,” is also one of my leadership strengths, and will allow me to communicate clearly with our PSLA members and others. I found this skill to be very useful in my recent work on revising the Guidelines for PA School Libraries.  

2025: What do you see as the role of the school librarian in 2025?

School librarianship is a profession of service. As we move into the future our role will be one of forging connections among our learning community. In our libraries, we will connect our learners to the right resource at the right time, challenging them to think critically, to create, and to problem-solve. We will also provide guidance when those connections aren’t clear. In our buildings, we will connect teachers with each other and have the vision to find possibilities for collaboration. In our communities, we will advocate for the school library by promoting the connection between school libraries and success in life-long learning. Globally, we will work to find a way to connect those in need with the knowledge, resources, and confidence to help themselves and each other. While changes in funding, technology, and educational climate may drastically change the conditions under which school librarians work, by focusing on the connections that we build, school librarians will remain a vital and integral part of our educational system.

EXPERIENCE IN OTHER ORGANIZATIONS: What leadership roles do you have in these organizations?

  • Chairperson, Library Department, Pine-Richland School District, 2013- Present
  • Building Level Technology Coach, Pine-Richland School District, 2014- Present.
  • Member, Academic Leadership Council, Pine-Richland School District 2013- Present.
  • Member, Technology Leadership Council, Pine-Richland School District, 2014.
  • PA Keystone Technology Integrator, 2008.
  • President, Beaver County Association of School Librarians, 2007-2008.
  • Regional Group Director, Beaver County, 2004- 2008.
  • Vice-President, Beaver County Association of School Librarians, 2006-2007.
  • Coach, Girls on the Run, 2009- Present.





NAME: Dustin Brackbill
SCHOOL DISTRICT: State College Area School District
SCHOOL: Mount Nittany Elementary, State College, PA
Master’s Degree in Library & Information Science, University of Pittsburgh,
Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, Westminster College (PA)


  • Co-chair, Teaching & Learning Committee, 2016 - present
  • Committee Member, Conference Committee, 2010 - 2017
  • Committee Member, Operations Committee, 2015-2016
  • Guidelines for PA School Library Programs Writing Committee, 2018
  • Member & Presenter at PSLA Conference, Lit Review / Best of the Best Committee, 2013 - present
  • Regional Presenter, “The School Librarian’s Guide to Success in the PDE Educator Effectiveness System”, 2016
  • Co-Presenter at PSLA Conference, “LEAD with ESSA”, 2017
  • Participant and graduate, Sustaining Leaders Academy, 2016-2017
  • Presenter at PSLA Conference, “Big Ideas: Bringing a Lit Fest to Life in our School”, 2016
  • Model Curriculum for PA School Library Programs Committee (stage 3), 2014
  • Co-Presenter at PSLA Conference, “Model Curriculum for PA School Library Programs K-5”, 2015
  • Member, 2005 - present
  • Conference Attendee, 2005 - present (missed two years)

PRIORITY GOALS FOR PSLA:   What goals do you think should have top priority for PSLA in 2019-2021?  Please provide your rationale.

In a world where learners need to cultivate curiosity and discern information, school librarians hold a pivotal role in education. Our association also provides a crucial service to keep our members informed, supported, and curious. PSLA must find ways to make our resources valued and our opportunities available. This movement is growing with our regional trainings and social opportunities, as well as the multiple communication avenues that help post topics and trends for everyone to access. Furthermore, as members share their ideas and we hear their diverse viewpoints, we continue to grow stronger across PA. Encouraging and supporting every member to become leaders - whether in their schools, communities, districts, regions, and/or in the association - keeps us essential and evolving and should be a top priority in the near future and beyond.

LEADERSHIP:  Briefly describe your leadership strengths and include examples if possible.                     

Part of my professional leadership has followed a “lead from the middle” concept. I participate in the culture, aim to hear all sides, and then seek ways that I can contribute and assist in improving the school. Two recent examples are being an active member in the School Wide Positive Behavior System Committee; and creating a makerspace during lunchtime to alleviate noise and behavior problems in the cafeteria while opening a time for student inquiry and expression.

Sometimes leadership comes from identifying a goal that becomes a passion project, such as the Lit Fest that I developed for my school 5 years ago to demonstrate the many sides and uses of literacy in our world. This undertaking involved getting various volunteers, parents, presenters, teachers and students to contribute while facilitating the day’s plan. Seeking continuous improvement, each year offers a new chance for me to modify and celebrate this Lit Fest. Growing and sharing with passion and professionalism help makes me an effective leader.

2025:  What do you see as the role of the school librarian in 2025?

With the new AASL standards and PA Guidelines, we have refocused the important skills that keep librarians and our programs essential and growing. Enacting those new expectations and reworking our programs will be ongoing. In all likelihood, we will also incorporate new technologies, including better ways to connect books and resources to our students. Hopefully, this process will also bridge gaps in opportunity and diversity for those who need represented in the learning trends. As more people feel connected and represented, the value and need for stories to empathize and entertain will still be critical. Our domains, according to the AASL standards, continue to help learners think, create, share and grow - and I believe we will develop these abilities. In short, we will have plenty of new challenges, recurring tasks and will be uniquely positioned to help all stakeholders. 

EXPERIENCE IN OTHER ORGANIZATIONS:  What leadership roles do you have in these organizations? 

  • Elementary Intramural Coordinator, State College Area School District, 2018
  • Intramural Coordinator & Supervisor, Mt. Nittany Elementary, 2001 - 2018
  • Teacher of the Year, State College Magazine, 2017
  • Committee Chair, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, 2010




Samantha Hull
SCHOOL DISTRICT: Ephrata Area School District
SCHOOL: Ephrata Senior High School, Ephrata, PA
TITLE/POSITION: Librarian & Electives Supervisor
Enrolled in Doctorate of Philosophy in Education, Old Dominion University
Master of Library Science, Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Bachelor of Arts, Lebanon Valley College


  • Participant and graduate, RLA (Regional Leaders Academy), 2017-2018
  • Member, 2014 – present
  • Regional Coordinator, 2015-2018
  • Conference Attendee, 2014 – present

PRIORITY GOALS FOR PSLA: PSLA should prioritize recruiting school librarians to join the field and participate in the association. After having to hire many librarians in few years, the pool is not very deep. It would serve our students, staff, and field immensely to continue to grow and cultivate solid librarians who understand the needs and wants of students and staff in current day as well as being ready for changes and challenges the future holds.

LEADERSHIP: My leadership strengths include communication, loyalty, and determination. I believe the success of any group, building, or school lies within the ability to clearly and frequently communicate needs, wants, and details. Communicating through a variety of sources, including electronically and face to face, is important to make sure the message is delivered and understood. I am fiercely loyal to my team and I believe it’s important to stand up for those who work to support and work beside you on a regular basis. This can take many different forms, but a recent example includes petitioning for extra paid hours to get the library functioning in a timely fashion. Lastly, I am determined. I strive to find all answers and meet the needs of all patrons. Being determined, and persevering, through difficult times, creates great teams, buildings, and schools, ultimately producing great students. 

2025:  What do you see as the role of the school librarian in 2025? The role of a school librarian will continue to change into a personalized learning facilitator as schools offer environments and opportunities for students to customize their educational journey. Teaching students how to advocate for themselves as well as teaching them how search for resources to assist their needs is even more necessary in a personalized learning environment. Librarians will continue to assist students in their endeavors, whether personal or academic, with new tools and technology, so librarians will continue to need to be up to date on all current trends, tools, technology and student needs and wants. 

EXPERIENCE IN OTHER ORGANIZATIONS:  What leadership roles do you have in these organizations?

  • Participant and graduate, ALA Emerging Leader, 2017
  • Conference Attendee, Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers (ECET2) (via nomination), 2016
  • Participant and graduate, Pennsylvania Library Association’s Academy of Leadership Studies (PALS), 2015
  • Member, American Association of School Librarians, 2017-Present
  • Member, Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 2015
  • Member, American Library Association, 2014-Present
  • Member, Lancaster County Library Association, 2014-Present
  • Secretary, Lancaster County Library Association, 2015-2017
  • Chair, AASL Innovative Reading Grant Subcommittee, 2017
  • Member, Pennsylvania Library Association, 2014-Present

NAME:  Leah Lindemann
CANDIDATE FOR:  Director, PSLA Board of Directors  
SCHOOL:  Blackhawk High School, Beaver Falls, PA 
TITLE/POSITION: Teacher Librarian
            Master of Library Science, University of Pittsburgh
            Master of Science, Secondary Mathematics Education, University of Kentucky
            Bachelor of Arts, Mathematics, University of Kentucky


  • Co-Chair, Teaching and Learning Committee, 2018-present
  • Co-Task Coordinator for Affiliate Task Group, 2018-present
  • Committee Member, Teaching and Learning Committee, 2018
  • Participant and graduate, SLA (Sustaining Leaders Academy), 2016-2017
  • Member, 2007 – present
  • Conference Attendee, 2016 - present
  • Attendee, PSLA Leadership Meeting, 2018-present

PRIORITY GOALS FOR PSLA:   What goals do you think should have top priority for PSLA in 2019-2021?  Please provide your rationale.

  • Increase membership by reaching out to all librarians and by advertising the existence of PSLA.  Many school librarians are islands either in the district or the school and many are not members of PSLA. 
  • Determine the best way to lower the cost of attendance at conference.  Many districts do not pay for their librarians to attend the annual conference and the cost of the Hershey Lodge is prohibitive to many.  Conference is a wonderful way to connect, collaborate, and share with other teacher librarians across the state and we should try to try to break down as many barriers to reaching these connections as we can. 
  • Continue doing what we have been doing well which is advocating for funding for school library programs and fighting to get teacher librarians back in schools.  Our numbers may be smaller but we are mighty!

LEADERSHIP:  Briefly describe your leadership strengths and include examples if possible.

  • I can take up a new job quickly.  When the Key Club coordinator at my school retired, I agreed to take over without hesitation. Instead of allowing such an important club to dissolve, another teacher and I jumped in and hit the ground running.
  • I am a very linear thinker and am adept at breaking up complex tasks into manageable pieces. 
  • A good leader also knows how and when to be a good helper.  I am able to recognize when another member would make a better point-person for a project.

2025:  What do you see as the role of the school librarian in 2025?

            In the same way we must prepare our students for jobs that do not exist yet, we librarians need to prepare for a library culture that does not exist yet.  When I began my career in 2009, I would never have imagined I would be the only librarian in my district of four school buildings and solely assigned to the high school.  Wait, weren’t there three of us just five years ago?  Will there still be school librarians in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2025?  Of course.  Will our jobs be different than they are now?  Without a doubt!  The role of the school librarian will be (really, always has been one of adaptation and evolution.)

            2025 is less than ten years away but in my ten years as a school librarian, my job has shifted and diversified greatly.  Instead of forcing students to conform to an antiquated ideal of what a library is, I, like many of us, have decided to meet students where they are.  We have rearranged our library spaces to be less about large, dark bookstacks.  We have added maker materials, computers, iPads, databases, games, TVs, and flexible seating. We have made the spaces bright and open and have welcomed students with a smile instead of a “Shhh.”  All of these changes happened while we figured out how to teach research skills even if we do not have the opportunity to teach a formal class and we figured out how to collaborate with teachers with a skeleton crew of one. As our roles change, we can share our experiences through PSLA and commiserate if necessary.

EXPERIENCE IN OTHER ORGANIZATIONS:  What leadership roles do you have in these organizations?

  • Secretary, Beaver County School Librarians Association (PSLA affiliate), 2016-present
  • Regional Co-Coordinator, Western Region, PA School Communicators Network
  • Faculty Sponsor, Blackhawk High School Key Club
  • Faculty Sponsor, Beaver County Youth Ambassadors Program
  • Member, Blackhawk Safety Committee
  • Member, Student Assistance Program Team


Craig McFeely       
CANDIDATE FOR:  Board of Directors
SCHOOL DISTRICT: Chambersburg Area School District
SCHOOL: Hamilton Heights Elementary School
TITLE/POSITION: Teacher Librarian & Head Teacher

Bachelor of Science in Education, Clarion University
Master of Education in Technology, Clarion University


  • Director, PSLA Board of Directors, 2016-Present
  • Co-chair, Teaching and Learning Committee, 2015-2016
  • Committee Member, Teaching and Learning & Professional Standards 2012-2016
  • Presenter, PSLA Conference, Various presentations, 2009-2017
  • Participant and graduate, ELA (Emerging Leaders Academy), 2015-2016
  • Coach ELA 2 (2016-2017)
  • Member, 2012 – present
  • Conference Attendee, 2011 - present
  • Attendee, PSLA Leadership Meeting, 2013-present

PRIORITY GOALS FOR PSLA:   What goals do you think should have top priority for PSLA in 2019-2021?  Please provide your rationale.

            I personally believe that PSLA must engage in tactics that will help to ensure the longevity of our profession.  As our yearly staffing survey continues to show, we continue to lose members of our profession and our state organization due to budgetary cuts.  We need to make all aware, the public especially, that the school libraries of the past are not what we see today.  I do not think that the general public knows all of the benefits and services that we offer to our school communities.  By getting the general public on our side, we together can affect change, change that is needed to ensure the continued success of all students across the Commonwealth. 

            Further, we need to make the public aware that school library funding is critical.  Without proper funding our school libraries cannot thrive.  Teacher-librarians are one of the few school personnel who have the unique opportunity to have a positive effect on each and every student in the school. Budgets have been slashed or eliminated totally across the Commonwealth, yet the research continues to show that a strong school library program with a certified school librarian at the helm can greatly impact the effectiveness of the overall education that is offered to our students.

            We must continue to fight for legislation that will ensure that all students across the commonwealth have equal access to certified school librarians regardless of where they attend school.    

LEADERSHIP:  Briefly describe your leadership strengths and include examples if possible.

A strength that I possess when it comes to leadership is my ability to work through problems.  I like to tackle problems and issues head on so that I can move on to the next item.  Further, I have strengths in being able to see the big picture, and to keep that picture in mind as problems and issues are tackled.  The best example that I can provide is when I served on our local association’s contract negotiation team.  I was part of a team that represented all teachers in our bargaining unit.  While it may have been easy to suggest and fight for items that would benefit me personally, I fought for all teachers in the unit regardless of their situation.  Keeping the big picture in mind is what benefitted us all.

Within my district library department and my individual school, I strive to be a guiding influence.  If it is within my library department, I try to bring the elementary perspective to things, and if it is within my building, I try to bring the librarian perspective.  I work to consider that everyone's experiences are different, and I try to help them where they are at.  Students and teachers alike have varying levels of knowledge when it comes to technology, learning, and problem-solving skills.  I try to empower them so that together we can reach a positive solution to the problem.            

2025:  What do you see as the role of the school librarian in 2025?

A school librarian’s role is ever changing.  We have gone from book warehouse managers to purveyors of knowledge.  I would argue that no teacher’s job has changed more in the past 20 years than that of the school librarian.  With the advent computers in schools, to now smaller devices like tablets, kindles, and iPads, we have proven ourselves as a vital member of the education team in our schools.  A school librarian should be the leader of the technology revolution.  School librarians were some of the first to have new technologies in the school setting, and likewise we should be pioneers at embracing and teaching with those new and emerging technologies.  However, there is always more work to be done in this area, and I want to do my part when it comes to aiding our members with learning and utilizing new and emerging technologies.

      A school librarian in 2025 can be summed up in one word: indispensable.  A 2025 school librarian is one who tackles the roles of a traditional librarian, a teacher, leader, and expert, with ease and great success.  These various roles only add to the notion that school librarians can be a principal’s most underutilized resource.  A school librarian takes all of the aforementioned roles and bundles it all into one amazing teacher.  My vision is that a 2025 school librarian will be at the center of each and every school because of the unique, exciting, and vital roles that we play in our schools every day.            

EXPERIENCE IN OTHER ORGANIZATIONS:  What leadership roles do you have in these organizations? 

  • Former Technology Chair Chambersburg Education Association (CAEA),2014-2016
  • Former member of the CAEA Executive Committee.  2014-2016
  • Former member of the CAEA negotiations team. 2014-2016




Michelle Nass
CANDIDATE FOR:  Board Director
SCHOOL DISTRICT:  Downingtown Area School District
SCHOOL:  Downingtown High School West Campus, Downingtown PA
Bachelors in English Education, Millersville University
Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, Kutztown University
Master’s in Library Science (in progress), Clarion University


  • Past Committee Member, Technology Committee
  • Committee Member, Teaching and Learning Committee, present
  • Presenter, PSLA Conference “Team Work Makes the Dream Work,” 2018
  • Member, 2012 – present
  • Conference Attendee, 2012 – present
  • Winner, Jack R. Luskay Scholarship, 2012

PRIORITY GOALS FOR PSLA:   What goals do you think should have top priority for PSLA in 2019-2021?  Please provide your rationale.  

I think that our priority should be continuing to enhance communication and connectedness within PSLA.  Our greatest strength is each other.  I cannot express enough how much my success is entirely due to the ideas and support of librarians in this organization.  The listserv, the conference, and the connections I have made are invaluable.  I would like to continue to ensure that all librarians in Pennsylvania feel connected to our community as a resource for support, inspiration, and feedback.  In this connected manner, we can continue to ensure that Pennsylvania librarians are some of the best in the country by supporting each other and then reaching out through participation in national conferences, conversations and opportunities.

LEADERSHIP:  Briefly describe your leadership strengths and include examples if possible.   

As a leader, I am an organizer.  I believe that we are at our best when we are connected. I have lived this out in organizing teams of people both within my building and district, and in my community.  In my school, I sit on various committees, including a cultural equity committee, in which I am able to utilize the awesomeness and flexibility of the library to help our school community grow and amplify others’ ideas.  In our district, I lead a future ready libraries committee that is fundamental in structuring the future of our libraries to meet the exciting demands of emerging technologies, students, and readers.  In my community, I organize regional librarians to meet quarterly for a “Nerdy Night Out”—a networking, socializing, and idea sharing night that helps to connect us as people and professionals.  I am also an achiever.  I have a very high drive and am always seeking to grow professionally.  This is evidenced in the development and growth of our lunch and learn programs in our library.  We are bringing in experts, both virtually and physically, to support our students in a wide variety of topics during their lunch periods.  Finally, I am a maximize—I enjoy transformation, the synthesis of ideas, and making things happen.  Within my five years at West, my team and I have transformed the library and are leaders in our district.  I enjoy helping others do the same.  I hope to be able to utilize these strengths as a director on the PSLA board. 

2025:  What do you see as the role of the school librarian in 2025?       

      2025?   It is my hope that libraries continue to follow the trends set by the PA Model Curriculum, the new standards, and the Future Ready Librarians platforms.  I hope that in 2025, libraries are embraced as the hub of our schools and librarians are seen as thought leaders in their districts.  The role of the school librarian, as always, starts with his or her students, and that will not change.  But, as a voice for access and opportunity for all students, the school librarian will not only have a seat at the table, but in my perfect world in 2025, will bring the table to the meeting. 

EXPERIENCE IN OTHER ORGANIZATIONS:  What leadership roles do you have in these organizations?  

  • Future Ready Schools Conference Attendee and Participant, 2017
  • EdCamp, Downingtown Area School District, Organizer and Presenter, 2015
  • ISTE member and conference attendee, 2015
  • Schoology conference attendee, 2015
  • Girl Scouts, leader, present

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