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CoALA Officers

Carol Smith

Carol Smith, Library Director, Nielsen Library, Adams State University, after a successful 17-year career in the business world (commodity futures trader; VP Operations of a leading public records research firm), Carol Smith decided it was finally time to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a librarian. She obtained an MS Information Science and an MS Information Systems from Drexel University in 2006 and moved from Montana to Missouri to kick off her library career. At the University of Central Missouri (2006-2013), Carol served first as a business librarian and then as technology initiatives librarian.

I am a firm believe that an organization is only as strong as its active membership. CoALA is our academic organization, and we can all help shape it!

Ryan Buller

I have been the Access Services Librarian at the University of Denver since 2013.  Before that, I was the Access Services Unit Coordinator at Western Illinois University.  I received my BA in History and MS in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois and an MA in History from Western Illinois University.  I am involved in the Colorado Association Libraries through the CAL Leadership Institute.  I am also involved in the American Library Association’s RUSA Professional Development Committee as a member.  I am also currently the chair of both the RUSA STARS Licensing and Legislation Committee and the LLAMA SASS Access Services/Circulation Committee.

Paul Mascareñas

Paul Mascareñas was born & raised La Junta, CO. He attended Otero Junior College, Adams State College, and received his MLS from Emporia State University. Currently, he is the Distance Services Librarian at Colorado Mesa University. He is a graduate of the CAL Leadership Institute (CALLI) and served as co-chair of the Ask Colorado/Academic Quality Assurance subcommittee. He also participated in National Library Legislation Day in Washington, DC.   Mr. Mascareñas’s interest in serving as the President-Elect for CoALA include supporting the President and using the opportunity to increase communication and collaboration between academic institutions and professional organizations. Sharing of knowledge and resources within the academic variety, he believes, is paramount to better serving students & faculty in their respective colleges and universities.

Lia Vella

Lia Vella has been an Instruction and Research Services Librarian at Colorado School of Mines since 2011. I followed a winding path to librarianship, beginning with a doctoral program in the English Department at SUNY-Buffalo and going on to instruction in subjects including language arts, paleontology, western history, literature, and information literacy in various settings, including community college, 4-year institutions, national parks, and a high school. Eventually, I answered my true calling, which goes all the way back to age 6 and weekly visits to the public library: I’ve been a practicing academic librarian since 2008.

Academic librarians are increasingly stretched thin these days as they take on the challenges related to shifts and trends in higher education. As your CoALA secretary, I will work to help this organization offer the most relevant, useful, and convenient programming for your busy schedule.

Community Colleges Representative
Sue Keefer

Sue Keefer is currently Director of Library and Learning Resources at Otero Junior College, La Junta. Keefer, who has an MLS from Emporia State University, has experience with public, school, and prison libraries. She recently orchestrated a transition to a learning commons concept, which included a huge weeding project. She has an A.A. degree from Sauk Valley Community College, Dixon, IL, and a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Missouri. She is currently a member the 2014 program committee for the community and junior college section of the ALA. In her spare time she enjoys reading (she confesses a particular fondness for cozy mysteries), photography, and spending time with her husband, Steve; her Pembroke welsh corgi; and her cats.   Ms. Keefer is running for the office as community college representative to the executive board of CoALA for several reasons: 1) she feels it is important to give back to the library community that has supported her over the years; 2) she would like to encourage more people to become members of CoALA; 3) although she would do her best to represent all of the community colleges, she would especially like to encourage more participation from the more remote areas and smaller colleges; and 4) she would like to understand more about how CoALA is organized. A community college graduate herself, she recognizes the importance of community colleges and their libraries, and the role that they play in education. She sees them as equal partners with their four-year counterparts.

Julia Havelick

Julia Havelick
received her MLIS from the University of Denver, and has an MA in Interpersonal Communication from Regis University. She has worked at the Auraria Library, Denver Public Library, and most recently Red Rocks Community College. She was also the Volunteer Sub-Committee Co-Chair for CALCON 2012. She is passionate about student learning and success. She is also very interested in creating meaningful assessments that measure student learning outcomes and information literacy strengths/ gaps. In her previous career, Julia was a higher-education textbook publisher’s representative, so her unique perspective with regards to vendor relations makes her an excellent librarian. She is running for Member-At-Large because she is an ardent proponent of academic libraries and what they can do for students.

Rose Nelson

Rose has worked in the library field for over 20 years.  After obtaining her MLIS degree from Emporia State University, She worked as a Regional Technical Consultant to small rural libraries for the South Central Kansas Library System.   This was a great introduction to the library field.  In 2000, she left this position and became a Technology Consultant at the Colorado State Library. Her primary responsibilities were administering various grants to libraries, coordinating the E-rate program for Colorado libraries and developing the Web Junction state portal.  In 2005 Rose begin working for the CO Alliance of Research Libraries as a Systems Librarian.  In 2012 she was appointed Assistant Director.  In her current position, she manages Gold Rush, a local based ERMS and Prospector, a union catalog.  Rose has a strong interest in expanding resource sharing to libraries throughout the state and in understanding how new technologies influence the work we do in libraries and enhance services to patrons. Rose is a Colorado native and who running, cooking, and reading in her spare time.

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