Conference Speaker Profiles

Keynote Speaker – Helena Mayor Wilmot Collins

Wilmot Collins was born, raised and partly educated in Liberia, West Africa.  Wilmot, a former refugee, arrived in the United States in 1994 and now resides in Helena with his wife, who’s a registered nurse at VA Montana and also an Army Reservist.  Their daughter is Active Duty Navy, and their son is a senior at the University of Montana, Missoula.

Presently, Wilmot is a Child Protection Specialist with the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Montana, Helena College, and a U. S. Navy Reservist.  Prior to working with MT DPHHS, Wilmot worked at VA Montana for many years as an Administrative Officer for Facility Management and also as a Public Affairs Specialist and Minority Veterans Program Coordinator.  Wilmot is very active on several boards: United Way of Lewis and Clark Area, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance.  Wilmot holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management.

Author Brunch Speaker – Rick Bass

Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.,[1] the son of a geologist, and he studied petroleum geology at Utah State University. He grew up in Houston, and started writing short stories on his lunch breaks while working as a petroleum geologist in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1987, he moved with his wife, the artist Elizabeth Hughes Bass, to the remote Yaak Valley, where he works to protect his adopted home from roads and logging. Rick serves on the board of both the Yaak Valley Forest Council and Round River Conservation Studies. In 2011 Rick moved from the Yaak area of Montana to Missoula, Montana. He continues to give readings, write, and teach around the country and world. He lives in Montana with his family.

Rick Bass’ fiction has received O. Henry Awards, numerous Pushcart Prizes, awards from the Texas Institute of Letters (in fiction, creative nonfiction, and journalism categories), fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lyndhurst Foundation, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, a Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, nominations for Pacific Northwest Booksellers Awards, and a Pen/Nelson Algren Special Citation, which was judged by Robert Penn Warren, and a General Electric Younger Writer’s Award. He has had numerous stories anthologized in Best American Short Stories: The Year’s Best. The Wild Marsh: Four Seasons At Home in Montana (Houghton Mifflin/Harcourt), a book about fathering daughters in the wilderness, has been excerpted in O, The Oprah Magazine. His nonfiction has been anthologized in Best American Spiritual Writing, Best Spiritual Writing, and Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Science Writing.Various of his books have been named New York Times as well as Los Angeles Times Notable Books of the Year, and a New York Times Best Book of the Year. A collection of short fiction, The Hermit’s Story, was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year, and another collection, The Lives of Rocks, was a finalist for the prestigious Story Prize, as well as a Best Book of the Year by the Rocky Mountain News. His most recent nonfiction book, Why I Came West, was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. He is the recipient of a 2011 Montana Arts Council Artist’s Innovation Award.

His stories, articles and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Narrative, Men’s Journal, Esquire, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Harper’s, New York Times Sunday Magazine, Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, Boston Globe, the Washington Post, Tin House, Zoetrope, Orion, and numerous other periodicals. He has served as a contributing editor to Audubon, OnEarth, Field & Stream, Big Sky Journal, and Sports Afield, and currently writes a regular column for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, as well as for an online hunting magazine, Contemporary Sportsman.

Session Speakers

Debbie Albin is the Montana State University Community Development Program Coordinator.  Her focus is on delivering diversity, self-care, and intergenerational programs throughout the state.

Annie Alger moved from Florida to Missoula and began working at the Missoula Public library nine years ago in the Circulation Department, promoting and implementing exceptional patron services. She currently works in the Reference Department and as the Interlibrary Loan Specialist. She has worked and volunteered in public and academic libraries for many years in a variety of capacities, including cataloging, collection development, reader’s advisory, reference, circulation, programming, media services and outreach.

Cody Allen is the Teen Services Librarian at Billings Public Library where he runs the TECH Lab, a digital learning lab for teens that is part of the YOUmedia network. When he’s not at the library, Cody enjoys reading, fly fishing, and board games.

Amanda Allpress is a Reference Librarian at Missoula Public Library, with a focus on senior services. In past library work she has been a Young Adult Librarian, a Library Information Technician at a community college, and a Technical Services Librarian at a law firm. When not at the library, you may find Amanda in the pool with her masters swimming group or doing some “outdoorsy” activities with her partner and dogs.

Kenning Arlitsch is the Dean of the Library at Montana State University. He has a BA in English Literature from Alfred University and a Masters of Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Kenning serves as the appointee of the Commission of Higher Education, a position he has held since 2016.

Angela Archuleta is currently the Audiovisual Librarian for Flathead High School in Kalispell, Montana. She also served as the Lewistown Junior High School Librarian 7-8 and the 5-6 Lewis and Clark Elementary in Lewistown, Montana for two years. In addition, she served as the K-6 Librarian at Kincaid Elementary in Anchorage, Alaska for two years. Currently, she is in her last term as the co-chair for the School Library Division on the Montana Library Association’s Board of Directors.

Elsie Arntzen is the current State Superintendent. Arntzen is a 4th generation Montanan from Billings. She is the daughter of two Montana public school teachers and she taught 5th and 6th grade in Billings Public Schools for 23 years. She has degrees in Economics and Education from the University of Montana and Montana State University respectively. In addition to her teaching career, she served in the Montana Legislature for 12 years. She served four terms in the Montana House of Representatives from 2005 to 2013 and one term in the Montana Senate from 2013 until she was sworn in as Superintendent of Public Instruction on January 2, 2017. She is the proud mother of two daughters and grandmother of four grandchildren. She has been married to her high school sweetheart Steve for 41 years. With her strong background in public education, she is honored to serve as Superintendent of Montana’s public schools and it is her mission to put Montana students first at the Office of Public Instruction.

Gale Bacon has been the Director Belgrade Community Library for over twelve years.  In 2015 the Belgrade Community Library was named The Best Small Library in America by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Library Journal.  In 2018, Gale was awarded the Montana Library Association’s Librarian of the Year.  She is passionate about mentoring and encouraging other librarians, as well as serving in her library community and being involved at a statewide level.

Rick Bass was born in Fort Worth, Texas, the son of a geologist, and he studied petroleum geology at Utah State University. He grew up in Houston, and started writing short stories on his lunch breaks while working as a petroleum geologist in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1987, he moved with his wife, the artist Elizabeth Hughes Bass, to the remote Yaak Valley, where he works to protect his adopted home from roads and logging. Rick serves on the board of both the Yaak Valley Forest Council and Round River Conservation Studies. In 2011 Rick moved from the Yaak area of Montana to Missoula, Montana. He continues to give readings, write, and teach around the country and world. He lives in Montana with his family.

Matt Beckstrom was born and raised in Montana.  He has been with the Lewis & Clark Library in Helena Montana since 1999 as the Systems Manager/Librarian.  He received his undergraduate degree in computer science from Montana State University Billings in 2010, and graduated with his Masters of Information Science in information systems degree, with two graduate academic certificates: Advanced management of Libraries and Information Agencies, and digital content management from the University of North Texas in 2012.  He currently serves on the Montana Library Association board, the ACLU of Montana Board, and is a chapter councilor for the American Library Association.  He has written and contributed to several books on privacy, security, and the Internet.  He is also a frequent presenter at conferences on a variety of topics including technology, security and privacy.  For more information on his upcoming publications and presentations, visit www.mattbeckstrom.com

Jennifer Birnel is the Montana Memory Project Director for the Montana State Library. The Montana Memory Project is a digital library of items related to Montana history and culture. In this role she oversees the ongoing implementation of this project including the addition of new collections, website design, and communication.

Beth Boyson is a cataloger and outreach librarian at Bozeman Public Library.

Malia Caldwell is a second year Masters of Social Work student at the University of Montana.  She has previously studied Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies at the University of Colorado, focusing on community organizing for underrepresented groups and communities.Malia is currently positioned as the Social Work Intern at Montana Legal Services Association, working on a comprehensive approach to client care that focuses on varying social and economic needs the client may be facing apart from their legal case.  This includes working towards lasting solutions that address issues facing client’s health and wellness, sustainable living, and safety.

Ben Chiewphasa is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana in Missoula. He serves as the Government Information Librarian and also works as a Cataloging Specialist. Previously, he was an Archaeological Technician for the Bitterroot and Helena National Forests. Ben holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geosciences and Sociology/Anthropology from Denison University and a Master’s in Anthropology from the University of Montana. He is currently pursuing an MLIS with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ben is a proud recipient of the Sheila Cates Scholarship and is an Association of Research Libraries Diversity Scholar.

Cindy Christin has been at the Bozeman Public Library for almost 30 years, mostly focused on young children and their families. This project was inspired by Jeri Robinson of Boston Children’s Museum, who spoke at a Ready2Read Rendezvous in 2015. If you serve infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, please join us.

Alex Clark served two years as a Justice for Montanans AmeriCorps Member providing direct services to low-income Montanans. As the Community Outreach Assistant at Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA), Alex manages legally-empowering technology development projects, including do-it-yourself online legal forms and a website upgrade to improve plain language readability, accessibility, and search engine optimization (SEO).

Sarah Creech works for the Belgrade Community Library as the Adult Services Coordinator (not librarian yet – MLS degree in May 2019) and is a master’s student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Before moving to Bozeman, she lived in Oregon and worked in research and development and quality assurance for Nestle and Oregon Freeze Dry for 6 years, and before that she lived in Ithaca, New York and had never lived outside the 14850 zip code (she went to Cornell University – “heard of it?” –Andy Bernard, The Office).

Dusty Deans is from Lincoln County Public Libraries, a three-branch county library system in the northwest corner of Montana. Dusty is a local artist with deep roots in the community. Together, with Alyssa Rameriz they’re moving their library (and how people view it) into the 21st Century.

Heather Dickerson is the Teen Services Librarian in Helena. She graduated with an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 and immediately packed up to move to Montana. Her favorite things about the library are making stuff, talking cool books with teens, and creating opportunities. When she’s not at the library, she enjoys being outside camping, hiking, and exploring with her family.

Jamie Doggett is a rancher from White Sulpher Springs. She joined the Commission in 2018.

Abbi Dooley is the Director at North Lake County Public Library District and serves on the Content Management Committee for the Montana Shared Catalog.  Abbi does the majority of her library’s cataloging and enjoys original cataloging when the opportunity arises. She looks forward to working with other librarians in the state to get their original works cataloged.

Marjorie Doyle received her MLS from University of Washington back in the dark ages before there were automated catalogs.  She has worked in special, academic school, and public libraries, retiring from full-time employment at Missoula Public Library 3 years ago and now working there as a part-time on-call reference librarian. She is also active with Dementia Friendly Missoula and the ALA interest group on Alzheimer’s and related Dementias (iGARD).

Emily Dunklee is a School Nutrition Programs Specialist and the Summer Food Service Program Manager at the Office of Public Instruction. She enjoys visiting Montana kitchens and working to ensure kids across Montana have access to affordable, nutritious, and delicious school meals.

Jessica Edwards is the Outreach and Electronic Resources Librarian for the Montana State Library. Prior to joining the State Library, she worked in public libraries in Southern California and taught English in Japan. Jessica holds an MLIS from Syracuse University.

Ann Dutton Ewbank is associate professor at Montana State University, Bozeman. She researches school library advocacy and is a member-leader in the American Library Association.

Melissa Fisher works for Montana Legal Services Association (in the Missoula office), where she is the Project Coordinator for the Montana Crime Victim Legal Assistance Network, a project aiming at improving access to civil legal aid and supportive services to victims of crime throughout the state.  Since 2002, Melissa worked in the fields of victim advocacy, violence prevention, and community building for several years with organizations including the Friendship Center of Helena, EmpowerMT (formerly NCBI Missoula), and the City of Seattle’s Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Joann Flick coordinates training activities at the Montana State Library. Jo holds and MS Ed. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University and previously worked in product development, marketing, and training for the Agency for Instructional Technology in Bloomington, IN, as Education Director for Mountain Lake PBS in upstate NY and as an arts and museum educator as well. She currently serves as co-chair of the Information Literacy Interest Group for MLA and as co-chair of the COSLA CE Cohort’s CE4Us planning committee. She has contributed to and guided the development of published instructional technology for all ages and in many subject areas. When Jo isn’t planning educational opportunities for librarians in Montana, she enjoys hiking, gardening, and plein air painting.  Jo will be joined by staff from the Belgrade Community Library that are participating in the new pathway to MSL certification pilot, have created their own professional development plan and have their own experience to share.

Amy Friez is the librarian at Helena Middle School, Helena, MT; she is writing up her work with maker space for her Master’s degree.

Megan Glidden is lucky to be challenged and excited by her work every day. As a Senior Librarian at ImagineIF Libraries she focuses on public services and community engagement. She is thrilled to see the impacts and outcomes of her work and thinks getting that master’s degree in Library Science was a good call!

Marsha Goetting is a Professor and Extension Family Economics Specialist at Montana State University.   During 2016 and 2017 she presented 140 financial and estate planning programs reaching 4,800 Montanans.  She has authored or co-authored 75 educational guides in the financial management and estate planning areas.  She has received state, regional and national state awards for her programs.  Dr. Goetting received her Bachelors and Master’s degrees from Kansas State University and a PhD from Iowa State University.

Chris Gray is the Digital Projects Technician at the Montana Historical Society. Chris’s work focuses primarily on the Montana and Idaho sections of the National Digital Newspaper Program. He intends to begin earning his MLIS within the next two years and hopes to attend Dominican University in Illinois.

Jemma Hazen is currently one of three system administrators for the Montana Shared Catalog. Her areas of expertise are in Technical Services and the automation of Technical Services processes. She has been working for the Montana State Library since 2014.

Pam Henley is a Statewide Consulting Librarian with the Montana State Library, a position that offers travel opportunities around the state. She assists public libraries with their educational and informational needs as well as promoting more partnerships and collaboration with community groups.

Natasha Hollenbach earned her MIS from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and is now the Digital Projects Librarian at the Montana Historical Society. Since the day-to-day work depends on the day and how cooperative the computer network feels, it’s important to note that she spends most her time looking at newspapers, either on microfilm, as digital files or through online searching.

Kate Holloway is the Teen Services librarian at Bozeman Public Library.  After working almost 10 years in libraries, she thinks the teen area is the most fun and dynamic…and makes the most use of googly eyes.  Outside the library, Kate enjoys playing D&D with friends, taking road trips to possibly haunted places, and watching way too many baking shows.

Elizabeth Jonkel received her MLIS from the University of Western Ontario in 2000. She has worked for Canadian governments as a consultant, analyst and librarian, specializing in health services. Since 2009, she has served as the Assistant Director at Missoula Public Library in Missoula, Montana. Elizabeth also holds a M.A. in History from Carleton University and B.A. in English from the University of Montana.

Jim Kammerer is currently the State Publications Librarian at the Montana State Library. He believes that government information needs to be free and open.

Rebekah Kamp, Montana Shared Catalog Systems Technician, specializes in BLUEcloud Analytics and Enterprise OPAC administration. Prior to joining the Montana State Library in 2017, she worked as a public librarian in a variety of roles including cataloging, technology, and youth services. She earned her MLIS from the University of Washington in 2011. Outside of the office, Rebekah volunteers with the Girl Scouts and explores the world near and far with her husband and three children.

Amelea Kim graduated with her MLIS from UNC-Chapel Hill in May 2018 and started as the Lifelong Learning Librarian at the Montana State Library in June 2018. She originally hails from St. Louis, MO, went to college in Ohio, spent four years abroad in China and Korea, and has had great fun discovering her inner outdoorsperson here in Montana! 

Anne Kish lives in Twin Bridges and works as a librarian at the University of Montana Western in Dillon.  In addition to working as the Library Director, she’s a faculty member of the University of Montana’s K-12 Library Media Endorsement program.  Anne was appointed to the Commission in 2014 and she was reappointed in 2017.

Molly Kruckenberg is the Research Center Director at the Montana Historical Society, where she oversees the collections and operations of the archive, library, and photograph archives. She graduated with a degree from Hiram College and with an MLS from the University of Pittsburgh.

Aaron LaFromboise is the Library Director at the Medicine Spring Library at the Blackfeet Community College. Aaron earned her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies at Wayne State University where she was chosen as one of eleven students in the Project IDOL program. Aaron was appointed to the Commission in 2014 and she was reappointed in 2017.

Stephan Licitra is the Technical Services Librarian and Federal Depository Library Program Coordinator for the State Law Library of Montana. There he is responsible for processing and caring for library materials, maintaining the catalog, cataloging new and original works and helps develop educational materials. He is a member of the Montana Shared Catalog’s Content Management Committee, and works to develop standards and education materials there also. Stephan is active in the Helena community and his church.

Amy Marchwick, Montana Shared Catalog Systems Technician, specializes in configuration and new library migration. She provides member libraries with technical support for the ILS as well as migrating. Before joining the Montana State Library in 2011, she worked as the System Administrator at the Belgrade Community Library.

Sarah McClain joined the State Law Library of Montana as Director in September 2016, where she works to develop and maintain the law library’s collection and services, in addition to collaborating with public libraries, legal service providers and social service agencies to promote statewide access to legal information. Prior to joining the State Law Library of Montana, Sarah practiced immigration law in both the non-profit and private law sectors in Portland, Oregon. Originally from Montana, Sarah completed her undergraduate work at the University of Oregon and received her Juris Doctor from Willamette University College of Law.

Keiley McGregor,Montana Shared Catalog Trainer, relishes making the unknown familiar instead of scary. Facilitating lifelong learning for adults and coaching college students through finals taught her that successful learning almost always comes down to two things: mistakes and humor.

Deidre McMullin is a fifth generation Montanan who is just as happy traveling the world as she is exploring her own backyard. She wears many hats as a Library Advisor at ImagineIF including planning and implementing community engagement programs, teaching early literacy classes and managing ImagineIF Bigfork. 

Heather Navratil is a librarian at Carroll College. She does cataloging, library instruction and reference. She earned her MLIS from Simmons College in 2007. Because Heather became a cataloger in the era of RDA, DDA and colossal ebook packages, she understands how collaborators and mentors save one’s bacon. She is happy to “pay forward” the debt she incurred (and continues to incur!) when she was a neophyte. Feel free to contact her with questions at hnavratil@carroll.edu

Born in Eugene, Oregon, Bruce Newell  moved to Helena in 1980 and worked as a public service and network services librarian for the Montana State Library and the Lewis & Clark Public Library. Bruce was active in the Montana Library Association, and feels fortunate to have participated in the global library cooperative OCLC as first a delegate and later an elected Trustee. Bruce is now retired, but he continues to be engaged with librarianship. Bruce was appointed to the Commission in 2014.  He’s grateful for the opportunity to serve Montana’s libraries as a MSL Commissioner.

Ellie Newell is the Youth Services Librarian at ImagineIF Libraries in Flathead County, Montana. Born and raised in Helena, Ellie served young people and their families in Nevada and Washington public libraries before returning home to Big Sky Country. When not scheming up irresistible learning spaces for kids and teens, Ellie is usually hanging with her luxurious cat, Gimli.

Jodi Oberweiser is a teacher librarian and library director at the Drummond School & Community Library.  Jodi and her husband Jim have been educators in Drummond for over 30 years.  They have 4 children and 3 grandchildren.  At the request of her dear friend and college roommate, Lynn Mullowney, she became involved with the Alzheimer’s Association; hosting Community Conversations about Alzheimer’s in the library.  Students, patrons, and community members, are working together to create a Dementia Capable Community in Drummond and Granite County.

Cara Orban After learning about Lean Six Sigma at RIPL (Research Institute for Public Libraries), Cara recently attained Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification and is eager to help others plan problem-solving projects more effectively so that they can spend more time and energy doing the fun and important stuff for their communities. Cara is the Consortia Director at the Montana State Library, as well as a yarn hoarder, sewing pattern hacker, so-called Master Gardener, caffeinated mother of boys, and saintly wife.

James Parrott is the Collection Management Librarian for Lewis & Clark Library. He moved to Montana in 2017. His professional interests include data-based collection development, statistics, and underserved populations. He holds an MLIS from Valdosta State University in his home state of Georgia.

Paulette Parpart is recipient of Librarian of the Year 2017 and is cataloger at Missoula Public Library.

Alyssa Ramirez is from Lincoln County Public Libraries, a three-branch county library system in the northwest corner of Montana. Alyssa is a transplant from California with an MLIS from Simmons College in Boston, MA. She is helping to moving her library (and how people view it) into the 21st century.

Suzanne Reymer is a Statewide Consulting Librarian and self-professed technology geek for the Montana State Library. She attempts to keep up with new technologies and library trends and is always happy to share her discoveries and experiences with library colleagues.

Meghan Salsbury joined the Belgrade Community Library as the Youth Services Librarian in May 2018. She holds master’s degrees in Liberal Studies from Fort Hays State University (2011) and Library Science from Emporia State University (2015) and previously worked as the Online Learning Librarian for the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Meghan is new to youth librarianship and is excited to learn more about child development, early literacy, and teen programming.

Joel Schumacher is an associate extension specialist with the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University. He holds a master’s degree in applied economics and a bachelor’s degree in business from Montana State University.  His research and outreach programs focus on consumer economics and agricultural finance. Joel has authored or co-authored more than two dozen educational guides and presented more than 300 educational outreach programs to over three thousand participants. He has served as principle investigator or co-principle investigator on over $750,000 of grants. Prior to his current position, Joel worked as a pension analyst for a full service third party administration firm.

Patricia Spencer has served as the Public Information Officer for the Lewis & Clark Library for the past sixteen years. Patricia graduated from Carroll College with a B.A. in History. After receiving her M.A. in English Literature and 20th Century US History from Oregon State University, Patricia returned to Montana to work as the Outreach Coordinator for the Montana Historical Society. Patricia was an active member of the Downtown Helena Inc., Board of Directors from 2001-2010, serving as Chair of that board for four terms. She is also the author of an Images of America Series book on Helena:  Helena, Montana: The Queen City of the Rockies and the Broadwater Hotel; as well as numerous articles about our local history. In addition to her duties at the library, Patricia is an Adjunct member of the faculty in the Department of Communication Studies at Carroll College.

Jennie Stapp is a Montana native.  She holds a BA in International Studies from Rocky Mountain College.  She earned her MLS from the University of Arizona in 2002.  While in library school Jennie was a Cates Scholar.   Jennie worked previously for the Montana Historical Society Research Center and joined the staff of the State Library in 2005. She has been State Librarian since January, 2012.

Stober, Shannon

Jacqueline (Jacquie) Teasdale has been an EdReady Montana Ambassador since 2014. She values the support it gives to students and teachers, all for free! She loves sharing EdReady with schools and libraries across the state to offer an additional resource to those needing help with math and English to prepare for their future. She lives in Missoula Montana, home of EdReady main offices, but will gladly travel to your library as needed. When not with EdReady, she teaches in adult basic education. In addition, she enjoys the curling up with a good book, wrestling with a new recipe, or going outdoors with her husband, 2 sons and 2 dogs.

Whitney Thompson serves as the Director of Programs and Services for the Alzheimer’s Association, Montana Chapter. Her career in dementia care, support, and education started over 8 years ago – she worked as a professional caregiver while earning her Master’s in Public Health. Prior to joining the Alzheimer’s Association, she served Wisconsin for 3 years in creating a more dementia-capable state – working closely to help support families and creating sustainable community driven efforts.

Laura Trapp has been an elementary school librarian at Rossiter School in Helena since 2005. I was a first grade teacher for 9 years and taught grades 3,4,5 before that, for a grant total of over 29 years of elementary teach experience. In my free time, I love spending time outdoors hiking, kayaking and skiing.

Laura Tretter is the Technical Services Librarian at Montana Historical Society where she continues to develop her skills in cataloging and reference. Before coming to Montana Laura worked in public libraries “doing it all” with responsibilities in technical services, reference, circulation, youth services, programming, outreach, and administration. Laura began her work in Montana at the State Law Library with primary responsibilities in technical services including cataloging, serials, and acquisitions. Laura received her MLS from University of Washington in 2001.

Marla Unruh,  M.Ed, is librarian at Broadwater Elementary School, Helena, MT.

Ken Wall has more than 30 years of experience in geographic information systems, beginning at the University of Montana as a GIS research specialist in 1986 and serving in the capacity of founder and president of Geodata Services, Inc. since 1993.  Ken holds a BS in Forestry from the University of Montana, graduating in 1978.  Ken served as assistant director of the Wilderness Institute at the University of Montana for 8 years. Ken earned certification as an Esri Desktop Associate, was certified by Esri to teach ArcGIS courses and is a CompTIA CTT+ Certified Technical Trainer.  He was appointed and served 2 consecutive terms on the Montana Land Information Act Council. Ken was appointed to the Commission in 2015 and he was reappointed in 2018.

Laurie Wolf is the Education Program Manager for Fish, Wildlife and Parks MT WILD Education Center.Laurie has a Master’s degree in Curriculum and instruction – Science Education. Over 10 years’ experience in conservation education, including curriculum and instruction, program development, and evaluation. She has a passion for educating students who are considered at-risk, minority or cognitively and physically disabled and removing barriers that may be prohibiting youth to connect to the outdoors.

Gavin J. Woltjer is the Director of the Billings Public Library. When not held hostage in a good book, he enjoys exploring the wilds of Montana with his wife, Rena, and three children. His research interests include: data analytics; library leadership; economic development and libraries; archives and record management; and, librarian as public historian.

Jan Zauha is Humanities and Outreach Librarian in Special Collections and Archival Informatics at the Montana State University Library where she has been a faculty member since 1995. With master’s degrees in literature and library science she works extensively with archives in classroom and community settings and on other public humanities projects.