2024 Vermont Library Conference Speakers

For complete conference information, including presentations and registration, visit 2024 Vermont Library Conference.

Rebekkah Smith Aldrich (MLS, LEED AP) is the Executive Director of the Mid-Hudson Library System (NY) and the co-founder / board president of the Sustainable Libraries Initiative (SLI). Rebekkah was recognized as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker and was presented with the New York Library
Association’s Outstanding Service to Libraries Award. Aldrich is an adjunct professor at the Palmer School of Library’s Information Science at Long IslandUniversity.

Crystal Baldwin, M.Ed. is a nationally awarded consumer protection expert with over 20 years in public service. As Program Coordinator for the Vermont Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program and UVM adjunct faculty, she is a skilled educator, who applies a cross-disciplinary approach to developing
action-oriented strategic education and outreach programs.

Barbara Ball MLIS is director of the Windsor Public Library, Treasurer for the VLA, and a UVM Extension Master Gardener.

Ellen KW Brennan is the program administrator for the Vermont Space Grant Consortium and NASA’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). A neuroscientist, Ellen left the lab to support STEM access and opportunity across Vermont. As part of the Vermont Space Grant and NASA EPSCoR team, she administers programs supporting students, researchers, industry partners, museums, and more as they engage with NASA at all levels.

Tara Carpenter is the Implementation Leader for the Palace Project, focusing on providing a positive user experience by ensuring that participating libraries are onboarded, trained, and configured correctly.  Tara holds a B.A.in Political Science from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University.

Liza Dates is an Intelligence Analyst for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Albany Field Office. Ms. Dates has served more than 27 years in the federal government as an Intelligence Analyst and previously as a linguist for the U.S. Army. Ms. Dates currently supports the Vermont FBI offices and covers all threat
matters.

Bree Drapa is director of Westford Public Library. Bree was a member of the 2022 Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) Outstanding in Their Field Leadership Institute, and is the co-host of the monthly ARSL Solo-ish Librarian Happy Hour.

Emer Feeney is currently the Assistant Director at the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, Vermont.

Hannah Fjeld is the preK-6 School Librarian at Neshobe School in Brandon. She has served on the Red Clover Committee since 2019 and acted as Chair since 2022.

Catherine Goldsmith’s first career was as a stage manager in NYC. After stints in retail, bookkeeping and arts administration, she commuted to Albany, NY for a Master’s in Library Science and the rest is pure library joy.  The outgoing director in Starksboro, and almost past-president of VLA’s public libraries section, Catherine is looking for her next challenge which she hopes will include local history and
beautiful old buildings.

Karen Gravlin is the Vermont Department of Libraries Consultant for Inclusive Services and director of the ABLE (Audio, Braille Large-print, Electronic) Library. In these roles, she provides library services to Vermonters with disabilities that prevent them from reading standard print, and supports library staff around the state through consulting and professional development activities with a focus on library services to historically under-served communities.

Dan Groberg became executive director of Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier just days before the July 2023 flood. He worked in nonprofit management and community development for more than a decade at the City of Montpelier, Montpelier Alive, and the State of Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development.

Laura Haines, MLS, is an education and research librarian at Dana Health Sciences Library at the University of Vermont. She is one of two clinical librarians who primarily work with patrons in the UVM Medical Center hospital. Her research interests include weight inclusive healthcare practices and the information behavior of resident physicians. She lives in the Old North End of Burlington, VT with her
husband, a wood turner, two teen-aged children and a cranky cat named Django.

Denise Hersey is the Director of the Dana Health Sciences Library at UVM. She has spent most of her career in academic science and health science librarianship, particularly clinical research and education.  Her research interests include data management, systematic reviews covering multiple clinical disciplines, user experience and science communication. Prior to coming to UVM Denise worked at
both Yale and Princeton Universities.

Kyrra Howard is the director of the Pettee Memorial Library.

Kate Hunter is the Librarian at the Orwell Free Library in Orwell, Vermont. Living sustainably while trying to be a good ancestor is my goal. Wrapping my library work up into a torment of community initiatives is my passion. I began the Sustainable Libraries Certification Program in 2023.

Melissa Hutson is currently the Technical Services’ Digital Content Manager at the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, Vermont.

Trish Ingalls is director of Leach Public Library in Irasburg, Vermont, and also a certified professional coach. She previously served as executive director and chief operating officer of two affordable housing development nonprofits, and participated in the Achieving Excellence in Community Development Program, an 18-month joint venture leadership training between NeighborWorks America and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Nicole Klett is a library assistant at the Essex High School CTE Library. She is also a nationally board-certified health and wellness coach.