Meet the 2015 Candidates

Margaret Woodruff for Vice President/President-Elect (2015-2018)
Kelly L. Tomaseski for Secretary (2015-2017)
Amy Wisehart for American Library Association (ALA) Councilor (2015-2018)
Karson Kiesinger for New England Library Association (NELA) Representative (2015-2017)

A voice vote will take place at the Annual Business Meeting on Tuesday, May 19 from 2:00 – 2:45 p.m. at Champlain College (Burlington). Absentee ballots are available from Secretary Sarah Costa ( and must be received before Tuesday, May 12.

Candidate for Vice President/President-Elect (2015-2018)

Margaret Woodruff, Director, Charlotte Library

Margaret has been the Director of the Charlotte Library for four years and was previously its Youth Services Librarian. Her professional work life began in the museum world, after getting her undergraduate degree at Swarthmore College and master’s in Asian Studies from Harvard University. She worked as the Asian Export Art collections manager and the museum program planner at the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts and later served as a museum consultant for the University of Oregon, Lewis & Clark College and Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Upon moving to Vermont, she organized children’s programming at the Fleming Museum at University of Vermont.

“From the time I was 10 and volunteered at the library down the street, the library world has been my home. My first visit anywhere I moved always took me to the local library, including an initial outing with my kids to the Charlotte Library 14 years ago. Who knew this would lead me to the directorship today. In the 4 years since I started, we have been busy in Charlotte, adding to our technology facilities, developing a Maker program, streamlining our systems and creating a welcome, accessible environment for all. Prior to that, I was the Youth Services Librarian in Charlotte. During that time, we expanded and organized our juvenile collections, pioneered the ‘Classical Connections’ middle school reading program and revamped our picture book room. I still delight in introducing kids of all ages to books to love for a lifetime and I feel fortunate to have been part of the Early Literacy Initiative pilot program that enables that magical relationship to start even earlier.

“Charlotte is a small town, Vermont is a small state. As I learn more about what libraries can do for and with our communities, I bump up against the ‘economy of scale’ argument and the notion that many programs and ideas cannot work in the confines of individual, smaller libraries. What makes the opportunity to be part of the VLA so exciting and energizing is the chance to bring our libraries together. We can advocate more effectively and launch programs more successfully when we marshal our resources. I don’t believe that means a cookie-cutter mold that all libraries must match but rather an umbrella under which our ideas, endeavors and inspiration can fit. I hope to have the chance to work with Vermont Library Association and bring forward our designs and dreams.”

Candidate for Secretary (2015-2017)

Kelly L. Tomaseski, Director, Burnham Memorial Library (Colchester)

Kelly has been the Director of the Burnham Memorial Library in Colchester since 2013. She began her library career as a library assistant in Allegany, NY, and served as the Youth Services Coordinator and then Director of the Town of Esopus Library in Port Ewen, NY. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Bonaventure University, an MLS from SUNY Albany, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Public Library Administration from Long Island University. Kelly was an active committee member of the Mid-Hudson Library System and was the Secretary of the Ulster County Library Association from 2009-2013.

“I was the student always getting kicked out of the public library for making too much noise. Years later, I made it my mission to make libraries a fun and sometimes noisy place for people of all ages to come. I began my library career in 1999 at a small public library in Allegany, New York. I have since served as a Youth Services Coordinator and Director in New York. I moved to Vermont in July 2013 looking for new personal and professional challenges.

“After almost two years, I feel I have a good understanding of how Vermont libraries function. I am a strong believer in volunteering and would like to assist the VLA by serving as Secretary. In addition to my professional experiences I have also volunteered at a farm animal sanctuary in New York and was active in my local roller derby league, serving as secretary for both the adult and junior leagues.”

Candidate for American Library Association (ALA) Councilor (2015-2018)

Amy Wisehart, Director, Hartland Public Library

Amy has been Director of the Hartland Public Library since 2013. Previously she was the Assistant Librarian at the University of Maine at Machias, a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley MA, and IT Coordinator at the Emily Williston Memorial Public Library in Easthampton MA. Amy earned her MLIS from Simmons College and her BA from Hampshire College. Before becoming a librarian, she worked for a fair trade coffee company in Boston.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve the Vermont library community as VLA’s ALA Councilor. I am just finishing one year on the VLA board as the Public Libraries Section president and I am a 2015 ALA Emerging Leader, which has given me a good introduction to the structure and leadership of ALA. I am passionate about Vermont libraries, and committed to finding ways to connect Vermont library staff with the work of our national professional organization and to representing Vermont interests within ALA. I have been an ALA member since 2012. I am also a member of the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (which is sponsoring my participation in the Emerging Leaders program), and the Public Library Association. My experience working in both public and academic libraries in different capacities has given me a broader perspective that will enable me to more fully represent the interests of Vermont librarians on ALA Council.”

Candidate for New England Library Association (NELA) Representative (2015-2017)

Karson Kiesinger, Reference and Adult Services Librarian, Bennington Free Library

Karson has been working at the Bennington Free Library for five years and has been serving as the VLA/NELA Representative since November 2014. She received her Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009. She has graduate (Bucknell University) and undergraduate (Bloomsburg University) degrees in English.

“The position of Vermont Library Association Representative to the New England Library Association allows me to learn more about state and regional libraries and support the work of two volunteer organizations that help our libraries.”