Featured Speakers

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featuredPeggy Barber

Can everyone on your staff deliver the library's key message? The first of Peggy Barber’s two workshops focuses on what everyone on your staff needs to know about marketing, and how it relates to good customer service. Participants will learn basic marketing principles, how to build an overall marketing/communication plan, how to promote good two-way communication between the library and its key audiences, and how to develop and deliver an effective message. Her second worskshop is based on the premise that all of us who believe in libraries can help deliver the message and can by our own enthusiasm inspire others to use and support our unique resources. In this age of dot.coms, cell phones, and road rage, caring and conviction still rule. It's time to get passionate about "selling" libraries. Learn about the most powerful form of advertising of all (what/why/how/when/where) and how to make it work for you.




Bill Barnes

If you work in libraries, you know that sometimes you have to laugh or else you'll cry. In this 50-minute talk, the creators of the Unshelved will deliver the laughs as they take you on a tour of the world's only library comic strip. The staff and patrons of the Mallville Public Library are supposed to be fictional, but they are instantly recognizable, giving the audience a unique opportunity to gently laugh at themselves and the people with whom they work. They will deconstruct some of their greatest hits, and tell the true library stories that inspired them.

featuredGene talks about what it's like to transfer his daily life as a real-life librarian to paper, the events that become strips more or less unchanged, the ones that get altered and why, and the ones he has to leave out.

Gene Ambaum




featuredJames Campbell

Wisconsin native James Campbell has written numerous travel, environmental and military history articles for Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Backpacker, Audubon, Field and Stream, as well as many other publications.

Campbell earned his B.A. from Yale University and received his M.A. from the University of Colorado. His first book, The Final Frontiersman, was named Amazon’s Outdoor Book of the Year in 2006 as well as one of their 50 Top Titles of that year.

In both of his first two novels, Campbell chose an up close and personal approach to researching his topic. For his first book, he spent long periods of time in the Arctic Circle with his cousin, and subject of the book, Heimo Korth and his family. For 2007’s Ghost Mountain Boys, he took the same approach; traveling to New Guinea to follow the same cruel trail that cost the lives of so many of the soldiers he expertly portrays in Ghost Mountain Boys. One can only imagine what adventures he has in mind for his third and fourth books which are now in the works.



Marcy Heim

Marcy Heim brings two decades of advancement experience to discuss the positive and ethical values associated with development work, both of the donor and the institution.  What inspires people to give to non-profits?  What are the specific roles of leadership and members in the process of the Cycle of Successful Development?  The process should culminate in good stewardship from both annual givers and major donors.  Ideas for creative stewardship can enhance giving.


Erika Janik

Odd Wisconsin captures the Wisconsin people, places, and events that didn't make it into conventional state histories, lowering a bucket into the depths of Wisconsin history and bringing to light curious fragments of forgotten lives. Author Erika Janik unearths the stories that got lost to history even though they may have made local headlines at the time. Odd Wisconsin features strange but true stories from Wisconsin's past that will surprise, perplex, astonish, and otherwise connect readers with the state's fascinating history. "[A]n amazing collection of stories about people and things that have made this state a great place in which to live. . . . A fun book from start to finish." (Larry Meiller, Wisconsin Public Radio) Erika Janik is a writer and editor at the Wisconsin Historical Society by day, and obsesses about food, the environment, farms, architecture, history, and anything else she recently read or saw by night. Her work has been featured in Madison's Isthmus, Wisconsin Trails magazine, Renewing the Countryside: Wisconsin (UW Press), On Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Magazine of History, the Wisconsin State Journal, and on the EatFeed Midwest podcast.


featuredKathy Kieley

Kathy Kieley has been with EBSCO Publishing for over 6 years. She  began working with EBSCO Publishing Customer Satisfaction focusing on  technical support in the Midwest and Northwest US regions. Prior to  transitioning to her current role as Implementation Specialist, Kathy  managed and developed the EBSCO Publishing Technical Support team.  Before coming to EBSCO Publishing, Kathy was an elementary school  teacher and also conducted a variety of training sessions as a  corporate trainer. As an Implementation Specialist, Kathy’s key  responsibility is to familiarize customers with their EBSCOhost  products and EBSCOhost new features through a variety of training  resources.



Catherine Gilbert Murdock

Catherine Gilbert Murdock burst on to the scene of young adult literature with her award-winning and best-selling debut novel, Dairy Queen (2006). The sequel, The Off Season, soon followed and met with the same success. Murdock's newest title, Princess Ben, was released in May 2008. Murdock and her family live outside of Philadelphia, where she is hard at work on a third book starring D.J. Schwenk.



featuredRick Pifer

Rick Pifer is the Director of Reference and Public Services for the  Library/Archives Division of the Wisconsin Historical Society.  He has  been an archivist for 28 years, and has taught numerous classes and  workshops on genealogy and local history.  He holds a doctorate in  American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is the  author of A City at War: Milwaukee Labor During World War II.



featuredMarie Radford                                                   

Marie L. Radford is an Associate Professor at Rutgers University School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies. Previously, she was Acting Dean at Pratt Institute, NYC, and Head of Curriculum Materials at The William Paterson University of New Jersey. She holds a Ph.D. from Rutgers and an MSLS from Syracuse. Her research interests are qualitative evaluation, interpersonal communication aspects of reference, nonverbal communication, and media stereotypes of librarians. Her dynamic presentation style is well known, as she has given numerous conference presentations and workshops. She also has published extensively in library journals and is active in professional organizations, including ALA and RUSA. She chaired the program of the "Reference Renaissance" conference held in August 2008 in Denver. Marie is an editor of Virtual Reference Service: From Competencies to Assessment (Neal-Schuman, 2008). Her book Web Research: Selection, Evaluation, and Citing was published by Allyn & Bacon (2006) and The Reference Encounter: Interpersonal Communication in the Academic Library, by ACRL/ALA (1999). She blogs at Library Garden (http://librarygarden.blogspot.com/) and her website is at http://www.scils.rutgers.edu/~mradford.



Dr. Toni Samek

The recipient of the 2007 Library Journal teaching award, Dr. Toni Samek will speak on intellectual freedom issues, ranging from the local, grass-roots community-based challenges to large scale concerns facing the global community. Samek will reflect on her experiences chairing the Canadian Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, while sharing examples of the fragility of intellectual freedom. Her talk will be a rallying call for all LIS professionals and workers to return to, and embrace, the fundamental principles of intellectual freedom.



featuredVicky Selkowe

Vicky Selkowe is the Mobilization Strategies Manager for the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (WCCF), an advocacy organization founded in 1881, whose mission seeks to ensure that every child in Wisconsin grows up in a just and nurturing environment.

Vicky develops and implements strategies to create and sustain a strong statewide network of advocates engaged in policy work. Vicky also coordinates the Vision 2020 Campaign to End Child Poverty in Wisconsin, a joint project of WCCF, WISCAP and the Wisconsin Head Start Association. Vicky earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology & Economics from Beloit College in 1996 and her law degree from the University of Wisconsin in 2003. Prior to joining WCCF, Vicky provided free legal representation to low-income workers and public benefit recipients in Dane County. Her background also includes extensive policy advocacy and grassroots organizing in Washington, D.C., Milwaukee and Madison on numerous issues impacting low-income families including welfare reform, paid sick days, community and economic development, affordable housing, and immigrant rights. Vicky serves on the Workers’ Rights Center Board of Directors, chairs the City of Madison’s Affirmative Action Commission and is a member of the City’s Economic Development Commission and the Dane County W-2 Steering Committee.


Rachael Singer Gordon

Today’s multigenerational library workforce faces a number of both internal and external challenges, and Rachel Singer Gordon believes that to meet these challenges we need to learn how to work together effectively and draw on individuals’ unique strengths. In a graying profession, we also need to pay attention to succession planning, passing on institutional wisdom, and recruiting, retaining, and mentoring the next generation of librarians.



Pat Seidel

Sooner or later, many of us are asked to get up in front of a group and speak. Attend this informative and humorous session and take home tips you can put to work immediately: reduce word count for highly effective slides; grab audience attention with proven opening techniques; avoid common mistakes most presenters make; answer 3 critical questions that help build a successful presentation.