Featured Speakers

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Kalahari Resort & Convention Center
1305 Kalahari Drive
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

Additional Speakers

NOTE: WLA members and members of the Wisconsin library community-at-large, who are conference presenters, are not included in this listing. Nevertheless, their participation is critical to the success of our conference, and we are grateful for their participation! For contact information, members may consult the online directory at http://wla.memberclicks.net/. For non-member contact information, please refer to the printed Conference Booklet, which will be available at the conference and posted on the website as soon as it's available.

LindseyBeckerphotoLindsey Becker is the author of The Star Thief, her debut novel, published in April 2017 from Little Brown Books for Young Readers.

She is a lifelong Wisconsin resident, and currently lives in Paddock Lake with her husband, son and many pets.


amyclimerAmy Climer focuses on helping individuals and teams reach their capacity to be creative. Since 1995 she has worked with hundreds of groups teaching creativity, leadership and change, team development, and facilitation skills. She is the designer of Climer Cards, a tool used to evoke metaphors and generate ideas. She hosts The Deliberate Creative, a podcast designed to teach others how to lead innovation in teams. She has a PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University. In 2016, she received the Karl Rohnke Creativity Award from the Association for Experiential Education.

DrabinskiEmily Dabrinski is Coordinator of Library Instruction at Long Island University, Brooklyn, where she also serves as secretary of the Long Island University Faculty Federation. Drabinski edits Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies, a book series from Library Juice Press/Litwin Books.


DarcyDarcy Miller lives in Prairie du Sac, WI, with her husband, Ben, and two small children. Despite the fact that Ben has previously chaired the WLA Annual Conference, he is NOT the reason she is on the Friday panel, Authors on Authors: An Insider Look at Today's Middle Grade Fiction. If anything, he was a hindrance.

Darcy's first middle grade novel, Roll, was released by HarperCollins in May 2017. Her next book, Margot and Mateo Save the World, will be released in May 2018.


SallyJPla.HeadshotSally J. Plan is the author of The Someday Birds, a Junior Library Guild Selection for 2017 and starred review in Publishers Weekly, CommonSense Media and Shelf Awareness. Kirkus called it "hopeful, authentic and oddly endearing." Booklist alled it "a delight from beginning to end." It's about many things, including war, chicken nuggets, rescue dos, autism, OCD, un-extincting and a cross-country quest for a mysterious bird guru who lives in a sanctuary marsh. 

Sally's second novel, Stanley Will "Probably" Be Fine! pubs on Feb 6, 2018. A picture book, Benny, The Bad Day, and Me, will also hit shelves in 2018. An advocate of neurodiversity, Sally has a background in journalism and education. She lives in San Diego with her family.



Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of more than thirty books for children and young adults, including picture books, novels, works of historical fiction and nonfiction.

Her books have been awarded multiple Coretta Scott King Book Awards, Jane Addams Children’s Literature Honor citations, NAACP Image Award nominations, the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor medal, several Parenting Publication Gold Medals, and American Library Association Notable Book citations.

Andrea was named one of the “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal, and is among “The 25 Most Influential People in Our Children’s Lives” cited by Children’s Health Magazine.

Andrea was selected to deliver the 2014 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture. This honor recognizes her significant contributions to literature for young people provided through a body of work that brings a deeper understanding of children’s books and their impact.


nickpetrieNick Petrie received his MFA in fiction from the University of Washington and won a Hopwood Award for short fiction while an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. His first novel, The Drifter, was nominated for the 206 Edgar, International Thriller Writer Award, Barry Awards, all for Best First Novel and the 2016 Hammett Prize for Best Novel. He was also named one of Apple's 10 Writers to Read in 2017.  Nick Petrie is the 2017 Wisconsin Library Association Literary Award Winner and will be receiving his honor at this year's WLA Conference Awards Reception. He will also be part of the Literary Award program on Thursday at 4:50 p.m.
Marty SchreiberMartin J. Schreiber
Former Governor Martin J. Schreiber is one of the nation’s leading crusaders for Alzheimer’s caregivers. Including today’s event, he will have given more than 120 presentations by year’s end throughout Wisconsin as well as in Michigan and Florida. Marty uses humor and compassion as he shares lessons from his ongoing, decade-plus journey as caregiver. His book, My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver, is winning acclaim throughout Wisconsin and beyond. Prior to writing My Two Elaines – and while still caring for his wife at home – Marty helped the Alzheimer’s Association launch Operation Stronger Together in 2015. A multi-year awareness program, OST has led to a record number of calls from caregivers and families to the Alzheimer’s Association to connect them to important support services throughout Southeast Wisconsin. He also planted the seed for the development of the online Dementia-Friendly Employers Toolkit, which is now used by human resources departments and employee assistance programs. Marty has won several local and statewide awards for his advocacy work. 

Sarah ThomsonSarah L. Thomson

“No matter what I read, I hear echoes of it in my own writing. It's fun to see hints and shadows of the writers that I love coming out in my own prose.”

Sarah L. Thomson spent her formative years in Missouri and Wisconsin. She often notes that “sometime around the age of six or seven, I plunged into a book and never really came up for air.” Thomson delved into the epic saga of Middle Earth (Tolkien) and the wonders of Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain, along with classics by Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen.

During her college years, Thomson studied medieval literature and spent her junior year abroad at Oxford. After college, she took a job in New York in the publishing industry, where she would stay for ten years. Thomson worked her way to a senior editor position at HarperCollins Children’s Books. However, after writing her first book, The Dragon’s Son (2001), she stepped away from editing and took up writing full time. This involved leaving New York behind and making her new home in Portland, Maine.

Sarah L. Thomson is incredibly active in updating the blog elements of her website, from snapshots into her writing process to updates on author events and news.

Deadly Flowers is the first in Thomson’s series of adventures about ninjas in feudal Japan. Keep an eye out for Deadly Wish, the next book in the series.


jwestJessamyn West is a librarian and technologist living in rural Vermont. She studies and writes about the digital divide and solves technology problems for schools and libraries. Jessamyn has been speaking on the intersection of libraries, technology and politics since 2003.
Jessamyn is the author of Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide, and has written the Practical Technology column for Computers in Libraries magazine since 2008. She is a Fellow at Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab for 2016-2017.  Check out her long running professional blog Librarian.net.


Wildgen Michelle image006Michelle Wildgen is a writer, editor, and teacher in Madison, Wisconsin. In addition to being an executive editor at the literary journal Tin House, Michelle is the author of the novels Bread and Butter: A Novel, But Not For Long and You’re Not You, and the editor of an anthology, “Food & Booze: A Tin House Literary Feast.” You’re Not You has been adapted for film, starring Hilary Swank and Emmy Rossum.


Williams Mita.

Mita Williams is a science librarian at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She's also a founding member of Hackforge, a community-minded hackerspace, and was, until recently, the lead of OpenDataWindsorEssex, an initiative to encourage the sharing of Open Data in the city. She’s been blogging since 1999 and still maintains three of them: Librarian of Things, The Magnetic North and A City To Live In.