Guest Speakers

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Amy Koester Profile PhotoAmy Koester is the Youth & Family Program Supervisor at Skokie Public Library just north of Chicago. In addition to coordinating public programs for children from birth through grade five, she also helps to lead the library's Civic Lab initiative--a mobile, pop-up library focused on increasing civic engagement for all ages. Amy is a member of the Association for Library Service to Children's Board of Directors.


Thursday, May 3
11:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Luncheon: Making the Library a Touchstone for Information: Civic Engagement Strategies for Public Libraries
Location: Grand Ballroom North 

Brian L. Mortimore
, a member of the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM), brings over 20 years’ experience as a Human Resource professional in healthcare, higher education, and the library industry. He holds degrees from Lake Superior State University and Michigan State University (MSU).

He is certified nationally as a Senior Professional in Human Resource Management (SPHR), a Certified Labor Relations Professional (CLRP) through MSU’s School of Labor and Industrial Relations and is trained as an Examiner for the Michigan Quality Council. Brian has taught undergraduate human resource management classes and has presented professionally to various business and industry, the Michigan Library Association, and was published by the Public Libraries Association.

He is trained and registered with the International Management Research Group as a leadership development consultant. In addition to his on-site duties as Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development, Brian has formed a consulting service to support other libraries through his work at KDL.

When not at work, which is rare, Brian is engaged in strategic planning with his wife as they shuffle their four children around town to various after-school activities. 

Thursday, May 3
3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Managing Performance with the Library HR-Guy
Location: Somerset

Kurt D. Stevens
brings over 30 years’ experience in the IT Profession. His experience spans running consulting organizations and strategic consulting with leading organizations in healthcare, manufacturing, and the library industry. He holds two degrees from Ferris State University (Accounting & Computer Information Systems).

He has a knack for making the complex understandable. Through his many years working with various Executives, Kurt has found a way to “speak their language” and translate the technical issues into something that can be accurately understood and most importantly acted upon. Please consider attending his session, “IT Planning Made Simple” and see for yourself.

In addition to his on-site duties as Director of Information Technology, Kurt has formed a consulting service to assist other libraries through his work at Kent District Library (KDL). KDL is a recognized leader in the Library circles with 19 branches located in Kent County Michigan.

When not at work, Kurt and his wife enjoy hiking, bicycling, watching movies, and visiting their three grown children across the Midwest.

Thursday, May 3
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
IT Planning Made Simple
Location: Somerset

Lance Headshot - 5-30-17

Lance Werner 
Lance has served as Executive Director for Kent District Library since 2011. He received a juris doctorate degree from Michigan State University’s College of Law and his master’s degree in Library Science from Wayne State University. This year, he was named Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year, and in years past, he was the recipient of the Joey Rodger Leadership Award from the ULCA, Librarian of the Year Award from the MLA, Distinguished Alumni award from Wayne State University and the Mover and Shaker Award from Library Journal. Lance is involved in the ALA Policy Corps, the WSU’s Capital Campaign, the MLA Legislative committee and he is currently enrolled in Michigan Political Leadership Course.

In his tenure as KDL Director, Lance has undertaken a number of successful projects: the opening of a satellite library branch in an underserved local high school, working with KDL’s HR Director to develop staffing assessment tools to determine if candidates skillsets, both soft skills and hard skills, are a good fit for public library services, convincing the Board at his very first meeting to invest $400k in eBooks (KDL now has one of the most robust collections in the US), testifying before the Michigan Senate and House committees to win tax capture amnesty for libraries in a fiscally conservative region, conducting many educational workshops for successful millages, securing health care for part-time KDL employees, and securing grant money and community support to revive the library’s bookmobile after a 30-year hiatus.

Lance’s mantra of kindness, empathy and love, has not only created a covetable work climate at KDL, but has also trickled into the way staff approaches customer service with their new “KDL Way” relationship-based service initiative. This mantra is also important when considering other local library systems, as Lance is a big advocate in their successes. Lance has helped libraries all over the state of Michigan with millage campaigns, director searches, information technology services, cataloguing and other necessary support. 

Thursday, May 3
8:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Keynote: Better Libraries and Stronger Communities Through Kindness, Empathy and Love
Location: Grand Ballroom South


JZapataMotivationalMDPhoto 2 1 1Dr. Jasmine Zapata is a dynamic author, physician, health educator, speaker, youth empowerment specialist, and community leader known both locally and internationally. She is a board certified pediatrician as well as a preventive medicine/public health doctor. Her focus is on ways to get outside the clinic walls to impact health outcomes for children and families on a community-based level.

Her research and community work focuses on racial disparities in infant mortality, upstream determinants of health, youth resilience, public health approaches to violence prevention, and innovative methods of community engagement and health promotion.

She is the founder of the Beyond Beautiful International Youth Empowerment Movement as well as co founder of the Madison Inspirational Youth Choir among other roles. She is a 4 time author and her advocacy and community work has been featured on live national TV outlets, such as the Today Show. Her ultimate mission is to use her infectious energy, gifts, and passions to "heal, uplift and inspire."

Friday, May 4
12:15 - 1:45 p.m.
Luncheon: Adverse Childhood Experiences, Resilience, and the Role of the Public Service Worker
Location: Grand Ballroom North