WeLead Initiative Announces New Class

Posted by Lisa Strand on Monday, November 26, 2012 in Awards

MADISON, Wis. – The WeLead Task Force is pleased to announce its new class of protégés and mentors for the 2013-14 cycle of the program. Established in 2004 by the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA), the Initiative’s mission is to foster leadership skills in select members of the next generation of library professionals, be they public, academic, school or special librarians. All of the four protégés are new or emerging librarians, having been members of WLA for three years or less.

bieberIn alphabetical order, our first protégé is Ashley Bieber, the Youth Services Manager at the Rice Lake Public Library. Ashley received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from UW-Madison. Her mentor is Roxane Bartelt who recently retired as Head of Youth Services for the Kenosha Public Library. Upon hearing the news of her acceptance, Ashley reported, “I'm very honored and excited to get started with the WeLead program. As a librarian finishing her first year in a professional position, I'm looking forward to the support, encouragement, and direction that WeLead can offer!” Ashley will be a member of the Youth Services Section New Members Subcommittee.

kristina gomezOur second protégé is Kristina Gomez, the Patents and Trademark Librarian for the Milwaukee Public Library. Kristina, who is a graduate of Carthage College and SLIS at UW-Madison, is paired with Jamie Matczak, the Continuing Education Coordinator for the Nicolet Federated Library System in Green Bay. For her WLA committee, Kristina will be joining the Intellectual Freedom Roundtable. According to Kristina, “It’s such an honor to be part of this exciting opportunity. I’m thrilled to join the WeLead community and am looking forward to making meaningful contributions to WLA.”

kimberly korbelKimberly Korbel, our third protégé, says, “It is an honor to be chosen for the WeLead Program. I look forward to the chance to build relationships with the other librarians throughout the state and become more involved in all that WLA has to offer. This is a great opportunity to grow as a librarian and as a leader in our profession.” Another graduate of Carthage College, she became the director of the G.E. Bleskacek Family Memorial Library in Bloomer in 2009 and received her MLS from UW-Milwaukee in 2011. Kimberly’s mentor is Matt Rosendahl, Director of Learning Resources, at the Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Superior. She has been assigned to the Outreach Services Roundtable.

jessica newmanOur final protégé is Jessica Newman, who received both her graduate and undergraduate degrees from UW-Madison. She notes, “As a new librarian AND a Wisconsin native, I wanted to learn more about Wisconsin libraries -- particularly how best to support them. I applied for the WeLead program as soon as I discovered it. It seemed like a wonderful way to get involved in the WLA community, and get to know other librarians in the state. I was so pleased when I found out I had been accepted into the program as a protégé! I'm very fortunate to be given this opportunity, and I look forward to meeting everyone.” In 2011 Jessica assumed the responsibilities of Undergraduate Services Librarian for Steenbock Memorial Library at her alma mater. She will be mentored by Cheryl Becker, who recently retired as a Library Administration Consultant for the South Central Library System in Madison. As part of her WeLead assignment, Jessica will be joining the WAAL Conference Planning Committee.

During the two year initiative selected participants will be given a two-year WLA membership; stipends to attend the WLA annual conference for two years; a stipend to attend one section conference during the initiative; an appointment to a WLA committee; special leadership programming opportunities; and opportunities to network with their mentor. Please welcome the protégés to their new roles within WLA.

We would also like to thank the WeLead Task Force for all of their efforts in coordinating the WeLead Initiative: Claudia Backus, Marc Boucher, Katharine Clark, Pamela O’Donnell, Gretchen Revie, Kati Tvaruzka, Linda Vincent, and Lisa Strand. WeLead is supported by a generous contribution from WLA Foundation. If your organization would like to support WeLead, contact the WLA office.

For more information, please see the WeLead pages on the WLA Web site.

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