Patty Collins; Gail Santy; Maribeth Shafer

Patty Collins has served Kansas Libraries for more than 25 years in various capacities from story lady to school librarian to assistant director. As a Consultant for the Central Kansas Library System she assists small libraries with all aspects of library service including policy, collection and programming. Collins vehemently represents the interests of youth and supports equal access to library materials for users of all ages.

Gail Santy is the director of the Central Kansas Library System, which serves 54 public libraries and 27 school districts. Gail is also the director of the Great Bend Public Library. Gail believes magic can happen when trustees and library staff work together.

Maribeth Shafer is a public library consultant serving 17 counties in central Kansas, providing training on librarianship, Kansas library law, responsibilities and roles of a trustee, continuing education, best practices and library skills. As a library consultant, she understands the dedication and energy it takes to make a library great.

Ruth de Jesus

Ruth de Jesus has been with Northland College for 3 years as the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator. She has 15 years of experience working in multicultural affairs in higher education. She holds a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts from Franklin and Marshall College. Ruth is an independent social justice educator and trainer.  Ruth has experience with community-based, non-profit agencies as director of a transitional housing program, family advocate, and parent educator. She was an Advisor with the TRiO programs, working with low-income, first-generation students in rural Utah and members of the Navajo and Paiute Nations. She has also served as a licensed minister for a multi-denominational community, as a Spanish interpreter and ESL aide for a public school district, and as a bilingual counselor at a county prison.

Kate Hall

Kate Hall is the Executive Director of the Northbrook Public Library after serving as Director at the New Lenox Public Library.  In her decade as library director, Kate has been very active in regional library systems and the Illinois Library Association.  She is currently chairing Director’s University, an intensive training for new Illinois Public Library Directors.  She is the co-author of The Public Library Director’s Toolkit published by ALA Editions in Spring 2019. 

Melissa McLimans

For nearly six years, Melissa has been a Community Liaison / Outreach specialist at WiLS, leading strategic planning processes across the state, with dozens of public libraries and library systems, individually and as parts of cohorts. Through her planning work, Melissa has facilitated conversations with boards, library staff, and members of the public to learn about the needs of the library and the community it serves. Additionally, Melissa is experienced at data collection, analysis, and visualization, and has deep knowledge of library DPI Annual Report Data, survey administration, and demographics. Melissa has also worked with libraries to refresh their strategic plans, develop implementation practices and measures, and long term staffing plans.

Stef Morrill


Stef worked in the Wisconsin library community for over 20 years, beginning her career at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, providing technical support for statewide collaborative projects.  She found that she liked the work of helping people work together, and her jobs from that point forward were all in “collaborative librarianship.”  She was the New Technology Coordinator and then Associate Director of the South Central Library System. In 2011, she assumed the role of director of WiLS.  Not only did she do the usual director things (budgets, policies, personnel, etc.), she also acted as a facilitator and consultant, providing services for projects like the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium. 


In 2020, she left WiLS to begin a non-profit, River Valley Commons (RVC), which works to “increase the well-being of the River Valley Community and those who live within it.”  It does this by building community, developing shared resources, and undertaking projects to meet the community’s immediate needs. 

Kathy Parker

Kathy Parker was the director of the Glenwood-Lynwood Public Library District from 2002-2018 after serving as Assistant Director at the Harvey Public Library.  She has worked in public and private libraries for over 40 years in nearly every department and co-founded Director’s University.  After retiring in June 2018, Kathy launched the kathyparker consulting firm which provides training to trustees and new directors.  She is the co-author of The Public Library Director’s Toolkit published by ALA Editions in Spring 2019. 

Shannon Schultz

Shannon Schultz brings over 15 years of experience to the library profession, including academic and public libraries. She is the Public Library Administration Consultant on the Library Services Team, within the Division for Libraries and Technology at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Her diverse work history includes microbiology, clinical laboratory management, interior design, and mixology.

When not at work, Shannon enjoys kayaking, curling, golfing, sporting events, reading, and spending time with her humans and pets.

Jennifer Thiele

Jennifer Thiele is an Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University School of Library and Information Science. Previously, Jen was the director of the Marinette County Library System in Northeast Wisconsin for over 13 years. Jen received her Ph.D. in 2016 from UW Milwaukee School of Information Studies. Her Ph.D. dissertation work involved a comparison of state and local library networks like those discussed in this presentation.

John Thompson

John Thompson has served as the IFLS System Director since January 2007. The IFLS Library System headquartered in Eau Claire, WI has of 53 member libraries in 10 counties. John regularly provides training and consulting for library boards and staff on library administration topics. His prior work experience includes serving as the Library Director in Prairie du Sac, WI for 16 years. He brings a perspective of both receiving and providing system services.