The VLA 2023 Officer Slate of Candidates Announced

Elections will open August 3. You can see the current leadership at  VLA Executive Committee


2023 VLA Candidate Biographical Information & Candidate Statements


 

Candidate for Vice President/President Elect (3-year position): Angie Harvey

Biography

Angie Harvey has served as the Assistant Director for Public Services at the Library at the University of Virginia Wise. Angie started her career in Virginia as a reference librarian in Wise in 2006. Later that year she was promoted to the Assistant Director position. For 10 years she also served as the interim Director for Technical Services. 

At UVA’s College at Wise, Angie has been the director for two student groups in the campus community, Spirit Haven (a Pan-Pagan group) and the LGBTA. Both groups consistently win Student Leadership Awards for educational, diversity, and other programing. Due to not having a director, over the past year Angie has been able to attend the VIVA Director’s meetings as well as be part of the SHEV LAC meetings. When needed she also teaches semester-long courses for the College’s Library Media program.

Before starting in Wise, Angie was the Head of Circulation at the Paul Meek Library and an adjunct for the English and Foreign Languages at the University of Tennessee at Martin (2002-2004). Angie also worked as an Instructor of English while at UTM (2004-2006).

Angie holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, as well as a Master’s in American Studies from the University of Alabama, and a Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in American Studies from the University of Virginia. Angie has been involved with VLA since her return to the Commonwealth in 2002, particularly in conferences and programs that involve education and diversity.

Angie is also involved in a community project that involves parts of the College, community, and groups like Appalshop to define Appalachia, and create a “Festival of Appalachian Being.” At present the group is focusing largely on parts of the community that are often overlooked, like the fairly large population of African American miners who have been in the area for generations. The general idea is to focus on those people in the area who are not well known or traditionally successful, and determine how to forge an identity, and then help the area.

 

Candidate Statement

It is an honor to be nominated for the Vice-President/President Elect of our organization, and I greatly appreciate the opportunity.

I believe that some of the most important aspects of VLA are the bridges it builds between different geographic areas and areas of librarianship. It connects libraries across the state, as well as the often-distant worlds of academic and public libraries. In many rural and economically depressed areas we cannot afford to have types of libraries as completely separate entities, and need to work to make sure that we have strong connections so that we can help and rely on each other.

If there has been any positive aspect to the COVID crisis, it is that it has made it possible for me in far Southwest Virginia, to take part in discussions with librarians across the whole of the Commonwealth. Normally physical distance makes it difficult for us to connect with other institutions or individuals. In acting as director for several of our state groups, I have been able to see what challenges and boons there are in other areas. As fairly isolated and rural, we do face some unique problems, but they are not as unique as I had thought. We all need more funding and other support from Richmond. We all need to focus on diversity, and particularly, ways to make access to information more equitable.

I also feel very strongly that what has started as a move to ban books from school libraries is going to move to all libraries, and that we need to take a strong stance on how to deal with book/database challenges. As of this month over 20 school libraries have taken books off of the shelves in the last 2 years, and that is just the beginning. We need a strong leadership to help librarians across the state defend items that are currently being challenged, along with helping update collection and challenge policies as needed. As someone who has been working as a librarian in a very conservative area, I have been dealing with challenges to books, information, and even programming for over 15 years. I feel that it has given me the knowledge, experience, and judgement to meet these challenges and ensure free and equal access to all library users.


Candidate for Vice President/President Elect (3-year position): Nan Carmack

Biography

After graduating from William and Mary and then earning her M.Ed., in Counseling, Nan Carmack began her career in the mental health field, stayed home for a bit with her children, opened and closed an independent bookstore before finding her way to library land as Community Development Coordinator at Bedford Public Library. An MLIS later from Drexel University, Nan became the director of Campbell County Public Libraries
where she served for 9 years. During this time, Nan earned her E.D. in Organizational Leadership from the University of Lynchburg and ran a small consulting firm with her husband as a side hustle. Soon after, she accepted the position of Director of Library Development and Networking at the Library of Virginia and began teaching adjunct at the Old Dominion University in their fledgling Library and Information Science program,
which has since earned its ALA Accreditation.

Nan has been an active member of VLA since 2008. She has served as Chair of the Leadership Development Committee; Virginia Library Leadership Academy Coordinator twice, as well as frequent VALLA presenter, mentor, and mentor coordinator); and frequent conference presenter. Nan was the inaugural winner of the Donna Cote Librarian of the Year award in 2016. Nan has also served as the President of the Virginia Public Library Directors’ Association; committee member for the ALA Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT)-Adult Learner Committee and Public Library Association’s Charlie Robinson Award Committee; and the Council for State Library Agencies (COSLA) Southern Library Council. Nan maintains membership in VLA, ALA, PLA, LIRT, and the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL). Nan has been published several times in Virginia Libraries and PLA’s Public Libraries. Nan serves her local community as secretary of her neighborhood watch, treasurer of the Friends of Barker Field Dog Park, and Junior Warden at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. 

Nan has successfully launched three children and is currently spoiling a grandson. She and her husband and their fur-children live in Richmond. Nan enjoys learning, gardening, knitting, yoga, the arts, naps, and supporting her 92 year old mom, for whom she credits her life philosophy: “I live to serve.”

Candidate Statement

Many of you have heard me say that libraries exist at the intersection of social justice and intellectual curiosity. There is even a meme—thanks to whomever did that! You will find me every day at this address. Libraries of all stripes play a role in the leveling of playing fields while expanding horizons. I could not be more proud to work in and for them. However, the libraries only come alive when staff is engaging in that social justice, that intellectual curiosity, right along with the patrons. The Virginia Library Association embodies these qualities, providing learning opportunities, both formal and informal, and a platform for honoring the rights of library staff and users in pursuit of a better life.

Librarianship, in all its forms, is truly my life’s calling. I have a finger in many types of librarianship through my varied pursuits and believe I can serve each member well, providing empowerment, trustworthiness, and responsiveness in whatever happens next. I recently became a certified Foresight Practitioner, which means that I use various tools to get ahead of trends and purposefully craft a path in the direction we choose rather than be yanked down the highway of reactivity. I would love to pave that road to the library of the future with you.


Candidate for Secretary (2-year position): Cammy Koch

Biography

Cammy has been an active member of Virginia Library Association since 2011. She has served on various committees and forums, leading to useful knowledge of VLA. The committees that she has served on include Scholarship Committee (2017-2018), Nominating Committee (2021), Jefferson Cup Committee (2021) and she is currently a member of the Conference and Website Content Committees. Cammy has served on VLA Council in various roles including Vice-Chair/Chair of New Members Round Table (2014-2016) and Vice-Chair/Chair of Youth and Family Services Forum (2018-2021).

Along with being active with roles and responsibilities within VLA, Cammy has also presented at VLA Annual Conference five times and once at the VLA Professional Associates Conference. She has also co-written an article, “Family Building Blocks” (2016) published in Public Libraries Online, a publication of the Public Library Association, about school readiness in public libraries, highlighting services provided at Chesterfield County Public Library. 

Cammy has a passion for working with children and providing fun STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) programming. While at Henrico, Cammy was awarded a Virginia Association of Counties 2018 Achievement Award for  "Elementary Explorers: STEM Education for Upper Elementary-Aged Students" a monthly STEM, now STEAM-focused program that is continuing at Varina Area Library. 

Cammy is a lifelong learner and loves learning new skills. While at work, she is currently enrolled in the first Leadership Henrico class to focus on learning more leadership skills. At home she is learning how to garden, and enjoys sewing, cross-stitching and making jewelry.  

Candidate Statement

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my job as a public librarian after all these years. I couldn’t think of another professional that would render as much joy in my life. I especially love being able to work with children, connect with families, and get them all excited about books and learning. I aim to operate with humor in my personal and professional life and love to share that with others. 

Within my day-to-day duties, I like to keep organized. I love to make lists and stick to them until completion. I am tech savvy which is beneficial in taking notes and disseminating information to members. I also love a deadline. I think with my presented skills I would fulfill the duties required for VLA Secretary. Thank you for your consideration. 

 


Candidate for Secretary (2-year position): Rebecca Purdy

Biography

I spent my childhood with books and volunteering in my elementary school library. When we moved to Virginia I was thrilled when my mother got a job as Customer Services Supervisor for Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL) and even more excited when I got a job as a page in the children’s and teen section. Work at the library became my unofficial extracurricular activity. From the time I was a sophomore in high school, I worked almost every day after school and every Saturday, and loved challenging myself to shelve as quickly as possible while maintaining accuracy, and make the rooms look beautiful! Even when a single toddler wrought destruction on the picture book section, I simply saw it as a chance to pat the shelves once more. When I went to college I planned to study to become a psychologist, but I missed the library, the books, the staff, and the customers, so I quickly decided that I would pursue a career in library science. I spent most of the next decade working at different libraries, trying to decide which field of librarianship was right for me. I worked for a year at the National Gallery of Art Library and, while I loved the art, I wanted to work in a library with a broader scope. I worked in the acquisitions department at the University of Mary Washington (then Mary Washington College) and later at the College of William and Mary, and as much as I enjoyed all of those experiences, I realized that I wanted to work in a public library. So I returned once more to those children's rooms at CRRL, this time as a library assistant. In 1995 I graduated with a Master of Library and Information Science from The Catholic University of America. I received the position of CRRL ́s Teen Librarian and since that time I have worked for nine years as Youth Services Manager and for five years as Youth Services Coordinator. In 2016, I was appointed Deputy Director and began an entirely new aspect of library service.

Throughout my career I have served many organizations, both library-specific and not. I first served VLA in 1997 as a member of the Children's and Young Adult Roundtable and served through 2000 in multiple roles including Chair. Between 2001 and 2003 I served on and Chaired the Jefferson Cup Committee, shepherding the award through its 25th anniversary celebration. From 2004-2007 I served on and chaired the Liaisons with National Organizations Serving Children and Youth and served on the Sibert Award for the American Library Association ́s Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC). I was a member of Capitol Choices 1996-2016 and served a variety of leadership roles during my tenure. In my community I have been a member of multiple committees focused on serving youth, including as Secretary of Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area, as a member of Rotary International, and I served as member and Chair of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce's Chamber's Network of Enterprising Women. I was appointed to the ALA Leadership Institute in 2018 and appointed a 2020 Leadership Fredericksburg Fellow by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Candidate Statement

I believe in working to improve the lives of everyone in the community and there is no better place for me to fulfill that belief than in a library and in serving VLA.

I have been devoted to libraries my entire life: As a child when I discovered the power of books and the magical place where I could constantly discover new titles; when I was a library page and realized that doing my job well meant ensuring young readers could literally find the books they were seeking; and when in each of my ensuing youth services roles where my job meant ensuring that young readers had access to books they might not even know they needed.

I am passionate about empowering youth and ensuring they have a place to go where they are welcomed and have the freedom to read. I am passionate about providing a place for anyone to come and simply be, whether they are experiencing homelessness, joblessness, or loneliness. I am passionate about providing a place for employees to earn a living wage in a safe environment so that they can assist the community in their pursuit of lifelong learning. Libraries do all of that and more.

In my current position as Deputy Director I conduct the training for all newly hired staff, most of whom have previously worked in libraries. My job is to introduce them to the values of public service and what it means to work in a library, and to convey my passion for everything that libraries represent for everyone in the community.

As VLA Secretary, the community that I serve will reach throughout the Commonwealth. I will bring that passion for libraries to my work on the Council and will work to ensure that VLA is representing every library and every library employee. I will bring to the Council my past six years of experience as Secretary of Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area. I will use the skills that I learned while writing a quarterly column for seventeen years for the Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) magazine and a bi-weekly column for five years for our local paper The Free Lance-Star. My experience in libraries, my skills in writing and communication, and my dedication to what libraries represent make me an excellent candidate for the position of Secretary for the Virginia Library Association and I would be honored to serve every member of the organization in this role.


Candidate for ALA Counselor (3-year position): Kerri Copus

Biography

Kerri Copus is the Program Manager and Projects Coordinator for the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library. Kerri received her MSLS from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 2006 and shortly thereafter went to work at Radford University in the Appalachian Studies department. Kerri worked with the Appalachian Studies program as an Archivist and led the AASIS (Appalachian Arts & Studies in the Schools) mentoring program for several years. While working in Appalachian Studies, she also inventoried and cataloged the family papers of Mary Draper Ingles’ grandson, which led to presentations at a national and international level (Ulster-American Heritage Symposium, Omagh, N.Ireland).  

After Radford, Kerri worked as the Youth Services Coordinator at Galax-Carroll Regional Library for several years. She relocated in 2013 and went on to work in Learning Services at Virginia Tech. There she managed Newman Library’s classrooms and taught foundational instruction and graduate research classes. For the past five years, Kerri has been a
part of the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library System. 

Kerri has been a member of VLA since attending her first annual conference in 2012. She participated in the presentation academy in 2015. Kerri has served in VLA as a member of the Scholarship Committee (2018-19), Scholarship Committee Chair (2020-2021), and as a member of the conference planning committee in 2021. She has presented at VLA on the topic of having a flexible career path. In 2020, Kerri presented at PLA’s “How-to” stage on the free community programs she initiated at Blacksburg Public Library, including providing free menstrual products and hosting free community clothing swaps. 

 

Candidate statement

Since entering the library field I’ve taken on many different roles. Becoming involved with VLA was a goal of mine after attending my first VLA Annual Conference in Williamsburg. Though the library world seemed big at the time, I made many connections at that first conference and I am still in touch with those connections, ten years later. It is easy to see how beneficial VLA can be to early career librarians. And now, as a mid-career librarian, in times of political unrest and uncertainty, having that sustained support of a professional network is even more encouraging.

I’ve spent my life in libraries, having an almost circular path that has brought me back to being a Manager at the same library that I used as a child. The skills I have learned along the way, through mentoring, teaching, and communicating with groups both inside and outside my organization make me an ideal candidate to serve in the role as ALA Councilor. As a manager who oversees projects for our library system, I am able to handle those projects without losing sight of the smaller details. 

I believe in open communication as a liaison between VLA and ALA. As a representative of VLA, I hope to share the needs and interests of VLA members with ALA. I have worked previously as the VLA Scholarship Committee Chair to help provide better opportunities for Virginia library students by working with the Scholarship Committee to revise several sections of the application to be more inclusive.  

As ALA Councilor I promise to work to serve the members of VLA. This is a critical time for libraries across the country and a time for our voices to be heard. I greatly appreciate being nominated for this position. Open communication and active engagement on a national level may prove essential to sustaining the kind of libraries the public needs and librarians treasure. 


Candidate for ALA Counselor (3-year position): Mike Mabe

Biography

Dr. Michael R. Mabe has been the Director of the Chesterfield County Public Library in Chesterfield County, VA for 20 years.  Dr. Mabe’s leadership is exhibited in the professional enhancements to staffing, services and facilities throughout his tenure.  These enhancements include renovation and rebuilding of facilities, addition of MLIS degreed professional positions, implementation of an inhouse scholarship program for MLIS students, and the execution of dozens of award-winning technical and service innovations.  Mabe has also added several  professional affiliated departments and professionals to CCPL’s operations in HRM, Training, Marketing/Program Management, Budgeting/Administration and Technology Management.  

In addition to his leadership at CCPL, Dr. Mabe has worked successfully in a variety of other executive and managerial leadership positions include: 

  • Assistant Director, Dauphin County Library System, Harrisburg, PA where he added a management training and orientation program for all branch management team members that resulted in them earning an American Management Association, Managers Certificate.  
  • Dean of Library Services, San Juan College, Farmington, NM where he upgraded technology to allow professors and instructors remote access to library resources at satellite campuses.  
  • Department Manager, Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City, UT where he instituted a range of policy and technology initiatives that enhanced the customers library experience.  

His education includes:

  • BS from the University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
  • Master of Public Administration Brigham Young University Provo, UT
  • Master of Library and Information Science Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  • Doctor of Public Administration West Chester University West Chester, PA 

His professional affiliations and activities include:

  • American Library Association – Liaison to BSA and Youth Groups Committee Chair/Vice Chair, 1999 - 2008
  • Utah Library Association – Public Library Section Chair/Vice Chair, 1994 -1997
  • New Mexico Library Association – Academic Library Directors Section Secretary, 1997/1998
  • Pennsylvania Library Association – Conference Planning Committee/Exhibits Chair/vice Chair, 2004/2005
  • Virginia Library Association – Intellectual Freedom Committee 2016 2020 
  • Virginia Public Library Directors Association – CALD Area Group Leader 2008 - 2010
  • Library Administration and Management Association – Member since 2002 to present 
  • Urban Library Council – Various Directors Discussion Groups, since 2004 to present
  • Public Library Association – Member since 2006 to present 
  • Chesterfield Center for The Arts Foundation – Board Member, Vice Chair 2002 – 2010, 2020 – current 

Dr. Mabe has presented professionally on a variety of topics including quality management, strategic planning, emergency services, staff training and technical innovation. He has also published in the areas of emergency services in public libraries, strategic planning, and free speech.  He and his wife are the parents of five children and grandparents to 22 grandchildren.  He enjoys woodworking, writing, traveling and being with his grandkids.  

Candidate Statement

Thank you for considering my candidacy for the position of ALA Councilor.  During my 40 plus year career in public and academic libraries I have been a regular attendee, supporter, and participant in the American Library Association as well as state associations in four states.  My involvement in local and national association business allowed me to grow professional through committee assignments and developing professional mentor relationships outside my immediate circle of peers.  

Early in my career I participated in several professional censorship challenges that were managed by local professionals with the aid of state and national association representatives.  The association representatives were true professional stars in my mind.  Watching these seasoned leaders manage difficult issues with the local community and political leaders was a great learning moment.  Since then, I have successfully managed my share of similar censorship challenges and local policy debates because of the lessons I learned and the tools available from state and national professional associations

My own professional challenges helped me realize how important state and national associations are to local library operations.  In many instances local libraries may lack sufficient resources to produce a program, promote an issue, encourage funding or recruit the next generation of librarians.  For the library in need, the association is a lifesaver in providing professional tools and resources beyond the libraries capacity to implement or maintain a service, move an initiative along or recruit and train the next generation of librarians.    

As a result of my positive association experience, I have supported my staff’s involvement/participation in four different organizations in state and national association leadership positions and activities.  At CCPL specifically, I have supported staff’s participation in New Members Round Table leadership, RUSA leadership, and the ALA Executive Council; as well as many committees, leadership assignments and offices in VLA.  I am particularly motivated to support their involvement in professional association activities because of the personal impact I know it will have on them and the professional impact they will being to  the library system I direct.  

At this point in my career, I would be honored to represent Virginia Libraries in the American Library Association as an ALA Councilor.