Keynote Speaker

Chelsea ClintonChelsea Clinton is the author of She Persisted Around the Globe: 13 Women Who Changed History; She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World; It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going! and, with Devi Sridhar, Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World and Why? She is also the Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, where she works on many initiatives, including those that help empower the next generation of leaders. She lives in New York City with her husband, Marc, their daughter, Charlotte, their son, Aidan, and their dog, Soren. You can follow Chelsea Clinton on Twitter @ChelseaClinton or on Facebook at

Karl DeanKarl Dean first held public office as an elected public defender, later serving as Nashville’s Law Director and then Mayor of Nashville from 2007–2015. As mayor, Karl led Nashville through the Great Recession and historic flood of 2010, while remaining committed to economic development and public education. By the end of his second term, Music City had added more than 70,000 new jobs and increased local funding for public education by 37 percent. As governor, Karl’s top priorities will be economic development, public education and access to affordable healthcare for all Tennesseans.


Sarah BattSarah Batt is the manager of the Shared System for the Indianapolis Public Library. She holds a Master’s in Library Science from Indiana University and has worked in literacy and library service since fifth grade. As a page in a combined school/public library, she grew up with the value of sharing! During the last 17 years, she has worked in, or helped establish, 37 city school libraries that are part of the Shared System.
Steven BauleSteven M. Baule, Ed.D., Ph.D. is superintendent of the Muncie Community Schools. His leadership focus has been to provide students with deeper understanding and connections between traditional curricular areas while enhancing that instruction through the innovative use of technology. He was identified by eSchool News as one of the top ten Tech Savvy Superintendents in 2009. Baule was invited to the White House in November 2014 for the Connected Superintendent Summit.
Deana BeecherDeana Beecher serves as the Library Media Specialist at Decatur Central High School (DCHS) in Indianapolis, IN. She began teaching with a license in physical education and later library science. As a teacher, Deana discovered her passion for curriculum design, which led to a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction. Soon after, with servanthood calling, she earned an administrative license, all the while continuing her work as a library media specialist. Deana’s passion for learning and helping teachers utilize the right resources appropriately is the foundation of her mission in the DCHS media center. The partnership between the DCHS media center and the Indianapolis Public Library is an integral part of the success of the library media program.
Susan BromanSusan Broman has worked in public libraries in California since 1994, beginning as a children’s librarian for the County of Los Angeles Public Library and gathering the skills, experience, and knowledge to become the Acting Assistant City Librarian for the Los Angeles Public Library. Among her proudest accomplishments are introducing librarians to the world of comics and graphic novels and advocating for their inclusion in collections early in her career, having several people who worked for her pursue a career in librarianship, building a culture of change and guiding implementation of self-service technologies, working with a team to deliver patron-based services, and creating a venue for staff to share their best work to their fellow staff members at staff training days and collaborate across traditional silos.
Susan BentonSusan Benton has worked with libraries and local governments for over 30 years. Her professional career has been dedicated to assisting city and county executives initiate and manage change in their organizations so that citizens and businesses are receiving the strongest possible services. She comes to ULC from her position as Research, Development and Strategic Partners Executive at the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).
Susan A. BuffettChair, The Sherwood Foundation®
Chair, The Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Chair, The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation

The Sherwood Foundation® focuses on public education and poverty alleviation, and strengthening community in Omaha and across Nebraska.

The Buffett Early Childhood Fund focuses on early childhood education from birth to age five for low income families on a national scale.

The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation works globally on women’s health issues.

Susan A. Buffett also serves on national nonprofit boards, including ONE. Locally, she serves on the boards of the NorthStar Foundation, the Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center Foundation, and the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA).
Cathie ChenowithCathie Chenoweth is the School Liaison for the Los Angeles Public Library system. Prior to her current position, she was an elementary school librarian and former elementary school teacher. She has earned her BA in Liberal Studies and Teaching Credentials from California State University Fullerton and her MLIS from San José State University.
Larra ClarkLarra Clark serves as Deputy Director for both the Public Library Association (PLA) and the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy. Her portfolio includes national initiatives and partnerships, broadband access and adoption, and public library data. Her career spans 17 years managing library communications, policy and research following a decade in non-profit public affairs, government relations, and print journalism. She received her library master’s degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Rhonda CowanRhonda Cowan has been a librarian with Muncie Community Schools for 18 years, 17 of those in elementary schools. As librarian at North View Elementary, she held the Technology Coordinator and Webmaster position. She was 2003 Teacher of the Year at South View Elementary. She and Mrs. Sheffield collaborated with Muncie Public Library to lead the transition to the new library system. They currently oversee Muncie Community Schools K-12 libraries and are responsible for training library aides who were hired in Fall 2017 in place of certified librarians.
EmilyDowdallEmily Dowdall‘s career has focused on understanding the complexity of cities and the institutions that serve them, including libraries, and helping them run better. At Reinvestment Fund she has led research on how museums and libraries serve as “community catalysts.” Previously, at the Pew Charitable Trusts, she examined the contributions of urban public libraries and the challenges they face. She has a Master of City Planning degree from UPenn and a B.A. in Urban Studies from NYU.
Emily FarmerFor the last six years, Emily Farmer has been a Collection Development Librarian with Limitless Libraries. She previously worked as a Teen Librarian at Queens Public Library. Between YALSA and local committee work, she always has a towering to-read pile.
Dr. Steve GoegleinDr. Steve Goeglein received both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Butler University and his doctorate from Ball State University. Dr. Goeglein has spent his entire career with the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township serving in various capacities including physics teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal, principal, and his current position, assistant superintendent for secondary education.
Stephanie HamStephanie Ham is the Director of Library Services for Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), the 42nd largest school district in the country. Prior to her current position, she was the Coordinator of Limitless Libraries, a nationally recognized partnership program between Nashville Public Library and Metro Nashville Public Schools. She has been named a 2014 Library Journal Mover & Shaker for her advocacy and work with Limitless Libraries and was a member of the first Lilead Fellowship cohort. She can be found on Twitter @sjgham.
Charity KarczCharity Truelove-Karcz is the Head Librarian at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School. During her 19-year career in education, she has served as librarian/media specialist at all levels of PreK–12 education, public and private, urban and rural, in Georgia and in Indiana. Charity holds a BA in English Education as well as an MLS from Indiana University. She has been involved with the IndyPL Shared System for five years. She is currently working collaboratively with other Indianapolis library professionals on the ILS Replacement Project and Reimagining Shared System Services Initiative. Charity has served on the Loogootee (IN) Public Library Board of Trustees, and is an active member of the Central Indiana Community Foundation-Library Fund Review Committee and the Indiana State Library Professional Development Board.
Beth KroehlerBeth Kroehler is the Assistant Director of Muncie Public Library in Muncie, Indiana. She holds a BS degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, an MLS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Masters of Executive Development from Ball State University. She has worked in a variety of library positions over the past 38 years.
She is a member of the Indiana Library Federation, the American Library Association, the Friends of Muncie Public Library, and Altrusa Club of Muncie.
Deb LambertDeb Lambert is passionate about moving libraries and their patrons into the digital world. She has spent years balancing digital and physical library collections during this transition. Deb uses data/trend analysis and communication at all levels to build and sustain interest and knowledge of the library’s vast physical and electronic resource collections. An outspoken advocate for libraries, she actively works with vendors to develop awareness of library needs. As Director of Collection Management at Indianapolis Public Library, she encourages her team to utilize data analysis and technology to streamline processes, collaborate efficiently and communicate effectively with the staff and public of a large multi-branch system and its community partners.
Jenny LaneJenny Lane manages the Shared Systems team at the Nashville Public Library (NPL), which provides ILS, Discovery, and related services to NPL and the Metro Nashville Public School libraries. She suffers neither fools nor their slings/arrows.
Gena MillerGena Miller is an Elementary Library Media Specialist with Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township in Indianapolis. She began the journey as a Husker with Omaha Public Schools a mere 19 years ago, where she was responsible for the removal of the gorgeous oak card catalog. As an eCoach and librarian, she mingles the tremendous literary world with instructional technology, research investigation and, a little drama, as a part-time theater teacher. Ms. Miller received her Master’s in Elementary Education/Educational Media from the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Her passion is sharing our world’s stories from a variety of platforms.
Katherine MitchellKatherine Mitchell, Content Management Supervisor at Muncie Public Library, has worked in libraries for 14 years. She graduated from Marian University and expects to complete her MLS at Indiana University August 2018. In 2016 she mentored for Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative and was awarded a grant to build a school library in Honduras in April 2017. There she presented on Information Literacy at Juan Ramón Molina National Library.
Eva MitnickEva Mitnick has worked for the Los Angeles Public Library since pre-Internet days – as a children’s librarian, branch manager, youth services coordinator, Central Library director, and now as director of the Engagement and Learning division. When not at work, she is reading, dining out, or totally owning her crazy cat lady status.
Akilah NosakhereAkilah Nosakhere is the Director of Muncie Public Library in Muncie, Indiana. She has earned two professional degrees from Ball State University and an MLS degree from Atlanta University. An administrator, she has served all types of libraries and as a library consultant in West Africa. She is co-author of African-American Studies Core List of Resources, and coeditor of The 21st-Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges. Her most recent work appears in Where are all the Librarians of Color?
Jackie NytesJackie Nytes returned to the Indianapolis Public Library in 2012 to be the new Chief Executive Officer. Jackie, who holds a BA in political science and an MLS, both from the University of Wisconsin Madison, had served the library from 1988 until 2001 as the CFO and the Associate Director for Management Services. During her time away, Jackie served the state as the President of the Indiana Economic Development Council and the city as the Executive Director of the Mapleton Fall Creek Development Corporation. 12 years on the Indianapolis City County Council has given Jackie a unique perspective on the role of the library in the community. Jackie currently serves on the board for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, and the Immigrant Welcome Center. Among her accomplishments since returning to the library, she is proudest of the creation of the Center for Black Literature and Culture, the collaboration with community partners to assemble a digital history of Indianapolis leading up to the city’s bicentennial celebration, and the strides that have been made to provide every child in the city a library card.
Brian PayneBrian Payne is president and CEO of the $725 million Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and president of The Indianapolis Foundation. Since he joined CICF in November 2000, the foundation’s annual grant-making has doubled to over $50 million. Under his direction, the foundation has a major focus on equity in opportunity and developing, attracting and retaining highly-educated, creative, entrepreneurial, and community-minded people. This focus is supported by three major initiatives: Family Success, College Readiness and Success and Inspiring Places.
Brian currently serves as the vice chair of the national organization CEOs for Cities and on the boards of Indy Chamber, Downtown Indy, and Indiana Repertory Theatre. Brian is the founder of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene & Marilyn Glick. The Cultural Trail is a $63 million dollar, eight-mile, beautifully designed and landscaped bicycle and pedestrian pathway that connects every significant arts, cultural, heritage, sports, and entertainment venue in Indianapolis’ dynamic downtown.
Melinda SheffieldMelinda Sheffield has been an elementary librarian at Muncie Community Schools for 17 years. During her tenure, she has also been technology coordinator, webmaster, book fair coordinator, and StarLab presenter in various schools. In summer 2016, she collaborated with Ball State University to develop a unique learning opportunity for students across Indiana through development of electronic field trips, which included student participation in a live television production that streamed on the internet. She was named Teacher of the Year at Garfield Elementary in 2005 and at East Washington Academy in 2011 and 2017.
Dr. Shawn SmithDr. Shawn Smith is a native of Indianapolis and a proud graduate of the Indianapolis Public Schools. He earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Indiana University – Bloomington and earned his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Indiana State University. Dr. Smith has served as a social studies teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent. In 2014, he was selected to serve as the superintendent for the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, the 9th largest school district in Indiana.
James StaubJames Staub remembers his interview for the Systems Librarian job at the Nashville Public Library in 2008. The panel briefly described a crazy glimmer of an idea to get the school and public library systems to work together to get more, better books in students’ hands. And another awesome idea that didn’t work out as well as Limitless Libraries. Yet.