Team

National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment Phase 2 (2021-2024)

Advisors

photo of Cassandra BarnettCassandra Barnett
Cassandra Barnett is the Program Advisor for School Libraries at the Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education. Her responsibilities include providing resources, professional development and support for school librarians and school library programs for the state of Arkansas. In addition, she is the project leader for the Arkansas Declaration of Learning, a yearlong project focused on object-based learning leading to student civic engagement in partnership with the Clinton Presidential Center, Crystal Bridges Museum of American History, and the Arkansas Division of Heritage. Before coming to the Arkansas Department of Education, Cassandra was a building school librarian in the Fayetteville Public Schools at both the elementary and secondary level for 37 years. During her career, Cassandra has presented at many national and state conferences. She earned her National Board Certification in 2003, is the 2000 recipient of the Arkansas Library Association’s Rhetta Patrick School Library Media Specialist of the Year and the 2018 recipient of the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media’s Pat McDonald Outstanding Individual Achievement Award. An active member of the American Association of School Librarians, Cassandra has served in a number of capacities including President of the American Association of School Librarians, 2009-2010.

photo of Adriana Blancarte-HaywardAdriana Blancarte-Hayward
Adriana Blancarte-Hayward is the Manager of Outreach Services for the New York Public Library. Connecting communities and partners with library services, resources, and information is her passion. She is the former president of the REFORMA Northeast Chapter (2019-2020), Chair of the RNCVII Virtual Committee and 2020 Dr. Arnulfo D. Trejo Librarian of the Year (LOTY) Award Winner. She received her M.S. in Library and Information Science from the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University, and her B.S. in Information Systems Engineering from The Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico. She has been with the New York Public Library since 2005. A former library volunteer and ESOL library student, prior to her current position she was a library branch manager, where she led an award-winning team (New Dorp Library: Maher Stern Award for Service Excellence 2012, NYC Neighborhood Library Award Winner 2013). She is past-president of the New York Library Association Ethnic Services Roundtable (2013-2014) and was a member of the Services to Refugees, Immigrants, and Displaced Persons (SRIDP) Sub-Committee of the ODLOS Advisory Committee (2019-2021). She is also an alumna of Coro’s 2016 Immigrant Civic Leadership Program (ICLP). She was elected as 2022-2025 ALA Councilor-at-Large.

photo of Adrianne CoffeyAdrianne Coffey
Adrianne runs the Nenana Public Library with a few volunteers. She trains, writes grants, and runs programs. Adrianne took over the Nenana Public Library in 2018 when the city of Nenana said they could not fund the library. Adrianne has been writing grants to keep the library operational for the small city and its community. She has been running story time and summer reading programs and has recently received a large grant for non-profit coronavirus relief to provide her community with arts and crafts. She also received a grant for an afterschool STEM project for girls. Adrianne enjoys science, reading, doing puzzles, arts and crafts, and being creative with woodburning. She has a couple of non-fiction children’s picture books in the making, which are almost ready to go to the publishers. Adrianne is mother of two adult boys and has three beautiful grandchildren and a husband with whom she runs an auto mechanic shop. She graduated with a BA in a general studies interdisciplinary program, which includes a minor in elementary education. She did this while raising her two boys. Adrianne has Facebook and has done a few YouTube videos teaching children STEM projects.

photo of Nicole A. CookeNicole A. Cooke
Dr. Nicole A. Cooke is the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and an Associate Professor at the School of Library and Information Science, at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Cooke’s research and teaching interests include human information behavior, fake news consumption and resistance, critical cultural information studies, and diversity and social justice in librarianship.

Dr. Cooke was named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal in 2007, she was awarded the 2016 ALA Equality Award, and she was presented with the 2017 ALA Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award, presented by the Office for Diversity and Literacy Outreach Services. She has also been honored as the Illinois Library Association’s 2019 Intellectual Freedom Award winner in recognition of her work in combating online hate and bullying in LIS, and she was selected as the Association for Library and Information Science Education’s 2019 Excellence in Teaching award winner. In 2021 she was presented with the Martin Luther King, Jr., Social Justice Award by the University of South Carolina.

Cooke has published numerous articles and book chapters. Her books include “Information Services to Diverse Populations” (Libraries Unlimited, 2016), “Fake News and Alternative Facts: Information Literacy in a Post-truth Era” (ALA Editions, 2018), and “Foundations of Social Justice (ALA Editions, expected in 2023).

photo of Theresa A. R. EmbreyTheresa A. R. Embrey
Theresa (Teri) A. R. Embrey is the PMML’s lead for library acquisitions, cataloging of library materials, reference and reader services, and conservation and preservation of the library’s rare books. Teri is the recipient of the 2006 Illinois Library Association TBS, Inc. Technical Service Award and the 2006 Library Leadership Award from the Metropolitan Library System. She graduated from Dominican University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and History and a Master’s in Library and Information Sciences. She later earned a Master’s of Arts in Public History at Loyola University Chicago. Her professional associations currently include the American Library Association, the Illinois Library Association, and the Society for Military History. She has published and presented numerous articles on innovations in technology applicable to libraries and on topics in American history.

photo of Jody GrayJody Gray
Jody Gray (Cheyenne River Lakota) is the Associate University Librarian for Research at the University of Minnesota Libraries. She has 19 years of experience working in libraries, higher education, and non-profit organizations in the areas of equity, diversity, inclusion and leadership development. Jody began her career as the Diversity Outreach Librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries. She then took on the role of Director of the Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services at the American Library Association. She is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. She received her Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and her Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

photo of Manju Prasad-RaoManju Prasad-Rao
Prof. Manju Prasad-Rao has recently retired from Long Island University as an associate professor and head of the Instructional Media Center (IMC) of the B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library, Long Island University. The IMC is of primary importance to students in education, and library and information science. It is also the media library for the entire campus.

Prof. Prasad-Rao has Master’s degrees in English from Bangalore University, India; Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University, Bloomington, IN; and Library and Information Science from Long Island University, NY. As a media professional, Prof. Prasad-Rao is committed to a non-linear, interactive, and interdisciplinary approach to learning. She provided in-depth technology demonstrations and workshops for students in the School of Education training to be K-12 teachers. As the exhibits coordinator for the library, she created many original educational exhibits, coordinated faculty and guest exhibits/programs, and hosted ALA national traveling exhibits.

Prof. Prasad-Rao served as an advisor for the American Library Association’s project National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment: Phase I (NILPPA). She recently contributed a chapter for a book, Successful Campus Outreach Programs and Activities for Academic Libraries, published by Rowman & Littlefield, detailing B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library’s outreach efforts through exhibits and events. As a storyteller, dancer, and teacher of classical Indian dance forms, Prof. Prasad-Rao presents multimedia programs on Indian arts, life, and culture with live music and dance, to museums and libraries in the area.

photo of Crystal SchimpfCrystal Schimpf
Crystal Schimpf is the Director of the Tracy Memorial Library in the small town of New London, New Hampshire. Prior to becoming Library Director, she served as a consultant to public libraries for over ten years with an emphasis on digital literacy, outcome measurement, and organizational learning. She has also worked in public libraries in Colorado and California. During her time as a consultant, she worked for the Colorado State Library, and also worked independently with the Public Library Association, Infopeople, TechSoup for Libraries, the Washington State Library, and the Georgia Public Library Service.

She is an active and current member of the American Library Association, the Public Library Association, the Association of Rural and Small Libraries, the New England Library Association, the New Hampshire Library Association, and the New Hampshire Library Trustee Association. She is a current member of the ALA Intellectual Freedom Roundtable’s Bylaws and Organization Committee (2020-2022), and a Past President of the ALA Learning Round Table (2016-2017). She earned an MLIS from San Jose State (2007).

photo of Mimosa ShahMimosa Shah
Mimosa Shah (she/her) is a library worker, museum nerd, and humanist. In May 2022, she earned a master’s degree in library and information sciences from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s School of Information Sciences. Prior to this, she coordinated public programs for and with community members over the course of six and a half years at Skokie Public Library. Before working in libraries, Mimosa worked as a grant-writer and program manager for several nonprofit organizations in Chicago.

In 2019, she was selected to be an Emerging Leader and worked on a project sponsored by ALA’s Learning Round Table. In 2020, Mimosa was selected to be an ALA Spectrum Scholar. For the past two years, Mimosa has served on ALA’s Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee, providing support to ALA’s Public Programs Office staff and advocating for the interests of programming librarians, and is currently the committee chair. She is an active member of several professional organizations, including: APALA (Asian Pacific American Library Association), ARLIS/NA (Art Libraries Society of North America), and the Museum Computer Network (MCN).

Her professional interests include critical information literacy; inclusive pedagogical practices; online communities and their patterns of media consumption and production; zines and book arts; and representation and cultural appropriation in visual media. Mimosa received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also has a Master of Arts in Humanities from the University of Chicago, where she wrote a thesis examining the role of melodrama as a site of emerging feminist identity in Satyajit Ray’s 1960 film “Devi.” Photo credit: Anjali Pinto

photo of Jennifer Weil ArnsJennifer Weil Arns
Dr. Jennifer Weil Arns is an Associate Professor at the School of Information Science at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. She holds a BA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University with a minor in economics, a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Doctoral Degree in Information and Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research and teaching focus on public libraries, the contributions these organizations make to the well-being and prosperity of the communities in which they are located, and the leadership challenges faced by those who are committed to preserving and enhancing public library service.

Since coming to the University of South Carolina, she has served as principal investigator on the IMLS research projects META 1: Assessing the Economic Value of Public Library Collections and Services: A Review of the Literature and Meta-Analysis and META 2: Furthering Our Understanding of the Economic Value of Public Library Services. She is also co-author of the publication Worth Their Weight: An Assessment of the Evolving Field of Library Valuation.

National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment (2017-2019)

Research Committee Advisors

The NILPPA: Phase I Research Committee comprised two independent teams, each working to advance one of two core research questions.

Research Committee – Typologies Group

This group explored the question: How can we characterize and categorize public programs offered by libraries today?

photo of Carolyn AnthonyCarolyn Anthony
Carolyn Anthony currently Chairs the Standing Committee of IFLA’s Metropolitan Libraries Section and continues as a consultant in aspects of public library leadership and planning. She served for a lengthy time as Director of the Skokie Public Library which won a National Medal from IMLS in 2008 and the ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award in 2016. She served on the ALA Public Programs Advisory Committee from 2009 – 2013, and as Chair for two of those years. She also served on the PLA Board from 2012-2016 and was President of the Public Library Association 2013 – 2014.

Jennifer Weil Arns
See bio above.

Research Committee – Competencies Group

This group explored the question: What competencies and training are required for professionals working with library programming today?

photo of Michele BesantMichele Besant
Michele Besant is Associate Director at the iSchool, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her interest areas include community engagement and LIS education. She teaches a foundations course as well as courses in management and instruction; she also co-teaches (with Omar Poler) a summer Tribal Libraries, Archives and Museums course that is as part of an IMLS funded project in partnership with tribal librarians and other cultural workers.

She is the longtime advisor for the Jail Library Project, a collaboration of the Jail Library Group (an iSchool student organization), the Dane County Library Service, and the Dane County Sheriff’s Office. She also serves on a task force working with UW Archives to build a campus-community LGBT archival collection.

Besant has degrees in English (AB, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; MA University of Wisconsin, Madison) and Library and Information Studies (MA and PhD, University of Wisconsin).

photo of Terrilyn ChunTerrilyn Chun
Terrilyn Chun is the Deputy Director of Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon, where she leads the library’s public services, including all 19 public library locations and divisions that serve patrons directly in childcare centers, schools, retirement facilities, shelters, and other settings.

Previously she was the senior manager for Programming and Community Outreach and was responsible for development, resource allocation, and evaluation of public programs for adults, youth, and families. She coordinated Everybody Reads, the library’s One City/One Book community reading project from 2003-2016.

She received a degree in communication from Mills College in Oakland, California and her MLS from Emporia State University. She is a former member and chair of the American Library Association’s Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee and a former member of the Public Library Association’s Leadership Development Committee.

photo of Miguel A. FigueroaMiguel A. Figueroa
Miguel Figueroa heads the American Library Association (ALA) Center for the Future of Libraries. As the first director of the new Center, Figueroa is responsible for identifying and disseminating information on long-term societal, technological, educational, and demographic trends that may affect libraries and their future.

Figueroa served as Director of Member Programs for the American Theological Library Association in Chicago since June 2012, where he coordinated member recruitment, outreach and development, the cultivation of relationships with external partners, communications and publications, and service to volunteer committees and interest groups. His work there included creating a joint leadership meeting for committees and member leaders, the introduction of outcome-based evaluation, and serving on the ATLA executive leadership team.

From 2009 to 2012, Figueroa served as ALA Director of the Office for Diversity and Spectrum Scholarship Program and the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services, where he coordinated member services, initiatives and programs, training and resource development, and relationships with external partners. As director, Figueroa oversaw the Spectrum Scholarship program, a national diversity recruitment program providing scholarships for master’s and doctorate degrees in library and information science, helped launch the $1 million Spectrum Scholarship fundraising campaign, and secured over $1.5 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Prior to his work at ALA, Figueroa served as Network Services Coordinator at the Ehrman Medical Library at New York University from 2006 to 2009. From 2003 to 2006, he served as Associate Director of Publishing for Neal-Schuman Publishers in New York. There, he managed acquisitions and marketing for a leading publisher of library professional development materials, identifying emerging topics and author/experts in the library and information science profession. Figueroa received an M.A. in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona in 2003. In 2005, he was selected by Library Journal as a “Mover and Shaker.”

photo of Janine GoldenJanine Golden
Dr. Janine Golden is a retired Associate Professor in the Master of Management in Library and Information Science program at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. Dr. Golden earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences; an MLS from the School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University, Bloomington; and an M.Ed. in Educational Administration from The Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Golden’s research path concerned factors and strategies related to career development success for library emerging leaders, succession planning, employee retention strategies, the mentoring process for those individuals interested/involved in leadership and management fields, and the use of the Enneagram as a career development strategy. As a component of the USC MMLIS program, she created the online Mentoring Center for students connecting them with peer and information professional mentors.

Janine is a past president of the American Library Association’s division, Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA). She created the ALA LLAMA 3-year Emerging Leader Collaboration with Graduate LIS Schools project with LLAMA Executive Director Kerry Ward, and led a team working with the ALA diversity project, Building Bridges Across Mentoring. Dr. Golden also served as an advisor for the first phase of the ALA/IMLS National Impact of Library Programs Assessment Project.

photo of John B. HorriganJohn B. Horrigan
John B. Horrigan is a Senior Fellow with the Benton Institute on Broadband and Society with a focus on technology adoption, digital inclusion, and evaluating the outcomes and impacts of programs designed to promote communications technology adoption and use. He has served as an Associate Director for Research at the Pew Research Center with a focus on libraries, communities, and technology adoption. Horrigan was part of the leadership team at the Federal Communications Commission for the development of the National Broadband Plan and was responsible for the plan’s recommendations on broadband adoption.

He is a nationally recognized leader on home broadband adoption patterns, the impact of connectivity on individuals, and strategies for closing adoption gaps. At Pew, he authored reports on broadband adoption and lifelong learning and technology. As a consultant, Horrigan is author of landmark reports on Comcast’s Internet Essentials program. The reports, “The Essentials of Connectivity” and “Deepening Ties” demonstrate the impact of online access for low-income families with children and make recommendations on how to accelerate broadband adoption and usage.

Horrigan has a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Texas at Austin and an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.

photo of Bob HortonBob Horton
Bob Horton is chair of the Archives Center and assistant director for collections and archives at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Prior to joining the NMAH, he was associate deputy director for Library Services at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (2011-2015) and director of the Library, Publications, and Collections Division of the Minnesota Historical Society (1997-2011). Areas of special interest are technology, digitization, and project management. He has directed projects funded by, among others, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and the National Digital Information and Infrastructure Preservation Program. Working with the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, he represented archival associations in the development of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and the Uniform Electronic Legal Materials Act (UELMA). The Library of Congress named Horton a “Digital Preservation Pioneer” in 2008. Recent publications include “History and Memory: the Reification of Meaning in the Archives,” (Essays in Honor of Mark Greene); “Great Expectations: Meeting the Needs of Online Audiences at the Archives Center,” Collections 12(2016).

photo of Richard KongRichard Kong
Richard Kong is director of Skokie Public Library, an award-winning institution that serves a diverse population of 65,000 just north of Chicago, Illinois. Kong contributes actively to the library profession at both state and national levels. He has served on both the Public Library Association’s Board of Directors and the Executive Board of the Illinois Library Association. Kong holds a Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan School of Information.

photo of Colleen LeddyColleen Leddy
Colleen Leddy, director of Stair District Library in Morenci, Michigan, has a strong interest in public programming. She won grants to host the following programs, among others: Libraries Transforming Communities; NASA @ My Library; Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys; Pushing the Limits; Prime Time Family Reading Time; “Picturing New York…in a tiny Midwest town” (ALA Picturing America); eleven Michigan Notable Book authors; and the Smithsonian Institution exhibits, “Barn Again! Celebrating an American Icon” and “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America.” She hosted the first Human Library east of the Mississippi.

While Director, Stair District Library won the State Librarian’s Excellence Award, 2009; Leddy won the Community Partnership Award, Rural Libraries Conference, Library of Michigan, 2005. She wrote “Programming on a (Long, Colorful) Shoestring” for the ALA Programming Librarian website. Leddy is a Michigan State University graduate with a BA in Social Science, Multi-Disciplinary Program: Pre-Law. She was a copy editor and columnist for the State Line Observer weekly newspaper in Morenci for nearly three decades before it ceased publication in 2020.

photo of Jamie Campbell NaidooJamie Campbell Naidoo
Jamie Campbell Naidoo, Ph.D. is the Foster-EBSCO Endowed Professor and Interim Director at The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies. A former elementary school librarian and public youth librarian, Naidoo’s research interests include library services to diverse populations and diversity in children’s print and digital media. He teaches courses in public librarianship, storytelling, youth programming, outreach to diverse populations, and materials and services for children, teens, and families.

The author of numerous books, research articles, book chapters, and professional publications related to library programs and services for specific culturally diverse groups, Naidoo regularly consults with nonprofit organizations to develop children’s media and educational curricula that authentically and accurately represent our culturally pluralistic society.

He also works with libraries and schools interested in serving the literacy needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) children/teens and LGBTQ families, and is actively involved in professional associations such as the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY), and The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking (REFORMA). In 2016, he was awarded the Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award by the American Library Association. He is a past president of ALSC.

photo of Annie NormanAnnie Norman
Dr. Annie Norman is State Librarian and Director of the Delaware Division of Libraries. Under her leadership, the Delaware Library Catalog (delawarelibraries.org) was established; currently 74 participating libraries are sharing over 3 million items for the benefit of Delawareans.

Annie received her Doctorate of Education in Innovation and Organizational Leadership from Wilmington University, and is a recipient of the Audrey K. Doberstein Award for Leadership for her dissertation, Librarians’ Leadership for Lifelong Learning.

Annie is the first librarian to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women.

Watch her talk on curiosity for TEDxWilmington, Libraries and the American Dream.

Manju Prasad-Rao
See bio above.

photo of Kathy RosaKathy Rosa
Kathy Rosa is the former director of ALA’s Office for Research and Statistics, which provides leadership and expert advice to ALA staff, members, and the public on all matters related to research and statistics about libraries, librarians, and other library staff; represents the Association to Federal agencies on these issues; and initiates projects needed to expand the knowledge base of the field through research and the collection of useful statistics. Rosa holds a doctorate in Instructional Technology from the University of Houston and an MSLS from the University of Kentucky. In addition to her experience working in public libraries, Rosa has taught courses in library & information science and instructional technology.

photo of Marsha L. SemmelMarsha L. Semmel
Marsha L. Semmel is an independent consultant working with foundations, museums, libraries, and other educational and cultural organizations on planning, leadership development, community engagement, and strategic partnerships. She currently serves as senior advisor to the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement in its SENCER (Science Engagement for New Civic Responsibilities) initiative and to faculty in the Bank Street College of Education’s Graduate Program in Leadership in Museum Education.

From 2013-2015, Semmel was senior advisor to the Noyce Foundation’s Noyce Leadership Institute, a global executive development program for senior staff in informal science learning organizations. Semmel was the Director for Strategic Partnerships, Deputy for Museum Services, and Acting Director at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) from 2003-13. At the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) from 1984-96, Semmel was Director, NEH Division of Public Programs, from 1993-96. She has been President and CEO of Conner Prairie, a history museum near Indianapolis, and President and CEO of the Women of the West Museum in Denver. Semmel has served on the boards of the American Alliance of Museums, the Colorado Digitization Program, and ArtTable, and currently is a board member of the Institute for Learning Innovation, the Museum of Language Arts, and the Council of American Jewish Museums, as well as vice chair of the Arlington Arts Commission. Semmel is a member of The Museum Group, a consortium of museum consultants founded in 1995 by independent professionals who have held leadership positions in museums.

photo of Rebecca TeasdaleRebecca Teasdale
Dr. Rebecca M. Teasdale is an assistant professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is an evaluation methodologist who examines the valuing process in evaluation: the activities of defining program success, specifying evaluative criteria, and applying criteria to reach evaluative conclusions. Her substantive research focuses on science and technology learning in adulthood in public libraries and other informal contexts, with a particular focus on making and makerspaces.

Dr. Teasdale directs the IMLS-funded Embedding Evaluation in Libraries project and teaches graduate-level courses at UIC in evaluation theory, evaluation methods, and research methods. Dr. Teasdale holds an MA in library and information science from the University of Iowa and a PhD in educational psychology with an emphasis in evaluation methodology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining the UIC faculty, she served as a librarian and administrator in urban and suburban public libraries and a professional evaluator focusing on informal and formal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

photo of Sarah Goodwin ThielSarah Goodwin Thiel
Sarah Goodwin Thiel is the Faculty & Community Engagement Librarian for the University of Kansas Libraries. She is the Coordinator of the Haricombe Gallery Exhibitions Program where she oversees the development and installation of collaborative transdisciplinary exhibitions and events. Thiel works to foster an environment of engagement within KU Libraries and to cultivate relationships with campus partners and the wider community. Her research areas include public scholarship, community engagement, collaboration, and the promotion of scholarship, collections, and resources.

Thiel received training at the ALA-Harwood Public Innovators Lab in 2013 and served as a Harwood Community Fellow in 2018. She holds a BA from Southern Illinois University and an MLIS from the University of Missouri.

photo of Angel YsaguirreAngel Ysaguirre
Angel Ysaguirre has served as executive director of The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) since 2014.

Ysaguirre previously served as Deputy Commissioner for City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), where he participated in the creation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Cultural Plan, a framework to guide the city’s future cultural and economic growth. He worked with the Mayor’s Office, DCASE Commissioner Michelle Boone and a team of Directors to create a new Arts Programming Division within DCASE to enact parts of the Cultural Plan and establish the department’s strategy.

Ysaguirre has over 20 years of experience in philanthropy and arts and humanities, including at the IHC. He served as the IHC’s first Director of Programs, ushering in programs like The Odyssey Project and the series, Brown v Board 50 Years Later: Conversations on Race, Integration, and the Courts, that made the humanities accessible to a wider audience. His rich philanthropic experience includes serving as Program Officer with the McCormick Tribune Foundation, where he managed a portfolio that covered arts and arts education. He continued his philanthropic work as Director of Global Community Investing, Global Corporate Citizenship for The Boeing Company, where he managed the company’s grant making strategy domestically and internationally.