2024 MPLA Officer Election

MPLA will be conducting its 2024 annual officer elections from Feb. 1 to Feb 14, 2024. The election will be conducted online and all members eligible to vote in the election will receive their ballot via email on Feb. 1, 2024.

Get to know the candidates:

Royce Kitts

Royce Kitts photo

Current Position

Director of the Liberal Memorial Library

Previous Position(s)

Education Librarian, Mabee Library, Washburn University Topeka, Kansas
Library Director, Tonganoxie Public Library, Tonganoxie, Kansas
Rotating Book Van, Interlibrary Loan Librarian, and Reference Librarian Manhattan, Kansas

Education (degrees earned and from where)

Master of Library Science, Emporia State University Emporia, Kansas
Bachelor of Integrated Studies, Emporia State University Emporia, Kansas

Professional activities, especially those in MPLA or relevant to this position

Mountain Plains Library Association
- Recording Secretary, 2011-2012
- MPLA Leadership Institute Participant, 2010
- MPLA Leadership Institute Committee, 2021-current

Friends of Kansas Libraries, Board Member 2014-2017

Kansas Library Association
-President 2011-2012
-Vice President/President Elect 2009-2011
-2011 Kansas Library Conference Planner
-Chair of Public Library Section 2016-2017

Kansas Leadership Center, participant 2016-2023

MPLA member since (year)

2009

What ability, talent, interest, or strength would you bring to this position?

My current top talent is the ability to keep pushing forward through the peaks and valleys that is librarianship. I love problem solving and working towards making the organizations I am a part of the best!
I like being the person who leads a group to success and I equally like being the person who helps the group to success.
The current issues in librarianship that I am focusing on are book challenges and early childhood literacy. Basically, how do I get books into the hands of kids and how can I make sure they know how to read them when I do. Book challenges are going to be a real thing for a lot of us here soon. I'm hoping that I can be an advocate and a resource as we face the challenge.

What would you like to accomplish during your term of office?

Hmmm. That's a good question. I would hope to guide the organization through a successful year of renewed and new memberships, a wonderful shared conference, and the knowledge that we got some work done. On a more practical level, I would hope to accomplish the goal of public librarians prepared to handle book challenges. Hard to predict the future. Who knows what could be the hot button issue by the time a potential term of office would start.

Erin Wahl

Erin Wahl photo

Current Position

Assistant Professor/University Archivist. New Mexico State University. Las Cruces, New Mexico. February 2023-present.

Previous Position(s)

Instruction Coordinator.
New Mexico State University. Las Cruces, New Mexico. August 2018-February 2023.
Instructional Librarian.
Fresno Pacific University. Fresno, California. January 2017-July 2018.
Assistant Archivist.
University of Alaska Fairbanks. Fairbanks, Alaska. February 2016-December 2016.
Senior Library Supervisor.
University of Arizona Poetry Center. Tucson, Arizona. February 2014-May 2014.
Archivist and Librarian.
Arizona Historical Society. Tucson, Arizona. January 2013-January 2014.
etc.

Education (degrees earned and from where)

In progress: PhD, Educational Leadership and Administration, Higher Ed PhD track. New Mexico State University. Las Cruces, New Mexico. 2020-present. ABD. Anticipated graduation December 2024.
MA, Information Resources and Library Science. University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. 2011-2012.
MA, English, emphasis creative writing, poetry and creative nonfiction. Northern Arizona University. Flagstaff, Arizona. 2009-2011.
BA, English and writing. Bluffton University. Bluffton, Ohio. 2001-2005.

Professional activities, especially those in MPLA or relevant to this position

Mountain Plains Library Association: “Mountain Plains Library Association Leadership Institute,” May 2023.
Chair, Membership Committee, Mountain Plains Library Association. Joined committee in 2021. Appointed chair in August 2022.
New Mexico Library Association State Representative to MPLA, 2022-2025.
*If elected, I would step down from my Chair and state rep positions to make space for others to lead those conversations.

I am very involved in research and publishing activities and am happy to provide a complete list of all publications to anyone interested.

Reviewing Activities:
Peer Reviewer for American Archivist (https://meridian.allenpress.com/american-archivist)
Peer Reviewer for Journal of Sustainability Education (http://www.journalofsustainabilityeducation.org/). 
Peer Reviewer for the International Journal of Librarianship (https://journal.calaijol.org/index.php/ijol)
Peer Reviewer for the Journal of New Librarianship (https://newlibs.org/index.php/jonl)
Reviewer for the Library Writing Cooperative’s First Draft Matchmaker program. (https://sites.google.com/uri.edu/library-writing-cooperative/first-draft-matchmaker)

Advisory Board Member, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), 2024-2026.
Judge, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Campus Sustainability Research Award. 2020-present.
Co-chair, Border Regional Library Association Southwest Book Awards Committee. Joined committee in 2018. Appointed co-chair in 2023.
Library Advisory Board member, Thomas Branigan Memorial Library. At-large member. Appointed by mayor and council in 2022. Term ends 2024.
Co-Chair, New Mexico Library Association Conference 2022-2024.

MPLA member since (year)

2018

What ability, talent, interest, or strength would you bring to this position?

Two of my main areas of research interest are sustainability and also library work environments. So I would be interested in seeing how MPLA could contribute to the conversation in those areas. I think one of my big strengths is my creativity and my vision. I have a lot of ideas and I've learned how to choose what I go forward with based on the bigger picture of things. I also feel like I have had a lot of success mentoring early career librarians and getting folks to participate and lend a hand in different initiatives. My focus is on my community.

What would you like to accomplish during your term of office?

As Vice President/President Elect, I would really like to continue the work of the current Board and President towards updating our procedures manuals and making sure MPLA continues to run smoothly and efficiently, as well as make sure that any projects started by past presidents are completed. Continuity and follow-through is important for MPLA's future. I would like to seek out opportunities for us to partner with other regional, national, and maybe even international library and related groups to bring more benefits to our membership and continue proving that MPLA is not only an investment in our region, but that our work is important in informing the library community on a national and global scale. I want to create opportunities for MPLA members to shine in new spaces we haven't explored before. I really want to dig into what our members want from us as an organization, and what's going on in member states that we could contribute to in some way, and I'd like to get more of our members active in the workings of MPLA in ways that are fun, move us forward, but also sustainable considering the ever-increasing workloads and challenges we are all dealing with in our libraries.

 

Cassandra Osterloh

Current Position

Tribal Libraries Program Coordinator, New Mexico State Library

Previous Position(s)

National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque NM
Librarian, October 2018-September 2021.

Sandia Preparatory School, Albuquerque NM
Instructional Librarian, August 2012-July 2014; Faculty, Digital Media & Communications Department, September 2013-May 2016.

Queen of Heaven Catholic School, Albuquerque NM
Librarian, August 2006-July 2012; Spanish Teacher (PK-8), August 2007-May 2011.

New Mexico State Library, Santa Fe NM
Continuing Education Coordinator, January 2005 – August 2006.

University of New Mexico University Libraries – Zimmerman, Albuquerque NM
Visiting Lecturer – Instruction and Reference Librarian, August 2002 – January 2005.

United States Naval Academy, Annapolis MD
Nimitz Library, Reference Department, Reference Technician, January 2001 – July 2002.

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.
Library Technician, November 1998 – January 2001.

Education (degrees earned and from where)

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM
Master of Arts in Organization, Information, & Learning Sciences (Organization Development & Human Resource Development Concentration), 2020

University of Maryland, College Park, College Park MD
Master of Library Science, 2002

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM
Bachelor of Arts, 1996 (Foreign Languages, Portuguese and Spanish emphasis)

Western Oklahoma State College, Altus OK
Associate of Arts, 1992 (Foreign Languages, French and Spanish)

 

Professional activities, especially those in MPLA or relevant to this position

NATIONAL

American Library Association, Member 1998-present.

    • ALA-APA Councilor, 2023-present.
    • Member, Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee, 2023-present.
    • Member of numerous committees and round tables.
      Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, Member 2021-present.
    • Tribal Library Council, (Inaugural) Member 2022-present.
    • International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums, Programming Committee Member, 2023.
      American Indian Library Association, Member 2021-present.
    • Communications Committee, Member, 2023-present.

COSLA, Tribal Library Coordinators.

    • Chair, 2022-present.

American Association of School Librarians, Member 2007-2014.

    • Learning4Life, State Coordinator for NM, 2008-2014.
    • School Library Media Specialist Job Description Work Group, 2009-2011.
      Association of College and Research Libraries.
    • Publications Committee, Intern 2003-2004.
    • Instruction Section - Emerging Technologies in Instruction, Member 2003-2006.

WebJunction

    • Rural Watch Committee, Member 2006.
    • Statewide Trainer, Spanish Language Outreach Program, 2004-2006.
    • Statewide Trainer, Rural Library Sustainability Program, 2005-2006.
    • National Trainer, Rural Library Sustainability Program, 2006.
    • New Mexico State Editor, 2005-2006.

REGIONAL

Mountain Plains Library Association, Member 2019-present, 2004-2016.

    • MPLA Leadership Institute Attendee, 2003.
    • Member, Awards Committee.
    • National Network of Libraries of Medicine / South Central Region.
    • New Mexico Regional Advisory Committee, Member 2008-2012.
      Western Council of State Libraries, Member.
    • Advisory Committee for Core Competencies, Member 2005-2006.

STATE

New Mexico Library Association, Member 2002-present.

    • President, 2008-2009.
    • Vice-President/President-Elect, 2007-2008.
    • ALA-APA Councilor, NM Chapter, 2023-present.
    • Native American Libraries Special Interest Group, Secretary, 2021-present.
    • Member at Large, 2021-2023.
    • Member, chair, co-chair of numerous committees and task forces.

New Mexico Academic & Research Libraries, Member 2002-2005.

MPLA member since (year)

2004-2014, 2019-present

What ability, talent, interest, or strength would you bring to this position?

I consider myself to be very organized and consistent, following procedures, bylaws, guidelines, and formatting requirements. I communicate well with others through various formats and take responsibility for what is needed in the position that I am serving. I have always felt that it is important to serve in any organization or association to which I belong. To this end, I have enjoyed serving in different capacities at state, regional, and national levels in the library field as well as within other organizations for which I volunteer or am a part (such as USA Track & Field, Lutheran Campus Ministries, and Girl Scouts). I have served as recording secretary for many committees, associations, and organizations throughout the past 25 years. I believe I take clear and thorough records and work well with other board and committee members.

What would you like to accomplish during your term of office?

As MPLA Recording Secretary, I will work with the MPLA Executive Board, MPLA Administrative Committee, as well as other MPLA committees (as needed), to record and organize the minutes and reports of the association. I will also assist with other correspondence as called upon by the President or Vice-President/President-Elect.

Rachel Kercher

Current Position

Youth Services Library--Leach Public Library (Wahpeton, ND) 2012-present

Previous Position(s)

Circulation and Program assistant--West Fargo (ND) Public Library 2008-2012

Education (degrees earned and from where)

2001--BA: History. Northern State University (Aberdeen, SD)
2019--MLS. Emporia State University (Emporia, KS-Sioux Falls Cohort)
2024 (anticipated)--Certificate: Museum Studies. Brightpoint Community College (Chester, VA)

Professional activities, especially those in MPLA or relevant to this position

MPLA-
2023: Leadership Institute; 2024: Award Committee member

NDLA-
2015-16: School Library and Youth Services Section Chair

ALA-
2019-21: Rural, Native and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds (RNTLOAK)
Committee Associate;
2023-25: Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT)
Travel Conference Grant Committee Member;
2024: Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table (GNCRT)
Will Eisner Growth Grant Committee Member

Richland County Historical Museum-
2022-Present: Museum Board of Directors

MPLA member since (year)

2012

What ability, talent, interest, or strength would you bring to this position?

I'm flexible and enjoy learning new things/skills. I really enjoy taking on new tasks, learning what I can about the situation and helping to find work arounds and solutions.

What would you like to accomplish during your term of office?

I would like to become more involved in MPLA, and the wider library community, so that I can share my skills and talents as well as learn from the experiences of others.

Vice President/President-Elect

Recording Secretary

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