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Literacy for All: Advocacy, Libraries, and Literacy
Tues., April 7, 2009
1- 2:30 P.M. (EDT)

Sponsored by the National Institute for Literacy in partnership with the American Library Associationís Committee on Literacy

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Camila Alire, President-Elect, American Library Association

Camila Alire is dean emerita at the University of New Mexico and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. and the former dean/director of Libraries at the University of Colorado at Denver. She is also professor of practice (adjunct) for Simmons College’s Ph.D. program in library managerial leadership and adjunct professor for San Jose State University’s School of Library & Information Science’s executive MLIS managerial leadership program. Dr. Alire has worked as a community college library director, head of a special library, school librarian (K-12) and assistant to the dean/instructor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Librarianship and Information Management.

She was named to the ALA/ALTA National Advocacy Honor Roll for her library advocacy work and named Scholar-in-Residence for the Chicago Public Library System. In addition, Dr. Alire was awarded the first ALA Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award and National REFORMA’s Librarian of the Year. Hispanic Business Magazine named her one the 100 most influential Hispanics in the country. In addition, she has chaired the Colorado Council on Library Development’s Board and its Committee on Library Services to Ethnic Populations, which established a scholarship for MLS students from minority populations. Dr. Alire has also served as chairperson of state library regional library systems governing boards in two states.

Terri Kirk, High School Librarian

Terri Kirk is the librarian at Reidland High School in Paducah, Kentucky and has been a high school librarian for 18 years. Ms. Kirk serves on the School Decision Making Council and is chairperson of the Discipline Committee. She is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and Murray State University.

Ms. Kirk is the past president of the Kentucky School Media Association and the Kentucky Library Association. She served as American Association of School Libraries (AALS) Division Councilor on the ALA Council before being elected to the Executive Board of ALA. She is currently on the ballot for president- elect of AASL and is a member of the Gaming Experts group for ALA.


Dale P. Lipschultz, Literacy Officer, American Library Association

Dale Lipschultz, is the Literacy Officer in the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services of the American Library Association (ALA). As Literacy Officer, Dr. Lipschultz focuses on building the ALA's capacity in adult literacy by working with the Association’s divisions and offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Also in this capacity, she supports the literacy efforts of public libraries in urban centers and rural communities, and collaborates with national partners, government agencies, private funders, and corporate sponsors. Currently, Dr. Lipschultz is the project director on two of ALA’s key literacy projects: the American Dream Starts @ your library, funded by Dollar General, and Libraries, Literacy and Gaming, funded by Verizon.

Dr. Lipschultz also represents ALA on national boards and advisory committees. From 2003-2006, she was President of the Washington, D.C.- based National Coalition for Literacy, the umbrella membership organization for the adult education, family literacy, and English as a Second Language field. She has a M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Child Development from the Erikson Institute in Chicago, Illinois.


Daniel J. Miller, Acting Director, National Institute for Literacy

Daniel J. Miller has served as the Acting Director of the National Institute for Literacy since October 2008. Mr. Miller joined the Division of Adult Education & Literacy at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on April 7, 2003 and has served as the Team Leader for the Best Practices and Dissemination Team and currently as the Deputy Director for the Division.

Prior to coming to ED, Mr. Miller served as the Assistant Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), Illinois’ largest cabinet department with 20,000 employees and an annual budget of $5 billion. At IDHS Mr. Miller focused on service integration, strategic planning and building accountability systems. He also had responsibility for the administration of the state’s health prevention and welfare programs as well as overseeing all business and operational aspects of the Department.

From 1989 to 2000 Mr. Miller worked in adult & vocational education at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), serving as the State Director of Adult Education & Literacy from 1995 to 2000. During his tenure at ISBE he oversaw the implementation of the State’s first performance management system for employment and training programs. He was also responsible for aligning the State’s adult education standards to the state curriculum standards and moved Illinois’ adult education program to performance-based funding.

Prior to entering public service, Mr. Miller held various academic positions at a local community college in Illinois.

Sandra Newell, Chairperson, Committee on Literacy, American Library Association

Sandra Newell Chairs the ALA Committee on Literacy and is President of Volunteers for Adult Literacy in Florida. Ms. Newell is a consultant in the Office of Community Development at the State Library and Archives of Florida and prior to that worked in three public libraries including 6 years as a library director in Florida and Georgia. Her first job as a librarian was as an Adult Basic Education librarian with the Northwest Regional Library System in Panama City, FL where she started a volunteer literacy program. Ms. Newell has provided consulting services and training on volunteer program management, tutor training, health literacy, using the Internet to study for the GED, family literacy and other topics. She has also held an office in multiple state and national library and literacy organizations including the Florida Library Association, the Public Library Association, the Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, the Florida Literacy Coalition and the Florida Department of Education Adult Practitioner’s Task Force for Family Literacy.

Stacey Nickell, Director of Library Services, West Kentucky Community & Technical College

Stacey Nickell has served as Director of Library Services at West Kentucky Community & Technical College since 1999. Her focus is on helping the developmental student gain the life-long information literacy skills in order to be effective citizens. Ms. Nickell is a member of the Instruction and Community and Junior College Libraries Sections of ALA and serves as the Academic College and Research Libraries representative to the ALA Literacy Assembly.

In addition to serving on several Kentucky library committees, Ms. Nickell is also a member and a past president of the McCracken Co. Information Network, a consortium of public, college, school media, and special libraries in western Kentucky.



Dinah L. O’Brien, Director, Plymouth Public Library

Dinah L. O’Brien began her Library career after majoring in Library Science, minor in Geography and Elementary Education, at Madison College in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1972. She received a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Rhode Island in 1984 with a concentration in library administration.

In 1993, Mrs. O’Brien became Director of the Plymouth Public Library, Plymouth, MA, where she emphasized staff development, positive productive relationships between staff and patrons, fundraising, and grants management. Highlights of her time in Plymouth include implementation of the Library planning process, expansion of outreach services to South Plymouth, development and expansion of Library reference staff, increased adult programming, and permanent inclusion of adult literacy into library programs. The Plymouth Library received a Lila Wallace grant for adult literacy services in 1998 and continues to receive Massachusetts Department of Education funding for its GED program.

In 2000 her responsibilities were expanded to include oversight of the Plymouth Council on Aging, Veterans Department and to serve as staff liaison to the Disabilities Commission.


Mark E. Pumphrey, Director, Polk County Public Library

Though I’ve been a public library director in North Carolina for the past fifteen years, I started out as an institutional librarian in my home state of Kentucky, working as a staff training officer and librarian at a state institution for the mentally disabled for three years, followed by three years as a prison librarian at a close security prison. It was at the prison that I first realized the scope of the illiteracy problem.

Through early ALA involvement, I learned that each state had on staff at the state library an institutional library consultant, and soon after accepted one of these positions at the South Dakota State Library. My other hat at the state library was as an LSCA Title VI Library Literacy statewide project coordinator. I returned to the South in 1985, and took a similar position at the South Carolina State Library, where I worked for five years, again with both institutional libraries and public library literacy projects, as a consultant, monitor of federal LSCA funds, an evaluator for US Department of Education Literacy grants. I was an active member of ASCLA during all of my years working at state libraries, and co-chaired the ACA/ALA Joint Committee on Institutional Libraries during this time. In this role, I was chosen for an ALA Bogle International Travel grant to speak at an IFLA pre-conference in Paris, France on international prison library standards.

When I moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina in 1992, I changed direction once again to become a public library director. I have continued to be active in ALA through LAMA, PLA and the ALA Committee on Literacy, and am a past chairperson of the NCLA Literacy Roundtable. I have also served on the NC Literacy Association Board. I am beginning my year as president of the North Carolina Public Library Directors Association. In addition, I have been appointed by ALA President-Elect Camila Alire to Chair ALA’s Committee on Literacy beginning in July 2009.

James Rettig, President, American Library Association

James Rettig is the 2008-09 president of the American Library Association. Since 1976 Mr. Rettig has held reference librarian and library administrative positions at Murray State University, the University of Dayton, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the College of William and Mary. He serves as University Librarian at the University of Richmond in Virginia. Mr. Rettig has written and spoken extensively on library reference service and other library topics. He has received several national awards for his writing and his service to librarianship. The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies named him its 2006 Distinguished Alumnus.

In addition to a master’s degree in library science from Wisconsin, Mr. Rettig earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English at Marquette University. He has chaired a number of ALA committees, served as president of one of its divisions, and has been elected to its governing Council and its Executive Board. Mr. Rettig is listed in Who’s Who in America. He will always be a reference librarian at heart.




©2004 American Library Association.