Perri KlassPerri Klass, MD, is Professor of Journalism and Pediatrics at New York University, where she is Director of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She attended Harvard Medical School and completed her residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Boston. She has received numerous awards for her work as a pediatrician and educator; including the 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics Education Award, which recognizes her educational contributions which have had a broad and positive impact on the health and well-being of children and the 2011 Alvarez Award from the American Medical Writers Association. Dr. Klass has written extensively about medicine, children, and literacy. Dr. Klass is the National Medical Director of Reach Out and Read.

Wes Moore

Wes Moore is a youth advo­cate, Army com­bat vet­eran, social entre­pre­neur, and host of Beyond Belief on the Oprah Win­frey Net­work. His first book The Other Wes Moore became an instant New York Times and Wall Street Jour­nal bestseller. He grad­u­ated in 1998 as a com­mis­sioned offi­cer from Val­ley Forge Mil­i­tary Col­lege from Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity in 2001. After his stud­ies, Wes, a para­trooper and Cap­tain in the United States Army, served a com­bat tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Air­borne Divi­sion. Wes then served as a White House fel­low to Sec­re­tary of State Con­deleezza Rice. Wes is com­mit­ted to help­ing the par­ents, teach­ers, men­tors, and advo­cates who serve our nation’s youth. A por­tion of all book pro­ceeds for “The Other Wes Moore” is being donated to City Year and the US Dream Academy.

Marnie Webb is the CEO of Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup Global, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Caravan Studios’ collaborative approach uses a theory of technology intervention to allow communities to respond to the issues they care about most. The technology built by Caravan Studios demonstrates the belief that communities care and technology can help them connect. Previously, Webb was co-CEO of TechSoup Global, a 27-year-old organization that distributes more than $600 million in donated technology to NGOs world-wide.


Michelle LuhtalaMichelle Luhtala is the library department chair at New Canaan High School. She facilitates an online professional learning community for over 9,000 educators interested in innovating teaching and learning at where she hosts monthly webinars. She is a contributing author to Growing Schools: Librarians as Professional Developers and Inquiry and the Common Core: Librarians and Teachers Designing Teaching for Learning. Michelle was named a 2015 Library Journal Mover & Shaker for her work in promoting open access to educational Internet resources for K-12 learners.

Joyce ValenzaAfter completely 25 years of joyful practice as a teacher librarian, Joyce Valenza recently joined the faculty of Rutgers University where she is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Master of Information program. Joyce has worked in special, public, and school libraries. She writes the NeverendingSearch Blog for School Library Journal and contributes to several other library and edtech publications. Joyce considers herself one of the mothers of the #tlchat network. Her Library Technology Report on Social Media Curation for ALA Editions was published in October.


Dr. Gregory J. Benner is a Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Strong Schools at the University of Washington-Tacoma. Dr. Benner specializes in preventive approaches for meeting the academic and social/emotional needs of students, particularly those with emotional and behavioral disorders. He is a national consultant for building sustainable multi-tiered systems of support. He has a knack for collective impact—getting whole communities including families, child welfare, mental health, social and health services, and schools on the same page to meet needs of the whole child. In 2002, he was awarded the Wesley Becker Award for Outstanding Research. He recently co-authored a book entitled Instructional Practices for Students with Behavioral Disorders: Strategies for Reading, Writing, and Math. Dr. Benner has over 200 presentations and publications that share research findings and best practices within the field of education.

Colet Bartow is the School Library Specialist in the Content Standards and Instructive Division at the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI). Bartow is a mother, Montanan, teacher-librarian, and cheerleader for information and technology literacy. She completed her M. Ed. Curriculum and Instruction at Montana State University and B.A. in English with endorsements in secondary English, School Library Media and English as a second language at the University of Montana. She spent 13 years as a teacher-librarian before joining the OPI in 2007.

Seth CiottiSeth Ciotti is a youth services librarian at Kitsap Regional Library. He oversees a program called BiblioTEC, which encourages youth to participate in inquiry-based STEM learning. In May of 2015, Kitsap Regional Library received a three year National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. With the support of this grant, Seth will continue to develop and build upon the success of BiblioTEC.

DandoPriscille Dando is Coordinator of Library Information Services for Fairfax County Public Schools, the 10th largest school division in the nation. Her 25-year career as a teacher and librarian has focused on best practices for instruction and advocacy for teens and libraries. Dando earned her master’s degree in library science at Catholic University and has served as a member of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Board of Directors. She is a current Lilead Fellow. Her most recent publication, Say It with Data: A Concise Guide to Making Your Case and Getting Results is available through ALA Editions.

Mike Eisenberg is the founding dean of the Information School at the University of Washington. During his tenure (1998-2006). Prior to retirement in January 2015, Mike taught and conducted research on information, communications, technology literacy, information credibility, and information science education across grades K-20. Mike is probably best known for his work in information literacy including creating (with co-author Bob Berkowitz) the Big6 approach to information problem-solving and information, communications and technology (ICT) skills development. Mike still works on information literacy, the expanding role of libraries, and information science education K-20.

Ann EwbankDr. Ann Dutton Ewbank is assistant professor and director of the School Library Media Program at Montana State University. She served as a high school and middle school social studies and language arts teacher, a middle school and academic librarian, and has taught teacher education courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Ann researches school library advocacy and is a past president of the Arizona Library Association.  She was named one of Library Journal’s “Movers and Shakers” of 2009.

Stephanie Ham serves as the Director of Library Services for Metro Nashville Public Schools, where she oversees 130 school library programs and librarians across Music City. Before becoming the Lead Librarian, she was as a middle school teacher, high school librarian and most recently she served as the Project Coordinator of Limitless Libraries, a partnership program between Metro Nashville Public Schools and Nashville Public Library. She was also named a 2014 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and is a proud member of the Lilead Fellowship.

Tara JonesTara Jones and her husband, originally from Lancaster County, PA, settled on the west coast seven years ago. They have since developed an appreciation for the hiking, camping, and rock climbing opportunities Washington has to offer. Mrs. Jones and her husband also value the comical moments their inquisitive, two year old son, provides them.

Mrs. Jones originally entered the educational field as an English Teacher, while pursuing her Masters of Library Science Degree. She has been with the Bellevue School District (BSD) for five years. Mrs. Jones spent the last three years as an Elementary Librarian. Starting with the 2014-15 school year she piloted a new position for the BSD titled a Research Technology Specialist (RTS). This position includes participating in a piloted 1:1 model, which provides laptops to all students for use at home and school within the school year. In October Mrs. Jones will be speaking about this 1:1 piloted program and peer collaboration at the WLMA conference.

Jeani Littrell-KwikJeani Littrell-Kwik received the Visionary Award from the Children’s and Young Adult Services division of the Washington Library Association in 2014 for her work advocating for re-staffing of school libraries with Teacher Librarians in Bellevue School District secondary schools after their loss in 2008. She received her MLS from the University of Washington in 1992 and has been with the King County Library System where she worked as a Teen Services Librarian and is now a substitute librarian. Jeani is a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest who recently returned from a two-year sojourn in Singapore.

SusinSusin Nielsen got her start feeding cast and crew on the popular television series Degrassi Junior High. They hated her food, but they saw a spark in her writing. Nielsen went on to pen sixteen episodes of the hit TV show. Since then, Nielsen has written for many Canadian TV series.

Nielsen’s first two young adult novels, Word Nerd and Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom, won critical acclaim and multiple young readers’ choice awards. The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen won the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award and the Canadian Library Association’s Children’s Book of the Year. Her latest book is We Are All Made of Molecules. She lives in Vancouver with her family and two extremely destructive cats.

Mark RayMark Ray was the 2012 Washington State Teacher of the Year. After twenty years as a teacher librarian and technology facilitator, he is now Chief Digital Officer for Vancouver (Washington) Public Schools. His leadership with educational technology, professional development and teacher librarians has been recognized by the Washington State ASCD, National School Boards Association, Digital Promise, Education Week and School Administrator. Mark has been active with library and educational advocacy including Follett’s Project Connect. He writes for Teacher Librarian and School Library Journal and has been an instructor at University of Washington, Washington State University and City University.

Banjamin SaenzBenjamin Alire Sáenz writes prose and poetry for adults and teens. His first book of poetry, Calendar of Dust, won the American Book Award, and his most recent collection of short stories, Everything Begins and Ends and the Kentucky Club, won the Pen Falkner Award for Fiction. His teen novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe won a Michael L. Printz Honor Award, the Pura Belpre Award, and the Stonewall Book Award. A visual artist as well as a writer, Mr. Sáenz is the chair of the creative writing department at University of Texas, El Paso.

Neal ShustermanNeal Shusterman is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of Bruiser, which was a Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) choice, a YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults pick, and was on twelve state lists; The Schwa Was Here; and the “UnWind” series, among many other books. He lives in California with his four children. You can visit him online at


Teacher LibrariansTeacher Librarians of the Vista Unified School District
From left to right: Jennifer Stone, Denise Robertson, Ranae Mathias, Nancy Tubbs

With a combined total of more than 48 years of library experience, the Teacher Librarians of the Vista Unified School District played an integral role in the development of the Model Library of Educational Excellence and Innovation Strategic Plan for all VUSD libraries. They work in high school and middle school libraries and provide support to library media technicians at the elementary schools. They meet at least monthly for professional development, collaboration, and support. This team is proud to represent Vista Unified and looks forward to continuing further refinement and development of the library strategic plan as it moves forward.

Sabrina UrquhartSabrina Urquhart is the manager of Students Rebuild, a collaborative program of the Bezos Family Foundation. Sabrina directs and manages day to day operations for Students Rebuild. Her duties include working closely with Challenge partners, oversight for the Students Rebuild website and social media, media outreach, events, speaking engagements and guest blogs. Her professional career includes communications and marketing, program management and Board of Trustee roles with non-profit foundations and agencies including Casey Family Programs, Job Corps, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Open Arms Perinatal Services.

Leslye WaltonLeslye Walton was born in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps because of this, Leslye has developed a strange kinship with the daffodil–she too can only achieve beauty after a long, cold sulk in the rain. Her debut novel, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, was inspired by a particularly long sulk in a particularly cold rainstorm spent pondering the logic, or rather, lack thereof, in love.

Leslye has an MA in writing and lives in Seattle, Washington. When she’s not writing, she teaches middle school students how to read and write, and most importantly, how to be kind to each other, even on days when they really don’t feel like it. She is currently working on her next novel.

Ann WeeksAnn Carlson Weeks is Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland and Director of the IMLS-funded Lilead Project.  She and the members of the Lilead Research Team are engaged in the first national effort to study school district library supervisors since the 1960s.  A critical part of this project is the Lilead Fellows Program, which is designed to create a network of activists—school library supervisors who work together and with others in their districts to bring about change in schools and communities.

Leslie YoderLeslie Yoder is the District Library Services Supervisor for Saint Paul Public Schools. She began her education career as a teacher of Spanish, Bilingual Education, and ESL. Around the turn of the century, she began learning the language of technology and became a school librarian. Later, as a member of the SPPS E2T2 Technology Integration Initiative team and as a Digital Literacy Specialist for Corrections and Alternative Programs, Leslie continued her advocacy for digital equity for all students. She served as the 2008-09 president of the Minnesota Educational Media Organization, co-wrote the Research Project Calculator, and has presented on a variety of topics locally and nationally. Her claim to fame was appearing on the January 2013 cover of SLJ.



September 26-27, 2015
Pre Conference Events, September 25

Renaissance Seattle Hotel
515 Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98104

Please note that there are no more group rate rooms available. To reserve rooms at the standard hotel rate, please contact the hotel directly at (206) 583-0300 or click here.

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