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Advancing Your Public Library Career: Workshop & Panel on Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews

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May 30, 2024 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm MDT

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Join the CAL New Professionals Committee for a two-day journey dedicated to enhancing your career in the public library field! Day one begins with a workshop focused on refining your resume, crafting cover letters, and preparing for interviews. Led by seasoned professionals, you will receive guidance and invaluable tips to optimize your candidacy in the public library job market. Day two features an engaging panel discussion where you will glean insights and wisdom from a diverse array of public library leaders and practitioners who will share their experiences, offer advice, and answer your questions about navigating the library job market. Don’t miss this opportunity to enrich your understanding of applying to public library jobs!

Workshop: Thursday, May 30th at 12:00 pm

Panel: Friday, May 31st at 12:00 pm

Registration is required!

Presenters and Panelists:

  • Diane LaPierre, Executive Director, Poudre River Public Library District: Diane LaPierre started her library career with a passion for children’s literacy and has worked in a variety of roles in public libraries since she got her start volunteering in her elementary school library in Loveland, CO. Diane spent over twenty years at the Denver Public Library before heading back to her hometown as the director of the Loveland Public Library from 2017 to 2021. She became the Executive Director of Poudre Libraries, based in Fort Collins, in 2022. Diane brings her strategic focus, deep community knowledge, and sense of humor to the important work of guiding the public libraries through a time of tumultuous change and exciting opportunities. As Director of Poudre Libraries, Diane works closely with community members, staff, and the Library Board to create opportunities and build connections to strengthen the community. With a strong foundation in advocacy and public service, Diane shares her commitment to providing dynamic, relevant library services to the people of northern Colorado. Diane and her family currently live in west Loveland where they often see elk and deer wandering through their neighborhood. Dance has long been a part of Diane’s life and she regularly performs with regional flamenco dance companies.
  • Joanna Nelson Rendón, Director of Organizational Development in Human Resources, Pikes Peak Library District: After surviving winters in Minnesota, Joanna Nelson Rendón moved to Colorado almost two decades ago. The weather, activities, and people kept her here. Her bachelor’s degree is in child psychology, women’s history, and cultural diversity. She has a master’s degree in library and information science. Joanna started working at PPLD as a teen librarian. She taught the Young Adult Materials & Services class at the University of Denver for seven years. Before moving to HR, she was the Director of Young Adult Services. She is passionate about supporting PPLD employees so they can provide excellent service to the public. For 11 years, she was involved with the Colorado Association of Libraries Leadership Institute. Find some of her writing at Public Libraries Online. Joanna loves gardening, hiking, salsa dancing, and, of course, reading!
  • Nancy Barnes, Garfield County Libraries, Branch Libraries Director: I’ve spent my career looping the state only to end up back where I started on the western slope (best slope!) of Colorado. My career began at Mesa County Libraries as the Head of Information Services. After seven years at MCL, I moved on to a grant-funded position with the Colorado State Library as a technology trainer. I realized a major career goal in Gunnison when I was appointed Executive Director of Gunnison County Libraries. Most recently, I served as Executive Director of Bemis Public Library. My love of western Colorado pulled me back “home,” and I’m currently working as the Branch Libraries Director for Garfield County Library District. I currently serve as the co-chair for the CAL Leadership Institute.
  • Stephanie Ralph, Summit County Library, Director: Stephanie Ralph started working in libraries in 2003. She has held positions at every level of the organization, including serving as the Library Director in Grand County and as the current Director of the Summit County Library. In the last four years, the Summit County Library team has successfully completed a $4.1 million building project which has renovated and expanded two library branches. They have installed a self-check Envisionware system and RFIDed the entire Summit County collection. They have restructured the library organization, navigated the COVID epidemic as an Essential Service with one week of closures and introduced the One Community, One Card program. This is a collaboration with the Summit School District which automatically provides every school-age child with a library card. Stephanie was the recipient of the Special District Association of Colorado: 2018 James T. Walker Leadership Award 2018. She is a 2021 TEDx Breckenridge Speaker and a TEDx Breckenridge Speaker Coach and Board member.  She participates as a mentor in the Summit County and the Colorado State Library Mentor/Mentee program. She presents regularly at Library conferences and will be the Keynote Speaker at the June 2024 HELIN Library Conference. Stephanie is committed to the notion of positive work environments and to that end, she is currently serving on the Summit County EDI Committee and the Summit County Transitory Housing Committee. She is working with a team to initiate an Employee Resource Groups program for all County employees. During her time as Director, Stephanie has seen libraries shift their focus and emphasis, respond to reductions in funding and public attacks on their collections and programs. She believes that through the numerous and evolving demands, libraries have shown themselves to be flexible, creative and adaptive. They remain as essential to healthy communities as ever. In fact, libraries are expanding their role as a vital part of the social infrastructure and community space – open to all.
  • Currie Meyer, Council Tree Library Manager, Poudre River Public Library District: 2024 marks my 27th year in public libraries! I currently manage Council Tree Library, one of three library branches in the Poudre River Public Library District in Fort Collins. Previously, I spent nine years as the Youth Services Librarian at Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, as well as three years as circulation manager there. I earned a BA from Colorado College and a MLIS from Emporia State University. I have two “children”, 17 and 21, enjoy literary fiction, exploring Colorado backcountry, biking to work and running at dawn.
  • Sabrina Leslie, HR at Poudre Libraries: With more than two decades of hands-on experience in human resources, Sabrina’s responsibilities have ranged from recruitment and talent management to benefits administration, employee relations, policy, and employment law.  Her journey in HR began in the fast-paced field of high tech where change was constant and recruitment was nonstop.   Sabrina found her professional home at Poudre Libraries over eight years ago where she now serves as the human resources director and oversees the library’s volunteer program and equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives.Passionate about making a difference in people’s lives, Sabrina is dedicated to working for an organization that prioritizes community service. When she’s not at work, you can find her spending quality time with her family and pets, exploring new destinations through travel and camping, and indulging in her love of music, movies, and books.


May 30, 2024
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm MDT


Colorado Association of Libraries
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