Board Members

Stacey Carter Stacey Carter

President
Special Library Representative

I have always loved to read, so later in my career when I had the opportunity to work in a school library I jumped at the chance. Now I run the Law Library and General Library at the Lincoln Correctional Center. My library ensures the incarcerated receive their constitutional rights to access legal aid. My patrons have access to legal forms, law books, magazines, and books. Incarcerated patrons (on average) read twice as many books compared to other patrons. My library is a "public library" just inside a barbed wire fence. IHLS and its community provide instrumental support to librarians like me who run small libraries.
Melanie Weigel Melanie Weigel

Vice President
School Library Representative

Growing up, I always considered the library a magical place full of amazing characters and spellbinding stories. After spending more than a decade teaching middle school and high school English, I took a leap and returned to the "magic" - now serving as the school librarian and technology teacher at Mt. Zion Intermediate School. I believe strongly in the importance of providing all students the school library they deserve with an inclusive and welcoming space, high quality and engaging resources, and a well-trained certified librarian to provide support. I am excited to join the IHLS board and be a voice for school libraries across the state.
Sandy West Sandy West

Secretary
Academic Library Representative

I have a love for reading and would love when I grow up to become a professional book reviewer for some of my favorite authors like James Patterson, Tess Gerritsen, etc. My passion then extends to the work I perform at Rend Lake College, where I find it a value to share the knowledge of library resources with our students, staff, and faculty. To further support those efforts I believe in the IHLS board and IHLS staff's commitment to bringing library resources to the communities IHLS serves.
Beverly Obert Beverly Obert

Treasurer
Public Library Trustee

I love libraries and all the things I can explore and learn about in them. I have worked in public libraries and in the systems. Being a trustee allows me to help libraries remain strong and vital for others to explore.
Gary Denue Gary Denue

Freedom of Information Act Officer
Public Library Trustee

My first experience with a library happened in the 4th grade on my way home from school. I disobeyed my parents and crossed the road to the town hall where in the basement resided our local public library. An amazing adventure opened up to me on that day. Since that time I have been involved in advocacy for libraries both as an academic librarian and a trustee of both a public library and a library system. I retired as Associate Dean of Library and Information Services at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2010. I currently serve as a trustee of the Edwardsville Public Library and in the early 1990's was on the Board of Directors of the Lewis and Clark Library System. I am a strong proponent of cooperation, resource sharing and technology as means to strengthen individual libraries and the communities they serve. Apart from my love of reading and service to my local library and IHLS, you can catch me fly fishing anywhere in North America.
Tina Hubert Tina Hubert

Open Meetings Act Officer
Public Library Representative

I've been a library-geek since I was a very young child; and interestingly enough I'm in the same library now as I was then (Granite City is my hometown). I've worked in libraries across Illinois for almost - gasp - 30 years! It is my honor and privilege to try to support and contribute as much as possible to all types of libraries, because all types of libraries have added so much to my life both personally and professionally.
Frank Bandre Frank Bandre

Public Library Representive

I was first exposed to a library growing up a little north of Pittsburgh when my sister and I would walk to our small public library to get our weekly books. The staff was always welcoming and set a deep-rooted appreciation for customer service at a library. With a 20-year career in the military, I was able to see libraries across our country and many locations across the world. During this period my wife earned her MLS and I quickly learned that a library was more than a place to get a book. I started to see what was necessary to keep a library running smoothly. Around 2000, I became a Board member for the Mascoutah Public Library and shortly thereafter, became the board treasurer. I sat on the Board for the Shawnee Library System in between 2003-2006 and was exposed to the need for more services in addition to the reality that limited resources (funds) kept us from providing the level of service we would have liked. I see our challenges for the future to be: living with diminished resources, the need to broaden library services, and a perception from some in the community that libraries may no longer be needed because of what the Internet can provide.
Karen Bounds Karen Bounds

Public Library Trustee

Loretta Broomfield Loretta Broomfield

Public Library Representative

Serving in a trustee capacity is new for me but I realize, after 30+ years, I do have some valuable insight and experience to bring to the table. I earned my Masters in Library Science while working at the Shawnee Library System. There, I served in various capacities and had the privilege of working closely with staff from all types of libraries in southern Illinois. I was the manager of the Talking Books Department at Shawnee when the four southern library systems merged to form IHLS in 2011. I became the library director at Sallie Logan Public Library in 2014. I feel librarians have a responsibility to actively participate in the profession outside of the walls of our libraries. Serving on the IHLS board is just one way to contribute, and I am honored to do so.
Janet Jenkins Janet Jenkins

School Library Representative

Librarianship is the only career path I have ever known. In 1988, I graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor's degree in library science education while working at Milner Library during my undergraduate years. I returned to my hometown and was employed as the young adult librarian at Robinson Township Public Library before becoming the librarian at Robinson High School where I've loved my job and my students for the last 30 years! Along the way, I received my master's degree in educational administration from Eastern Illinois University (1993), achieved my National Board Certification in school librarianship (2011), served on various committees as an active member of AISLE (formerly ISLMA), and mentored some amazing former students-turned-librarians. The loss of school librarians is a serious concern of mine. We are not just keepers of books, but also technology integration specialists, social media experts, AV technicians, problem solvers, bibliotheraphists, teachers, and cheerleaders for lifelong literacy and learning!
Susan Pennington Susan Pennington

School Library Representative

From the time I was a little girl, I loved visiting the library. It was a small portion my hometown's community building. I loved the ornate wood trim, the fireplace (yes, it had a fireplace although it was never lit!), the smell, and most of all the librarian! She was always warm and welcoming! While I was not, perhaps, the most avid reader back then, I still loved books. This love of books grew over time and during college I worked in my campus library as part of the technology department and learned that libraries were way more than just books! After teaching high school English for many years, I returned to school to earn my license as a school librarian. My love of books- in all forms: digital, audio, and physical- has grown exponentially. Young adult fiction is my absolute favorite, so I'm well placed as a high school librarian! Encouraging teens to read and helping them find just the right book is very rewarding! Bridging the gap between public libraries and school libraries is a high priority for me, and l look forward to working on the IHLS board to learn all I can to promote libraries.
Joshua Short Joshua Short

Public Library Trustee

The library was my sanctuary growing up, an endless world of opportunity. Over the years I have been on both sides of the counter, both employee and patron. I became a board member of the Louis Latzer Memorial Public Library as a way to shape how the library grew and evolved with the changing times. I am equally excited to be just as involved with the Illinois Heartland Library System.
Mary Smith Mary Smith

Public Library Trustee

I am originally from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. From my youngest days, I can remember visiting the two nearest library branches of Allen County Public Library, Tecumseh and Little Turtle. Some patrons may be familiar with the Allen County Public Library; it has the 2nd largest genealogical holdings in the country, after the Latter-day Saints church. My Lutheran grade school and high school had very respectable libraries as well. I attended the Indiana University satellite campus in Ft. Wayne where I majored in English lit and worked with the campus theatrical group. As a Lit major, I naturally wanted to run a bookstore; but I had come under the spell of a high school teacher who sat on the Allen County Board of Trustees. She pointed me in the direction of graduate library school at the main campus of Indiana University Bloomington.

I look back at that year and the curriculum then and shake my head at how much the world of librarianship has altered; well, it was last century after all. Our university libraries weren't even online yet; to see that we had to visit neighboring Ohio State. We did have Chem. Abstracts but in one computer class we learned something called SNOBOL. We used punch cards! You get the drift.

My first professional job was with Belleville Public Library. Later, I worked with one of Indiana's multi-type library systems, TRI-ALSA, in reference and ILL. But eventually I came back to Illinois and retired as director of O'Fallon Public Library. It's been an amazing sea of changes for library services since that graduate degree. I hope I can contribute to the future services of our system by service on the Board of Illinois Heartland Library System.
Charlene Topel Charlene Topel

Public Library Trustee

The enjoyment of reading for entertainment and information has been central to my life. For a number of years this pursuit was channeled to helping others as a member of the staff of a public library. Serving on the IHLS board has expanded my goal and responsibility to provide information by means of books and technology to the public of Illinois.
Bill Wagner Jr. Bill Wagner Jr.

Public Library Trustee

My early library memories are discovering the stories of the early scouts exploring the unknown territories of western North America to be especially captivating. Like those early pioneers, I explored the stacks of the libraries looking for adventures. I found those adventures in the world of science fiction and also discovered that books contain real knowledge that can be used to fix a car, learn to knit, or write a computer program. I also found that books can be keys to unlock an individual's possibilities. Today, I think it's important that libraries continue to provide books and other materials that people can explore and that inspire the imagination.

For most of my adult life I was a casual and normal library patron, checking out books and the occasional video. A few years ago I joined my local friends of the library group, mainly to assist them with their yearly book sales. From there my involvement became more serious when I agreed to serve on the local library board itself. I'm now into my third year as a local library trustee and am looking forward to serving the larger statewide community of libraries as a board member of the Illinois Heartland Library System.