Michelle Underhill, State Librarian
A native of Stephens City, Virginia, Underhill began her library career at Wake County Public Libraries, followed by service at the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Office of Environmental Education, and various positions at the State Library of North Carolina. She served as Executive Director of Phoenix Landing Foundation beginning in 2019 before returning to the State Library in 2021.
Her accomplishments with the State Library of North Carolina include leading digitization initiatives, growing NCpedia (an online encyclopedia of North Carolina history, people, and culture), fostering collaborations with partners such as UNC Press and Our State Magazine, and spearheading the effort to extend borrowing privileges to all North Carolina residents. She earned her Master of Library and Information Science at UNC-Greensboro and is the 2011 recipient of the Gale Cengage Award for Excellence in Reference and Adult Services for her work with NCpedia.
Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, a citizen of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, resides in Qualla, NC. She holds degrees from Yale University and the College of William and Mary. Her debut novel, Even As We Breathe (UPK 2020), was a finalist for the Weatherford Award, named one of NPR’s Best Books of 2020, and received the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award (2021). It also is the first novel published by a citizen of the Eastern Band of Cherokee. Clapsaddle’s work appears in Yes! Magazine, Lit Hub, Our State Magazine, and The Atlantic. She is a former secondary English and Cherokee Studies educator. Currently, Clapsaddle is an editor for the Appalachian Futures Series (UPK), serves on the Board of Directors for the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and is the President of the Board of Trustees for the North Carolina Writers Network. Visit www.asaunookeclapsaddle.com to learn more.
Patrice Gopo is an award-winning essayist and the author of books for adults and children. In her work, she often returns to themes of race, immigration, identity formation, and belonging. Her essay collection, All the Colors We Will See, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her debut picture book, All the Places We Call Home, was inspired by one of the essays in her collection. Patrice lives with her family in North Carolina, where she enjoys walks just after dawn and thinks a perfect day ends with ice cream. Please visit www.patricegopo.com to learn more.
Mikaya Thurmond is Public Relations Strategist who helps companies and clients achieve their branding goals. She’s spent more than a decade honing the power of messaging. Her award-winning career began as a journalist. She anchored WRAL News for 7 years– waking up more than a million viewers each day. On that morning show, she made history at the time as the youngest anchor in Raleigh! Before being promoted to the anchor desk, she reported in North Carolina and Tennessee where she won two Associated Press awards, received four Emmy nominations, reported for CBS Evening News and NBC’s Today Show. She was also recently named UGA’s 40 Under 40 and Cary Magazine’s Mover and Shaker. As a proud graduate of Harvard University and the University of Georgia, she enjoys cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs. She also loves spending time with her family and her Yorkie, Tinkerbell.
Before Allison was the Director of the Curriculum Resources Center in the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education at Elon University, she worked as a public school educator and librarian for seventeen years. During her time at Elon, she has focused on diversifying the CRC collection and teaches courses in instructional technology and book banning. Her research interests include representation in children’s literature and self-censorship in classrooms.
Anne is the Manager of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s Mint Hill Branch. She is the current Chair of NCLA Intellectual Freedom Committee and also leads the Freedom to Read initiative for CMLibrary. Anne held multiple roles for the NCLA Leadership Institute, has presented several times at conferences and was an invested mentor in ALA’s mentoring program
Ashley Apple is a librarian at the Paul H. Thompson Library at Fayetteville Technical Community College. She is a Fayetteville native and a FTCC alumna. Ashley has a Master of Library Science from North Carolina Central University and has worked in both public and academic libraries. Outside of the library, Ashley likes to read, write, watch baseball, and chill with Rip, an 85 pound lap dog.
Ellen Perleberg is a MSLS student at UNC-Chapel Hill. She has worked for Duke and University of Washington libraries, as well as Durham County Library and North Central Washington Libraries.
Garrison Libby is the Assistant Director for Instructional and Research Services at Central Piedmont Community College. His interests include library instruction, OER, and eating cookies.
Gloria Kelley is Dean of Libraries at Central Piedmont Community College. She has spent more than 45 years working in academic libraries. During her career, she has specialized in library systems, acquisitions, collection development, preservation and leadership development. Gloria holds a MLS from Atlanta University School of Library Science and an MBA from Winthrop University.
Jennifer Arnold is the Director of Library Services at Central Piedmont Community College. Prior to working at Central Piedmont, she worked in the reference department of the University of South Florida’s Tampa Campus LIbrary. In addition to her MLIS, Jennifer has a Master of Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. Jennifer currently serves as the Chair of NC LIVE’s Resource Advisory Committee and as the Chair of the Project Outcome for Academic Libraries Editorial Board. Jennifer has published and presented on a number of topics, including library administration and management, outcomes assessment, and library buildings.
Joel Ferdon currently serves as the Director of Learning Resources at Stanly Community College. If he is not zipping around his library, you can usually find him out in his garden– strolling.
Currently, Dr. “J” Estrada is the Director of the Academic Learning Center (ALC) at Central Piedmont Community College. With an enrollment of more than 40,000 students and the largest community college in the metropolitan area. Dr. J is responsible for the operation, management, and delivery of academic support services to all curriculum enrolled students at the college. The ALC provides tutoring to students in a variety of methods; from in person, virtual, online, group sessions, and workshops. Dr. J is also responsible for cultivating college wide partnerships and ensuring that services are accessible for students and faculty. The ALC serves as an extension of the college’s Library in which both areas collaborate with one another to fully support the needs of our students at Central Piedmont. Prior to becoming the Director of the ALC, Dr. “J” is an experienced higher education professional with 16+ years of experience in academic & student affairs, sports management, strategic partnership engagement, and workforce development.
Julie Reed is the E-Learning Librarian at Central Piedmont Community College. She is passionate about Open Educational Resources (OER), equity in higher education, and learning new library instruction techniques. Like Garrison, she also enjoys a good cookie.
Kris Obele Bele
Kris Obele Bele is an instruction and technical services librarian at FTCC’s Paul H. Thompson library. She graduated from UNC-Greensboro with her MLIS degree in 2011. Her experience consists of academic and public librarianship in which she served in various roles including circulation, reference, outreach, and cataloging.
Laurie Robb is the Instruction and Outreach Librarian at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
Libby Stone is the current President for the North Carolina Library Association. She retired October 1, 2022 after 25 years of service to the NC Community College System and after a 6-month hiatus, happily joined Cleveland Community College’s Rose Library part time. Libby served as NCCCLA President in 2013, and was chair for the CCLINC Steering Committee in 2003, 2007 and again in 2018. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her “guys,” reading, taking long walks and traveling.
Megan Williams is one of three Librarians at Fayetteville Technical Community College. She has a Master of Science in Library Science from the University of of Kentucky. When she is not living the dream in the library, you can find her creating art and music in her spare time.
Morgan Pruitt is the Outreach and Assessment Librarian at Central Carolina Community College.
Robert James provides leadership for the Nash Community College library. He has worked in academic libraries, community colleges and universities, for more than 30 years. Robert holds two master’s degrees; Library Science from North Carolina Central University and Public History from North Carolina State University. He advocates for professional development, outstanding customer service, intellectual freedom, preservation, and social justice for all libraries.
Samantha O’Connor is the Cardinal Training Specialist at the State Library of North Carolina. In this role, she provides training and support for library staff in the NC Cardinal Consortium. Prior to the State Library, she was in the NC Community College System for 8 years, in a variety of roles for the Central Carolina Community College Library. She received her MLIS from Dominican University in 2009.
Staci Wilson is the Executive Director of Learning Support at Catawba Valley Community College. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds an MLS degree from North Carolina Central University. Staci is also the proud mom to two daughters and wife to Jeremy. When she is not dealing with their shenanigans she enjoys crossword puzzles and escape rooms.
Teresa Frohock is the Library Technical Assistant at Rockingham Community College and has over 30 years experience in the library. She is primarily responsible for the cataloging, classification, and processing of both print and electronic resources. She served as the CCLINC Cataloging Sub-Committee Chair 2001-2003 and again in 2020-2021 and as Chair of the CCLINC Steering Committee 2022-2023. When not working in a library, she spends her time writing novels, nerding out on history, reading horror, and simply enjoying time with her husband and their pets.
Tim Hunter became Library Director at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in 2018. Before that, he served as Interim Library Director (2017) and Library Services Coordinator (2011-2017). Before coming to Rowan-Cabarrus, he worked as a Librarian at Alston & Bird Law, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, Catawba College, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Tim is the current Chair of NCLA’s Community and Junior College Library Section Committee.
Vada Bunker is the Library Technician at Wilkes Community College. She will be graduating with her MLIS in May from UNCG. When she is not working, she is often found spending time with her four fur babies: the house cats Henry, Hank, and Lucy and the husky who believes she is a house cat, Artemis.
Thank you to our conference sponsors!
Learn more about our sponsors:
UNC School of Information and Library Science
*Switch to Virtual as of January 26, 2023: Due to unforeseen circumstances, the conference will not be held in person. We have shifted to a virtual format that promises to provide you with many opportunities for professional enrichment. Thank you for your patience and understanding through this abrupt transition. We look forward to connecting with all of you virtually in March!
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