SJSU SLIS Students and Alumni Seek Leadership Roles in the California Library Association


Four students and two alumni from the San José State University School of Library and Information Science (SJSU SLIS) are eager to take on leadership roles with the California Library Association (CLA). They hope to be selected to serve on the CLA Board when elections wrap up on October 18.

Ellie Fullman is currently in her final year in the information school’s Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program. She currently works as a library media instructor for a Montessori school. At SJSU SLIS, Fullman has enrolled in electives that focus on information architecture, digitization, metadata, taxonomy, and emerging technologies. She has complemented her coursework with internships, gaining professional experience that ranges from launching an iPad lending program for a university library, to creating a digital repository of photographs, to creating screencasts and research guides, to delivering literacy instruction. In addition, Fullman serves as a board member for the SJSU SLIS ASIS&T student chapter.

Barnaby Hughes says he was born to be a librarian, following in the footsteps of a parent who was a school librarian. While pursuing his MLIS degree, Hughes also currently serves as the managing editor of the SLIS Student Research Journal, an online, peer-reviewed, open-access scholarly journal. Hughes hopes to work for an academic library after completing his master’s degree.

Lisa Nowlain’s volunteer experiences make her eager to pursue a career pathway in youth librarianship after completing her MLIS degree. She facilitated mural workshops in Laos and in an Oakland, Calif., public library, transformed a picture book collection into a child-centered reading destination, and handled marketing for a youth-centered non-profit. Nowlain currently serves as the social media manager for the SJSU information school’s American Library Association (ALA) student chapter. She recently completed an internship at the Exploratorium science museum in San Francisco, Calif., helping teachers develop innovative science curriculum. Prior to starting the MLIS program at SJSU SLIS, she conducted research in Laos on a Fulbright Fellowship.

MLIS student Kimberlee Wheeler works in youth services at the Paradise Branch of the Butte County Library in California, and prior to that, worked as a bookseller and outreach coordinator. She has also volunteered with CLA, helping with the Begun Scholarship Committee, the Hall of Fame Committee, and the history, youth, and management interest groups.

SJSU SLIS alumna Ann Awakuni has worked in public libraries for 20 years. She currently serves as a technology librarian for the Mountain View Public Library in Calif., where her projects include redesigning the library’s website, implementing a tablet loan program, and developing maker space/3D printing programs and partnerships.

Alumna Tonya Kennon currently serves as director of the Riverside Public Library in California, where she oversees the main library and seven branch libraries. Kennon has more than 20 years of experience as an information professional, and previously served as the Riverside County Librarian and the library services supervisor for the Tustin Unified School District.

In addition to the student and alumni candidates, an SJSU information school faculty member, Elizabeth Wrenn-Estes, is a candidate for CLA’s office of vice president/ president-elect.

The election is now open, and CLA members can cast their votes online. Voting ends on October 18, 2013.