Member of the Month Uncategorized

April Member of the Month

I am pleased to introduce our April Member of the Month Erin Niederberger. Erin (she/her) is a librarian at Metropolitan Community College – Maple Woods in Kansas City, MO and she does a bit of everything – reference, teaching, collection development,

bookkeeping, tech wrangling, and anything else that comes up. Her favorite thing about community college libraries: “Doing a bit of everything! At some large institutions you can end up with a much more narrowly defined job title, and while I can see why the stability might be appealing, I enjoy having a job that means each day is something new.” A recent blast from the past: “While cleaning out our supply closet, I found a floppy disc with the first version of Windows. It’s a reminder of how much librarianship has changed in the last few decades – I’m excited to see what my job looks like in a few more! In the meantime, I’m tempted to ask students how many of them recognize it.”

When she’s not busy librarianing, she “enjoys baking and taking walks in local green spaces. Ideally those balance each other out, but this winter as it gets colder, baking is winning.”  She’s been watching Junior Bake-off on Netflix  “I alternate between being impressed by the bakes these young bakers pull off and alarmed when they feed the judges something they dropped on the floor.”

She has been a member of CJCLS for 4 years, and here’s what she has to say about her membership: “I enjoy lurking ALA Connect and learning about what other people are doing or getting pointed towards useful resources. It’s also fun to talk to community college librarians from other institutions in committees – so much of the wider academic library conversation focuses on four-year institutions, it’s nice to hear from people working with similar situations and constraints.”

You can find Erin on linkedin:

To nominate yourself or a colleague to be our next Member of the Month, complete this brief nomination form:

Member of the Month

November Member of the Month

Meet Kathy Ladell, our November CJCLS Member of the Month (submitted by Kodi Salyor)

We’ve gotten a little behind in Member of the Month posts, for which we apologize.

Kathy (She/her/hers) is a librarian  at University of Cincinnati Clermont College Library. 

As a Student Success Librarian, a large part of Kathy’s work is partnering with other student support entities on campus in particular, the Learning Commons to host events during midterms and finals to support students. Kathy’s favorite thing about being a community college librarian is working with students and providing direct support because the emphasis as a community college librarian is on teaching and supporting students. 

A newer member of CJCLS, Kathy joined the section this summer and believes that the section is a good way to network with other community college librarians to get ideas and support in her work. 

For Fun

When Kathy is not working, she is cycling in the warmer months, doing at least 50 miles per week. During the colder months with less daylight to explore the bike trails, Kathy transitions to her indoor hobby—knitting which she finds is  an excellent stress reliever. Lately, Kathy’s been enjoying watching Harlots on Hulu. Last but not least, Kathy has a very geriatric cat named Loki, who she describes as the sweetest cuddler in his old age. 

Close up photo of Kathy's cat, Loki
Kathy’s cat, Loki

Member of the Month

June Member of the Month

Meet our June 2022 Member of the Month:

Jill Sodt (she/her) is the Director of Library Services at Mott Community College in Flint, MI.

Photo of Jill Sodt
Photo of Jill

She has been a CJCLS member for the last ten years. She has this to say about why she stays involved: “There are so many intelligent, thoughtful, and creative community college librarians out there and I’ve learned so much from them. I enjoy hearing about how other people meet challenges and I get inspiration and ideas to bring back to my library. I’m a better community college librarian because of my involvement with CJCLS.”

When she’s not managing a library and serving the profession in CJCLS, she enjoys camping and fiber arts. “Last summer, I bought a new travel trailer and am getting back into camping again. I also like to travel to new places with my camera in hand. You’ll often find me with a knitting or crochet project whether I’m on the go or relaxing at home. During the pandemic shut down, I got into needle felting and rug hooking. Like many librarians, I also enjoy reading or listening to an eclectic choice of books from psychological thrillers to classics to modern literature. Lately, I’ve also been dabbling in vlogging about my life, travel, and other random stuff.”

She counts two rescue dogs as family members, including a retired therapy dog.

What are your favorite things about being a community college librarian?

“We have such a diverse student body in all sorts of ways, from the first-generation college student, students who are just out of high school, dual-enrolled students, and those older adults looking to change careers or get more education. I’m honored when they are willing to share their unique experiences, perspectives, and challenges with me. They make me want to continue working to improve our library, so they have the resources and spaces needed to meet their individual goals.”

Catch up with Jill on Facebook: or LinkedIn:  or reach out by email: .

Her college has an on-campus coffee shop, if you’re in the neighborhood, stop by.

Member of the Month

May/June 2022 Member of the Month

May/June 2022 Member of the Month

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to Addie Holloman.  Addie is a Library  Services Assistant at Roanoke Chowan Community College.  She enjoys seeing students explore the library and is interested in providing excellent customer service.

When she’s not helping students in the library, she enjoys reading, music and walking.  Currently (or when she filled out our survey) she’s reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

She also Answered our silly questions. If she could have any superpower, she’d pick invisibility.

We’d like to get to know more community college librarians. Please nominate yourself or a colleague at this link:  or email Membership Committee member Kodi Saylor to nominate someone for July’s feature

Member of the Month

April Member of the Month

Suzanne Bernsten (she/her/hers) is the Chair of the CJCLS Communications Committee.   When she’s not busy making our section communications (including this blog, our other social media and our newsletter) work better, she’s the web services librarian at Lansing Community College Library, Lansing, Michigan. As web services librarian she “coordinates the library website, but also does instruction, reference, and liaisons with English and Science faculty. For the past two years, she has worked as a faculty fellow in the Center for Teaching Excellence. In that role, she teaches faculty development workshops and helps faculty create websites for their teaching and learning projects through our Open Learning Lab.”

Off the clock “I love being outdoors and enjoy hiking and taking photos of nature. I also enjoy gardening and my many houseplants. I play violin on Friday afternoons in a strings group and sometimes with our library string band.”

She’s been a CJCLS member for three years and has this to say about membership: “CJCLS has given me the opportunity to learn about what is happening at other community college libraries and to connect with librarians from across the country.”

We also ask our profiled members about the media they’re consuming. Suzanne recommends the book American Made: What Happens to People When Work Disappears by Farah Stockman.

We ask our profiled members what they like the most about being community college librarians.  The answers are always inspiring. Suzanne says,” I enjoy the variety of students I get to work with at a community college. It gives me the opportunity to continually learn new things. I also like collaborating with faculty through library instruction and liaison work. Our library is part of the Michigan Research Help Now chat collaborative and I love doing virtual reference. Last week on chat, I helped a student in Nigeria who was taking a class at a university in England. I find it rewarding to work with other librarians to serve students from around the world.”

If you have questions for Suzanne, you can reach her at

If you or a colleague would like to be profiled in our May newsletter- please complete this nomination form.

Member of the Month

March 2022 Member of the Month

Meet Spencer Brayton

Submitted by the CJCLS Membership Committee

Spencer (he, him) is the Director of Library Services at Waubonsee Community College in Illinois.  He has this to say about being a librarian in Illinois: “…we are lucky to have two fantastic consortiums for academic libraries (CARLI and NILRC). They provide me with great opportunities to connect with and learn from colleagues. I really appreciate how community college librarians at different institutions are open to sharing projects and collaborating with one another.”

“I hail from Wisconsin, so am an avid sports fan of all teams in the badger state. More importantly, I am having an amazing time with my nearly two-year old son, with a daughter on the way!” His family also includes a dog named Eddie. “We got him when I first started library school!”

We always ask what our members are reading or watching.  “Kaetrena Davis Kendrick mentioned the work of Ryan Holiday in a podcast I listened to a few months ago. I’ve been reading his books on stoic philosophy.”

He declined to choose a superpower. “I wouldn’t. Knowing I don’t have one helps me learn to be a better person and more effective in my work.”

He’s been a member of CJCLS since 2013, and has this to say about his involvement:” It’s a great way to learn from other great librarians and network. I’ve made lasting relationships that continue to benefit me and expand my knowledge of librarianship and leadership.”

In closing he tells us: “I’m fortunate to work with an amazing group of colleagues at Waubonsee libraries. I also try to embody the openness with sharing and networking that others have provided me. Please feel free to connect with me anytime!”

Member of the Month

February 2022 Member of the Month

submitted by Kodi Saylor, CJCLS Membership Committee

Every month, we are highlighting a member of CJCLS!

Meet Sandra McCarthy, Our February 2022  CJCLS Member of the Month. 

Sandra McCarthy is a librarian at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, MI. 

At Work 

As a faculty librarian, Sandra has many job responsibilities working as a liaison librarian responsible for collections and services in health sciences and nursing, mathematics and sciences, and computer science. She also creates online courses, tutorials, and libguides for these subject areas. Additionally, Sandra plays a key role in her library’s research instruction, reference, and virtual reference services while aso working with electronic resources, outreach, and sustainable programs. 

A member of CJCLS for over twenty years, Sandra says, “The most significant benefit of being a CJCLS member is networking and getting involved with the ACRL CJCLS Section.” Sandra encourages all active members of ALA to get involved and volunteer for a committee. 

Sandra’s favorite part of working as a community college librarian“ is working with the diverse student body and networking across campus for the common goal of student success.” 

For Fun

When Sandra is not working, she is making jewelry with seed-beads or gardening. Beading for over 20 years, Sandra has made hundreds of bracelets and necklaces. Gardening is her other passion. She keeps a small backyard garden full of herbs, flowers and vegetables. 

Sandra also enjoys watching documentaries about sustainability and the earth. She highly recommends: David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (2020); Kiss the Ground (2020); and Public Trust: The Fight for America’s Public Land by Patagonia (2020).

Sandra’s rescue dog, Tank, is a nine year old Australian Shepherd, Chow Chow, and Labrador mix, who loves to listen in on her Zoom meetings. 

Mixing Work and Fun

Sandra combined her work as a librarian and her passion for gardening by starting the WCC Seed Library in 2015.  She says that “the Seed Library is a popular free resource of seeds to start your garden.” The mission of the seed library is to create a place “within the Bailey Library where students, staff, and community members can get seeds for free to start their own garden, learn about seed sowing, protect open-pollinated and unique varieties and support the fight against climate change. This will be a place to educate the WCC community about gardening and saving their seeds for future crops.” In 2019, she initiated the WCC Bee Campus USA which works to “ensure the survival of animal species, improve local food production, and to educate students and the community about the importance of bumblebees and honeybees (and all pollinators)”.

Leadership Member of the Month

We Want you! Volunteer now for a CJCLS committee

Covid librarianship has given us all an opportunity  to re-evaluate how we spend our time.  I hope many of you will decide that this is a good time to engage with the section and volunteer for a committee.  The volunteer form is live. Remember,  CJCLS  committees do not require conference attendance. I could give you all the reasons I am involved, but our members say it best! 

The following quotes are from our Member of the Month surveys:

Networking, good friends, the opportunity to advocate for Community College Libraries. Colleagues who supported me when I went up for promotion.

Robin Brown, Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York

I enjoy all professional development opportunities offered to me through my memberships. The availability to network is also a great benefit, especially through the COVID pandemic.

Evelyn Hudson, Hazard Community and Technical College, Kentucky

I appreciate the opportunity my membership provides to connect with other community college librarians. I volunteered for my first CJCLS committee in 2017 and somehow was made chair, which meant I served on the Executive Committee as well. That was a great way to get to know more about the organization and to meet other engaged librarians from around the country.

Andrea Kingston, Monroe Community College, New York

My CJCLS membership has provided me with the opportunity to connect to community and junior college librarians around the country. I have found these connections to be invaluable throughout my career. Community and junior college librarians are incredibly collegial, often sharing resources that they’ve created with me that allow me to do my job better and serve students more effectively.

Kristin Heathcock, Hillsborough Community College, Florida

The most significant benefit of being a CJCLS member is networking and getting involved with the ACRL CJCLS Section. I am the past chair of CJCLS. I encourage all to be active members of ALA by volunteering for a CJCLS committee or any ACRL committee.

Sandy McCarthy, Washtenaw Community College, Michigan

Membership in CJCLS has given me the opportunity to meet and work with librarians all over the country. I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent volunteering on committees. It’s been a great way to stay involved in emerging practices and work with other passionate librarians.

Jamie Witman, Community College of Baltimore County, Maryland

I truly value the opportunities to share various topics with other community college librarians throughout the country. As a small college librarian, these opportunities are beneficial to me in increasing my knowledge and expanding connections to other professionals. It also helps me stay up-to-date during ongoing changing times.

Yumi Shin, Lamar State College, Texas
Member of the Month

Member of the Month a mid-year Progress report

In May 2021, CJCLS launched a Member of the Month initiative to introduce a member to everyone once a month.

As of November, we have featured seven librarians in our newsletter and on our blog. We look forward to profiling 12 more librarians in 2022.  Please nominate yourself or a colleague by completing this form:  Most of our nominees so far have been pretty involved in CJCLS, but we welcome nominations from everyone.

We’ve had two members from New York profiled (Andrea Kingston- Monroe Community College in Rochester and Robin Brown- Borough of Manhattan Community College, NY)

Other states represented so far include:

  • Florida (Kristin Heathcock – Hillsborough Community College – Brandon Campus )
  • Kentucky (Evelyn Hudson- Hazard Community and Technical College )
  • Texas (Yumi Shin – Lamar State College – Port Arthur)
  • Maryland (Jamie Witman – Community College of Baltimore County
  • Washington (Laura Dimmit Smyth – University of Washington Bothell & Cascadia College

44 states to go to have a complete set. 

Our 7 featured members represent lots of different library roles:

  • Online Learning and OER
  • Fine Arts and Cultural Studies Liaison
  • Head of Public Services
  • Reference and Instruction
  • A little bit of everything

And they’re just as busy outside of the library:

  • My hobbies tend to be seasonal due to our long winters in Rochester. In the warmer months, I do a lot of flower gardening and explore local parks and wildlife reserves. I’ve been slowly replacing my lawn with a pollinator garden (mostly native plants). When it’s cold, I read, watch films on the Criterion Channel and journal about them, and work on genealogy projects.
  • Pre-covid, I played ultimate frisbee for a competitive team in Maryland. It is such a fun and active sport and I’ve been playing for over a decade. But right now, I really enjoy going on hikes with my husband and son and when I have the time, playing guitar.
  • Cooking or baking is my number one way to relax, and I love the challenge of new recipes. My husband and I also kayaking/hiking when the weather is good here in Seattle…and honestly, sometimes even when the weather isn’t that nice.
  • Disabilities Studies Research is at the centerpiece of my practice.  In the “before time” I would spend Saturday Afternoons at our local Public Library. That’s why when my book came out, I gave them a copy ( I read and write.
  • My life outside of work, and oftentimes overlapping with it, is consumed by my young kids and husband’s military career. When I happen to luck into downtime I enjoy writing poetry and fiction.
  • I live in Florida and like to do anything outside. I love to kayak, ride my bike, go to amusement parks, and am currently training to run my first half-marathon.

If I’ve counted correctly, we have 4 dog owners and 3 cat owners.

Book recommendations:

  • What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee 
  • Tears of Amber by Sofia Segovia
  • Hafner, Katie, and Matthew Lyon. Where wizards stay up late: The origins of the Internet. Simon and Schuster, 1998.
  • For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing

Other media mentions:

  • I am always keen on space and the universe. I recently watched the movie, Oxygen. It is about the story of surviving inside a cryogenic unit with little oxygen. Finding out herself is giving a shocking truth that I cannot imagine.
  • I’m a big soccer fan, so honestly this summer full of international tournaments is just the dream!
  • Bo Burnham’s “Inside” on Netflix.

A total of 35 years of CJCLS membership is represented by our 7 featured members. 

On the silly side, we ask members what superpower they would like to have:

  • Time travel
  • See the future
  • Fly
  • Run
  • Teleportation
  • a pause button for real situations!

If you haven’t read the profile articles yet, I hope you’ll take some time to get to know your fellow librarians, and please nominate yourself or a colleague: . If there are questions you’d like added to the survey, please send them to

Member of the Month

November 2021 Member of the Month

Meet Kristin Heathcock

Kristin Heathcock (she/her) is one of two librarians at Hillsborough Community College – Brandon Campus  in Tampa, Florida. Like many of you working in small settings, she does a little of everything “ We both do a bit of everything. You will find us teaching instruction sessions, working with student groups, selecting materials as part of collection development, and working at the reference or circulation desks.” Here’s what she says about being a community college librarian,” I get to work with students every day. Community college students are so varied – each one teaches me something. Community college librarians have the ability to impact real changes in students’ experiences at the college. Because we get to work closely with students, we can learn what their needs are (research related OR not). We can then work with others at our colleges to make changes that benefit our students in direct ways. It can be simple things (free scantrons) or bigger things (like laptops or hotspots) or even non-school things (like food)!”

She has been a member of CJCLS for 16 years, and is currently our webmaster. Here’s what she says about belonging to CJCLS: “My CJCLS membership has provided me with the opportunity to connect to community and junior college librarians around the country. I have found these connections to be invaluable throughout my career. Community and junior college librarians are incredibly collegial, often sharing resources that they’ve created with me that allow me to do my job better and serve students more effectively.”

And of course she has a life outside the library. “I live in Florida and like to do anything outside. I love to kayak, ride my bike, go to amusement parks, and am currently training to run my first half-marathon.” “I currently have a cat, a hamster, and four leopard geckos. I have two children, so we seem to always have a variety of critters. I live on a large lake – which means I have an endless supply of duck friends living in the back yard.”

If she could have any superpower, she’d like to have “a pause button for real situations! I often have trouble responding well in the moment, so a pause button would allow me to make better responses!!”