Julie Blatt (Columbia/St. Charles)
I am proud to represent the University of Missouri’s School of Information Science and Learning Technologies during this year’s PuLL Fellowship program. Being a PuLL Fellow will lead me to invaluable instruction and guidance from professionals and peers. I hope to gain practical experience both in and outside the classroom that will develop and enhance my knowledge of libraries. As a PuLL Fellow, the added emphasis on public library administration, community leadership and diversity will give me a greater foundation to build upon my skills and experience and prepare me for my future career in librarianship. I enjoy helping others and serving the community by promoting reading and literacy and by sharing knowledge, information and library resources. Activities I am dedicated to when not doing coursework include reading, walking, thinking about seashells, doing jigsaw puzzles, and trying to one-up my siblings on the status of “best auntie ever” to my nephews and niece. Otherwise, I spend most of my time as a Graduate Assistant at MU’s Reflector, as President of LISGSA and at several other book-related establishments in the area.
Tammie Busch (Columbia)
My experience working in various types of libraries and departments gives me a unique perspective on service. I can fully appreciate the hard work each department brings to the success of a library. However, library departments cannot exist in a vacuum. A library’s success depends upon the collaboration of all departments in addition to the input of their patrons. It is this shared knowledge that will help create a public library most effective at serving its community. In the PuLL Program, I hope to learn to use the wide variety of my library experience and gained appreciation for collaboration to become a highly effective library leader.
Meagan Hicks (Columbia)
My love for libraries started at a young age, I went to the public multiple times a week. I want to let others grow up with loving the library like I did and to make their experiences memorable. With this program I will gain experience and knowledge of being a leader in the library and let others see how amazing the library is!
Beth Loecke (Kansas City)
I believe libraries function as community centers. They provide opportunities for life-long learning, offer meeting space, preserve community stories, and provide access to technology. I am excited to learn from the program mentors and see how they use leadership and management skills to position the public library as an essential resource to community members. The real world experiences I gain from the program will enhance my skills as a library leader.
Jessica O’Dowd (Omaha, NE)
I was lucky enough to figure out “what I wanted to be when I grow up” when I was a junior in high school. I have worked in a library for 17 years and have loved every minute of it! My very first library job was as a library page at one of the small branches after school each day, and that’s when I fell in love with being apart of the library world. I am excited to have the opportunity to be a PuLL fellow, as I know that I will learn many traits that will help me further my career in librarianship.
Patrick Ploch (St. Louis)
Patrick Ploch has a lifelong love of reading and is currently a Clerk for the Saint Louis Public Library. He has B.A. in Psychology from University of Missouri St Louis, serving as Secretary, Webmaster, and Student Government Association Representative of of of Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology. He expects his PuLL fellowship to expand his understanding of the realities of running a public library and the many people that the library serves. When not working, he has a variety of pursuits such as playing a recreational roller hockey league, doing Bikram Yoga and maintaining a vegetable garden. He lives in South St. Louis City with his wife, their dog and two cats. He earned his Eagle Scout in 1997.
Michael Schaefer (St. Louis)
Michael Schaefer served as a Clerk and then later as a Library Technician and Adult Service Provider at the Carpenter branch of St. Louis Public Library from October 1999 until March 2015. He is the Electronic Documents and Delivery Assistant at Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Library. Michael is interested in the process by which public libraries informs their patrons of their resources and services and become aware of their patrons’ wants and needs.
Sara Wagner (Kansas City)
When I started working for a local Mid-Continent Public Library branch 16 years ago, I didn’t realize how much I would fall in love with libraries. Now, after doing everything from shelving books, leading book discussions, visiting schools, hanging out with crazy awesome teenagers, and now creating and teaching computer classes, I’m completely hooked! I’m looking forward to the new adventures that await as a PuLL fellow this year, and how they will lead to even greater adventures in the years to come.