September 22, 2010

Get to Know Your NCLA Board of Directors

National Church Library Association Board of Directors 2010-2012:

Kathleen H. Bowman
Kaukauna, Wisconsin
Faith Lutheran Church, Appleton, Wisconsin

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Library Science, and am currently employed as an administrative assistant. I have been chair of our Church Library/Resource Center Committee for more than 8 years, and am past President of the Fox Valley Chapter of the NCLA. I have also served as President of the Seminary Wives organization, and President of our church’s Women’s Guild. I have volunteered for United Way, and currently volunteer for our local art center.

I have been married to my husband, Dennis, for 40 years, and have 2 sons and daughters-in-law, Scott and Renee, and Paul and Kim. I love reading, traveling, attending area festivals, writing, baking, and searching for books at rummage and used book sales.

Before I became chair of our church library group, my knowledge of church libraries was very limited. To find an organization such as NCLA to support church library workers was truly a blessing. I have since learned how congregations look to their libraries to provide the right materials. It may involve searching the Scriptures, finding an appropriate devotion, supplying media for children, resources to deal with a need, or just a book to sit back and enjoy.

Moe Conley

Hamburg, New York

I have more than 25 years of experience in finance and administration including strategic planning, risk management, loss mitigation and sales for local divisions of international companies such as Xerox Corporation, Carborundum, Equifax Inc, Chase Mortgage and Fleet Finance Corp. I also have more than 30 years of volunteer experience for a variety of organizations including the Town of Hamburg Recreation Department, Western New York PTA, Frontier Central PTA and Wayside Presbyterian Church.

My hobbies include reading, writing and social networking. Other interests include advocacy for women and children, disability awareness and church library support.

As I look at church libraries, I see that advances in technology, networking and resource management are in increased demand, supported by a shrinking base of volunteers and church funding.

Gordon W. Duffy
Santa Rosa, California
First Presbyterian Church of Santa Rosa

My career includes serving as the Mayor of Hanford, California from 1963-1964, and as a member of the State of California Assembly from 1964-1982. I served as Secretary for Environmental affairs of the state of California from 1982-1985, and worked for Duffy & Duffy Consultants, in the area of governmental affairs, from 1985-1986. I am currently the co-librarian of the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Rosa, California, and also for the Clan Macpherson Museum Library in Newtonmore, Scotland.

I married Jean Macpherson in 1985. We have four sons, one daughter, and seven grandchildren from a previous marriage. We enjoy travel and have for the past decade spent about half the year in the highlands of Scotland where we hike the hills of the Cairngorm National Park. While in California we visit our 10 children and 18 grandchildren. In addition we are active in our church and other community groups.

The NCLA has been a great help in our work to modernize our church library. I would like to assist the Association in helping other congregations as well as promoting additional new church libraries. We should keep in mind that modern church libraries are not simply repositories of books, but rather centers for the spreading God’s word. This can best be achieved by many types of media.

Bev Etzelmueller
Germantown, Wisconsin
St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

My professional background focused on marketing, training, and communications. Throughout the years I have used these skills in a variety of volunteer positions. I have been the Volunteer Librarian at our church for 28 years. I have shared the skills of working closely with volunteers, continual updating of our library, converting the card catalog to a computer program in 1998, and updating all the current publications and resource materials. I also serve as founder and coordinator for our Quilt Ministry which has been in existence for the past 8 years.

My husband, Ken, and I have been married for 47 years and raised our children, Steve and Kristen, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. We lived in Wauwatosa for 35 years and worked closely with our church through Sunday School, serving on the church council, and outreach ministries. In 1998 we made the move to Germantown, Wisconsin (20 minutes north) to a new home so we could be closer to our three grandchildren. My hobbies include reading, quilting, traveling and spending time with our children and grandchildren.

In the early 1980’s, a personal love of children’s books inspired me to begin the children’s portion of the small library that was tucked away from the traffic flow in our church. I assumed the leadership role a few years later. The library has grown through various renovations and technological advancements. I also oversaw the volunteer structure. At first, this leadership role was a “step out of the boat” moment for me, but with God’s guidance and much prayer, the church library has been well received by the congregation and community churches.

When I answered God’s call to serve as Volunteer Librarian, I never dreamed that I would have made so many achievements and strides in the church library. People always say “you have such a nice library” and my response is “This is not MY library but an opportunity to further His message; I am just the instrument guiding people in their faith journey.”

Karen Flynn
White Bear Lake, Minnesota
White Bear Lake United Methodist Church

I'm the librarian at White Bear Lake United Methodist Church in the northeast Twin Cities metro area. I've been the librarian there for seven years, since the previous librarian passed away and I casually told our pastor I could "help" with the library! At the time, I knew nothing about church libraries.

I do have background as a professional librarian - I have an M.S.L.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a degree in biochemistry, and spent a number of years as a technical librarian at 3M Company in St. Paul, Minnesota - but this was only of so much help when I took over the church library. I was really good at searching Chemical Abstracts, but hadn't a clue how to select faith-formation materials for preschoolers.

It was a Godsend when I found NCLA through the Internet and I have thoroughly enjoyed becoming engaged with the church library community. I really like reviewing and evaluating new library materials, especially those for Bible study. I'm also an advocate for the use of technology to help with church library work. I love gadgets, widgets and Web sites and enjoy helping libraries put them to good use.

As a member of the NCLA Board, I hope that I can help shape and sustain the organization so it is there to assist future generations of church librarians. I'm grateful it's been there for me.

Sandra (Sandi) Neal
Fernandina Beach, Florida
First Presbyterian Church

The bulk of my adult life has been as a mother and homemaker with an active volunteer life. I worked for several years while our children were in college as a legal assistant and in an art museum shop. I have volunteered as an art museum docent, elementary school volunteer in several capacities, and am presently church librarian. These are my most significant volunteer duties but there have been many other short term ones.

My husband, Jerry, and I have been married since December, 1956. We have three adult children who live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Boston, Massachusetts, and Fernandina Beach, Florida; five wonderful grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. We have been truly blessed with our family. I have been very actively involved as a quilter for the last 15 years and have progressed from my first patchwork pieces to art quilts that I free-motion quilt. I am happy to say that our church presents a quilt to every baby baptized in our church. I’ve also made banners and wall hangings for the church. The guild to which I belong has made quilts for wounded soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, for Hospice and the neonatal intensive care unit, and other short term needs.

I truly believe that our church library ministry has served and continues to serve as a valuable resource for our members. In addition to a great source of inspiration and research, our fiction section is heavily used and provides an alternative to what our city library provides. I feel truly blessed to have been called to this ministry.

Sally Onstad
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

I retired in 1999 from my career as a School Media Specialist (a.k.a. school librarian.) I worked in media centers in elementary schools in Madison, Wisconsin, a Department of Defense school in Germany, and in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. The last 14 years were spent at St. Louis Park Senior High School. My current volunteer experiences include: church librarian, working one half-day a week in the “Clothing Closet” at CEAP (Community Emergency Assistance Program), and working one day a month at the “KaffeeStuga” at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.

My husband John and I have been married for 42 years and we have two Korean adopted daughters. One is married and lives with her husband and six children in Chattanooga, TN. The younger daughter is single and lives nearby so we see her often. For fun, I enjoy gardening and reading. My passion is traveling to interesting and stimulating locales both in the United States and abroad. A travel highlight was a trip to South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe where I saw the African “Big Five” animals while on safari. I also enjoy taking classes on various subjects that are offered through the Osher Life Long Learning Institute (OLLI) which is affiliated with the University of Minnesota.

I have always enjoyed reading good books and I want to help others do the same. When I joined my current church, I found that the church library was in need of some newer materials, a larger space (it was located in a former storage closet far from the sanctuary), and someone to be the librarian. We are now in a room that is conveniently located with many updated resources. The library is now a vital part of the church.