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Conference 2019 Speakers
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Keynote Speakers


Wanda Brown


Our Thursday Keynote speaker is Wanda Brown, President-Elect of ALA.

Wanda is currently the director of library services at C.G. O’Kelly Library, Winston-Salem State University in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

An ALA member for 30 years, Brown is an active member of the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Association for  Libraries  Collections & Technical Services, and the Library Leadership and Management Association. She has held multiple leadership positions within each division.

Brown has held numerous positions with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, including her current one as treasurer (2016-2018). She was the 2011-13 president of the North Carolina Library Association and has held various other positions with NCLA. Brown has been honored with the 2015 DEMCO/ALA Black Caucus Award for Excellence, the 2013 BCALA Leadership Award, and the 2012  BCALA Distinguished Service Award. In 2009, she received University of North Carolina at Greensboro Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement and, in 2013, UNCG honored Brown with the School of  Education Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award.


Kari Chapin

SDLA welcomes author Kari Chapin as our Wednesday night Keynote speaker. Kari is the author of The Handmaid Marketplace, Grow your own Handmaid Buisness, and Feltlicious: Needle-Felted Treats to Make and Give. Kari likes: thinking about why people do the things they do, all office supplies, painting, taking walks, hearing stories, pottery classes, talking about productivity and creativity, taking care of plants, wood burning fireplaces, hilly views, embroidery and raspberries. Kari is good at: offering actionable advice, writing letters, speaking in front of crowds, brainstorming and generating ideas, list-making, talking people into things, making coffee and watching Bravo. 


Jenifer LaGarde

Our Friday Keynote speaker is Jennifer LaGarde (aka Library Girl!) Jennifer is a lifelong educator and learner.  With over twenty years of experience in public education, Jennifer has served as a classroom teacher, a teacher librarian, a digital teaching and learning specialist, district level support staff and a state-wide leader as a consultant for both the NC Department of Public Instruction and the Friday Institute for Instructional Innovation.

Jennifer earned her Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in English/Language Arts from the University of NC at Wilmington. And she earned her Master's in Library Science from  Appalachian State University. She also holds National Board Certification in the area of School Library Media.

LaGarde is currently a guest lecturer for Rutgers University where she teaches courses in Emerging Literacies and Young Adult Literature. She is currently the librarian in residence with Evergreen Public Schools. She also works with teachers, librarians, instructional technologists, instructional coaches and both building and district level leaders, around the world, to develop innovative instructional practices that both serve the literacy needs of students and that infuse technology in meaningful ways.

Jennifer has published numerous articles on best educational practices for journals like Teacher Librarian, ISTE, School Library Connections and Knowledge Quest. She's also the coauthor of the book Fact VS Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking In the Age of Fake News with Darren Hudgins. Jennifer currently resides in Olympia, Washington where she spends time chasing after her two dogs, drinking lots of coffee and updating her award winning blog,  The Adventures of Library Girl where she proves you don’t have to be super hero to be a teacher librarian, but having a cape sure helps.


Jessie Taken Alive Rencountre

Our Thursday lunch keynote speaker is Jessie Taken Alive Rencountre.

Jessie Taken Alive Rencountre is a Hunkpapa Lakota from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe who teaches the JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) program at Rapid City High School. She holds a master’s degree in Counseling and Human Resource Development from South Dakota State University and was inspired to write her first children’s book, Pet’a Shows Misun the Light, while working as a school counselor. Based on the story, which teaches compassion and forgiveness, Rencountre was named the 2017 Great Plains Emerging Tribal Writer.




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