MALF Welcomes Four New Members to Board of Directors

MALF’s raison d'etre is to support the important work of Friends of the Library groups in Minnesota. This, of course, is something of a tall order, and our continued success is predicated on the spirited involvement of library enthusiasts throughout the state.

These supporters are not just career librarians – they hail from all walks of life and bring a wealth of different experiences to their local Friends group.

MALF’s own Board of Directors is no exception. To this end, we are thrilled to welcome four new members to the Board’s ranks: LeAnn Dean, Nancy Guerino, Les Kraus, and Joseph Owens.

Our new members hail from different but equally impressive professional backgrounds.

LeAnn Dean has spent nearly every day for the last 50 years – beginning as a volunteer in high school – in a library setting.  She has worked in K-12, public, special and academic library settings, and is currently serving as director of the library at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College (Moorhead), a master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of South Dakota.

Joseph Owens holds a bachelor's degree from Grinnell College and an MBA in Finance from Columbia University. He served with the U.S. Navy for 20 years before retiring with the rank of Commander. Before retiring to his lakeshore home in Ely, Minnesota, he rounded out his career with five years as a Navy management consultant and another 16 as a realtor in Fairfax, Virginia.

Owens has served on the Board of the Ely Friends of the Library for the last eight years (including six as President), as well as on the Board of the Ely Rotary Club. He is a recent graduate of the Blandin Community Leadership program.

Leslie Kraus holds a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School and a bachelor's degree in Industrial Relations from Northeastern University. He is the founder and President of Leslie J. Kraus & Associates, Inc., a management consulting firm that represents management in all aspects of employee relations. He is well acquainted with the state of libraries (and related institutions) in Minnesota, as he is currently the President of the Friends of the Edina Library. His other passion is the welfare of children in need of protection and volunteers his time as a Court appointed Guardian ad Litem.

Nancy Guerino retired from 3M in 2008 after 33 years in IT Applications. In her work, she worked closely with departments and divisions ranging from HR, to Order Management, to Manufacturing Production and Abrasives Manufacturing. Guerino brings to MALF skills learned in a variety of volunteering capacities. These include 12 years working with elementary schoolers as part of 3M Tutors. Since 1997, she has also worked with North St. Paul Green, a group dedicated to beautifying North St. Paul. 

Presently, she serves as President of The Friends of the Ramsey County Libraries, where she has been on the Board since 2004. There, she saw the 7-branch system through four capital campaigns and numerous other fundraisers.


The current Board welcomed the newcomers during a special orientation meeting on Monday, Jan. 14.

If you would like to write a special email note of congratulations and welcome to the new Board members, email us at info@mnlibraryfriends.org.