Mary Ann Bernat is a retired school media specialist from Delano. She served as the president of the Friends of the Delano Public Library from 2002 to 2008. Bernat will help with program planning, fundraising and engaging school libraries with MALF. She is also currently serving as MALF president.
Barb Byers has served as Co-President, Minnesota Association of Library Friends, 1998-2010 and will serve as Secretary, 2011. Her leadership and initiative in support of the Evy Nordley Award for Best Project By Friends of the Library and in conference planning were recognized by MALF in 2009. Helping citizens support their libraries began as a Librarian with Washington County Library 1971-1995. She was the library liaison with Friends of Washington County Library during a decade of growth in membership, fundraising, and library support by Friends. When MALF was founded, she also served as Washington County Library liaison to MALF.
A recipient of the President's Award from the Minnesota Library Association, she supports the work of MLA and its division of Library Trustees and Advocates. She has served as a citizen representative on the State Library Advisory Council. For the Minnesota Department of Children, Families & Learning, she consulted and compiled the publication Managing Small & One-Person Libraries: Career Renewal for Library Employees and related Training Resources.
Connecting young people and jazz, she has served on The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education (www.dfje.com) Board of Directors since 1998. She also coordinates sending surplus hospital supplies to a medical clinic that she has visited in Malawi.
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.
Ed Fagerlund is an economist (PhD) from Stillwater. He worked for the Minnesota Department of Commerce and taught economics at both University of St. Thomas (St. Paul) and Wichita University (Kansas). Fagerlund will help advise the board in matters of finance and is the new board treasurer.
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.
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.
Larson has been involved with the Minnesota Association of Library Friends at various times for close to 20 years; however, her involvement with library friends began much earlier than that. Her first library position was as a branch librarian in Browning, Montana. This was in 1957. She had not been to college; she certainly did not have a library degree. In fact, she had not even worked in a library! Presumptuous? Yes, however, she had 3 wonderful years at that library and gives credit for her success to the Friends of the Browning Library for their sage and generous counsel. Subsequently Larson did go to college and did get her library degree. She spent over 15 years as an academic librarian at the University of Maine at Presque Isle where she also taught courses in the Library Technology program and at South Dakota State University in Brookings. In 1983, she accepted a position as director of Northern Lights Library Network where she worked until her retirement in 2001. Larson is a former president of MLA and has received awards for her service from both MLA and MEMO. She has continued to volunteer in library related organizations since her retirement. She is a member of the Board of Directors for both MALF and the Douglas County Library Friends and Foundation and has been co-chair of the Spotlight on Books conference for over 20 years.
Joseph Owens holds a BA 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.
Judy Schotzko is a registered nurse specializing in psychiatric and mental health from Wabasha. She is the 2012 president of the Minnesota Library Trustees Association of MLA. Schotzko brings years of board experience focused on campaign finance, environmental and women’s political issues to the MALF board. Schotzko is also a retired attorney who practiced law in Blue Earth, Minnesota. She currently facilitates conferences for the District Court in Wabasha as an independent contractor and volunteers with the Red Cross.
Ruth Solie is the longtime director of the Northern Lights Library Network (she’s officially retired this month!) from Detroit Lakes. She helped establish Friends groups in school, academic and public libraries across the state. Solie understands the importance of citizen advocates and brings her ability to coordinate citizens who support libraries.
Carol Walsh has been a citizen board member of MALF since 2005, serving in several public relations/outreach roles. A resident of St. Paul, she is also a member of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and member of the Friends' advocacy committee. For the last five years she been involved in planning the Friends' annual, award-winning Untold Stories labor history series. The Untold Stories series presents programs and talks on local, regional and national labor history topics In recognition of labor history month each May. She is a former member of the Hennepin County Library Board and recipient of a Certificate of Merit from the Minnesota Library Association. She works for the state of Minnesota in the Department of Employment and Economic Development.