Board Members

Last Updated: August 27, 2020

Are you a Minnesota resident with a passion for libraries, and in particular for the work of Friends of the Library? Serving on the board of the Minnesota Association of Library Friends may be just the enriching experience you've been looking for. Email us any time at to learn details.

Melissa Brechon is a career librarian and retired library administrator. Her resume includes time at the helm of the Austin (Minn.) Public Library and seven-branch Carver County Library in suburban Minneapolis. In recent years, Brechon also filled in as interim director for the Stillwater Public Library and for MELSA, the federated library consortium servicing the Twin Cities. She is currently a library consultant, with an emphasis on community and facility needs assessments. Her list of past client includes dozens of public libraries in Minnesota, plus dozens more in places as far afield as Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Marathon, Texas; and Bighorn, Wyoming.

Roseanne Byrne brings impressive library field ‘bona fides’ to MALF. Prior to moving to Minnesota, she served for a time as assistant deputy director and youth services librarian for the Des Plaines (IL) Public Library. Byrne has since worked in three MELSA library systems, including time as an assistant branch manager with the Saint Paul Public Library, nearly 25 years in various capacities at Hennepin County Library, and 13 years with Dakota County Library (including time as system deputy director). She is a highly active, and founding, member of the Wentworth – Dakota Friends of the Library. 

Janet Eaton is a native of Columbia Heights. After a long career as a commercial insurance underwriter and insurance agent, principally in the Pacific Northwest, she moved back to Anoka County in 2005. Fond memories of her childhood library steered Eaton to membership and leadership roles within the Friends of the Anoka County Library – a regional Friends group that supports the libraries in Circle Pines, Coon Rapids, Blaine, Fridley, Ham Lake, Anoka and St. Francis. Over the past five years, Eaton has served as secretary and, most recently, treasurer of that dynamic group.

Loretta Ellsworth is the author of five books, including four young adult novels. Her adult debut, Stars Over Clear Lake, is an historical fiction romance set during World War II. It won Ellsworth a host of honors, including ALA’s Notable Book designation, the Midwest Bookseller’s Choice Honor Award, and the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award (NEMBA). Ellsworth is a former teacher, and holds a master’s degree in writing for children from Hamline University. She is a regular judge of the Minnesota Book Awards, and has also volunteers with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Ellsworth has been involved with her local Friends of the (Lakeville) Heritage Library for fourteen years. Eleven years ago, she pioneered OneBook, OneLakeville, a hugely successfully community reads program which she continues to chair for the Friends today.

Sue Grove recently retired from a long-time language instructor position at Riverland Community College. She served on the faculty at that Austin, Minn., institution for nearly 40 years, teaching both French and English as a Second Language (ESL).  She is currently serving a term as president of the Friends of the Austin Public Library. In addition to the library, she volunteers her time and services to a number of community organizations, including the Austin Artworks Festival, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and the Mower County Historical Society. Sue is also a former branch president and former state vice president of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Nancy Guerino retired from 3M in 2008 after 33 years in IT Applications. She volunteered with 3M Tutors for 12 years, tutoring elementary students. Since 1997, she has volunteered with North St. Paul Green, a group dedicated to beautifying North St. Paul. She has served as President of The Friends of the Ramsey County Libraries, having served on their board since 2004. Guerino has helped increase community support for the 7-branch library system through five capital campaigns and numerous other fundraisers.

Ann Hutton recently retired as executive director of Rochester-based SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Coordinating). Her library expertise and experience in that area date back to 1984, when she accepted a regional librarian position. She assumed the executive director post in 1996, and her accomplishments in the role are many and varied. Recent achievements include completion of an 11-county Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub digitization project, and bringing the Bremer Rural Libraries & Literacy Leadership Institute (L3) to SELCO libraries. Ann is a long-time and active member of MLA. She served two terms as legislative chair – as well as chairing the Minnesota Library Council during a critical period when the state lacked a State Librarian. She was inducted onto the ALA Advocacy Honor Roll in 2015.

Marjorie McPeak enjoyed a long and fruitful tenure with Hennepin County Library, one of the largest suburban library systems in the country. Over the course of nearly three decades, she rotated between the Southdale, Penn Lake, Edina and Eden Prairie locations during pivotal points in those libraries’ history. (For example, McPeak saw the grand opening of the 60,000-square-foot Southdale branch and the evolution of Eden Prairie from a double-wide trailer to a 10,000-square-foot building.) After retiring in 1996, McPeak moved to the Lake Vermilion area. In her new home, she has deployed her hard-won expertise on the board of the Arrowhead Regional Library system (ALS).

Nancy Walton of Circle Pines is an advocate for all Minnesota libraries. She retired from the position of State Librarian in August 2013. Walton worked as a librarian in the following organizations: Ames Library of South Asia, U. of Minnesota; Peace Corps, three libraries in Morocco; Director, Marylandia Collection, U. of Maryland; Head of Online Reference and Periodicals, Main Library, City of San Jose, CA; Director, Minnesota Braille & Talking Book Library; State Library Programs Specialist, State Library Agency, Minnesota Dept. of Education; 2010-2013 State Librarian, State Library Agency, Minnesota Dept. of Education.

Jim Weygand is deeply invested in public libraries and other public causes in the southwest Twin Cities metro. Although a (retired) semiconductor process engineer by trade, residents of Carver County will know Weygand best as a past City Council member and Mayor of Carver. He recently finished serving nearly a full decade on the Library Board of Carver County Library. Weygand is currently President of the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) Trustee and Advocates division, and a dedicated member of the Minnesota Library Association board.

Kathy Wells is a member of the Friends of the Hennepin County Library and the Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries. A frequent library program attendee, she is excited to be a MALF volunteer. She worked as an accountant in several nonprofit organizations before retiring in 2017.

Mary Jo Wimmer is founder of Trillium Leadership Development.  Since founding the firm in 1992 Wimmer has coached dozens of not-for-profits, businesses and civic bodies across rural Minnesota toward actualizing their mission statements and achieving full organizational potential.  Her core competencies include teamwork cultivation, leadership training, training on workplace conflict and assisting organizations with intercultural competency development.  In addition to her own practice, Wimmer is a senior trainer for the Blandin Foundation's leadership programs and a Forum Discussion Leader for the Anderson Center for Leadership and Management.  She has recently written a book on training.  Among other volunteer commitments, Wimmer manages the bookstore for the Friends of the Grand Rapids Area Library.  She has served in that capacity since 2008.

Lynne Young retired as director of the Northfield Public Library in 2013, after 28 years in the role. In 2015 she joined the Board of the Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library, and became co-chair of the group in 2017. During her time with the Northfield Library, Lynne worked closely with the Friends on many projects. She credits the Friends with helping to raise the profile of the Library with their programs and fundraising events, including many silent auctions, author visits, Books and Stars programs, and bees (both spelling and trivia). The Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library has most recently been instrumental in the renovation and expansion of the Library and the purchase of a new bookmobile, which will was launched in the spring of 2018. Lynne has been a member of MLA since 1985 and served as a board member of the Reader’s Advisory Round Table, chair of the Public Library Division and Secretary of the Association.




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