Introducing Our Newest Writers!

We are super excited to share the newest Hack Library School writers. It was challenging to choose from a very talented pool of applicants, but ultimately these eleven stood out. Please join us in welcoming them!

Aidy Silva-Ortiz

Aidy began a love affair with libraries as a volunteer in her local library’s Teen Library Corps organization.AidyHeadshot She donned a prom dress as part of an after-school library fashion show, walked down the runway and never looked back. Since that point she believed that working in libraries would be a really cool and fancy gig.

In 2004, she began work in public libraries as a Community Relations Aide for the Orange County Library System. Since then, she continued to play dress up most notably as a monkey (Curious George), a mouse (Lily’s Purple Purse), and a doll (Raggedy Anne) to assist in children’s programs. She also held positions in the Reference & Circulation Departments. Most recently, she transitioned from public libraries & prom dresses to corporate libraries and slacks and now works for the Library Services Department at Orlando Health.

AidyCuriousGeorgeAidy holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida and is a graduate student completing an MSLIS degree from Florida State University (Go Noles!) through their distance learning program. She anticipates to graduate in the Fall of 2014.

Her current professional interests include: the evolving role of health librarianship, healthcare law (e-govt) and libraries, consumer health resources, and promoting more women leadership roles within libraries. She is the mother of one enthusiastic seven-year-old girl who is a master with the XBOX360. She does not currently own a cat, but rather an extensive cardigan collection and in case you’re wondering, she did not keep the prom dress (it was a loan). Though she wished to have kept the monkey suit.

Alan Munshower

Alan is a second-year master’s student, specializing in Archives, Records and Information Management at the University of Maryland.AlanHeadshot  His research interests include American music, digital music distribution models, and copyleft.  He is currently engaged in a practicum in Special Collections at the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, at Maryland.  Having graduated from Goucher College in 2002 with a BA in Music, Alan has been a mainstay in the Baltimore creative music scene for the past 10 years.  He works for the dance departments at Goucher College and the Community College of Baltimore County, co-leads the dixieland/old-timey ensemble “Sac Au Lait”, and continues to freelance on drums and percussion.  The rest of his free time is spent maintaining and growing his personal collection of over 2500 unpublished recordings.  You can read more about Alan here(

Amanda Davis

Amanda Davis is a second-year MLIS student in the Valdosta State University distance program.AmandaHeadshot She is specializing in technology and hopes to graduate in December 2014. After experiencing a yearlong adventure as a GED teacher, she came to work as a reference assistant for the Chattahoochee Valley Library System in Columbus, Georgia. She is a 2012 ALA Spectrum Scholar, and her library interests include reference services, digital storytelling, transliteracy, and e-government accessibility. She is also quite fond of Goodreads, good reads, Miles Davis, and sandwiches. Follow her on Twitter @iamandahope.

Anna-Sophia Zingarelli-Sweet

Anna-Sophia is an MLIS student at the University of Pittsburgh’s iSchool specializing in Archives and Information Science.AnnaHeadshot Her prior misadventures include an MA in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and experience in various museum and library departments, volunteer management, supporting faculty and independent scholars, and making shave ice in the park. She is currently a 2013-2014 HASTAC scholar, the student groups liaison for ArLiSNAP, and an intern at the Frick Fine Arts Library. She also tweets excessively @aszingarelli and dotes on her elderly cocker spaniel.

Casey McCoy

Casey earned her bachelor’s degree in Media and Cinema Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and chose to continue her education at UIUC to earn a Master of Library and Information Science degree with a Community Informatics specialization.CaseyHeadshot Currently Casey works as the Patron Services graduate assistant in Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and volunteers in the teen makerspace at Urbana Free Library. Her main interests involve youth services, community engagement and technology and she is planning to harness these interests into a life-long career in public libraries. Find her on Twitter @CayMcCoy.

Courtney Baron

Courtney is working on her MLIS from Valdosta State University and is excited to enter the wonderful field of librarianship.CourtneyHeadshot She has undergraduate degrees in Classical Archaeology and Latin and primarily focused on ancient Greek and Roman art. While in school, she worked in the editorial office of the American Journal of Archaeology for several years. She also excavated in Italy with the Gabii Project and especially enjoying cleaning and cataloging the finds.

After a brief stint on the PhD track in Classical Archaeology, she decided to pursue another career and found librarianship to be a perfect match. She is interested in the academic and research aspects of librarianship as well as cataloging and archives. In addition to the MLIS, she hopes to obtain a MA in Art History and would love to eventually work as an art librarian or museum collections manager. She serves as a docent at the Georgia Museum of Art and loves educating visitors about art and museums.

She currently works with graduate students at an art school but has various library volunteer gigs, including serving as the Head Editor for Georgia at INALJ, assisting the art bibliographer with assessing the Asian art collection, and working virtual reference shifts. She is excited to attend her first state library conference in October and is presenting a poster at the ARLIS/SE conference in New Orleans in November.

In her spare time, she enjoys visiting museums and curling up with a good book and her husband, greyhound, and three cats. She blogs at Future Art Librarian and can be found on Twitter @futartlibrarian.

Kara MacKeil

Kara is a new MLS student in the online cohort at the University of Maryland, College Park, and plans to finish her degree in the summer of 2015.Kara  She balances classes with her job at the Association of Public Health Laboratories in Silver Spring, MD, where she supports the Public Health Preparedness and Response Team (and writes the occasional post for APHL’s blog).  Kara lives in Baltimore with her partner and their cat (the cat likes him better).

Kara earned a BA in Political Science from Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, VT in 2009.  Her interest in libraries and literacy was sparked while working at a federally funded healthcare clinic and seeing firsthand how a lack of information access was negatively affecting the clinic’s most vulnerable patients. When she finishes her degree, she’s hoping to work in a public library.  Professionally, Kara is really interested in information/media literacy, non-traditional libraries, increasing information access, and public libraries as community organizers.  She is hoping that joining the HackLibrarySchool team will give her a valid excuse to be super-nosey in pursuit of these interests.

Kara is originally from Maine, although she hasn’t lived there since leaving for college in 2005.  She loves living in Baltimore and plans to stay for a while, but she spends a lot of her time plotting ways to get back to New England for extended visits.  Non-professionally, Kara likes all kinds of outdoor activities, concerts, science-fiction, travel, and beer-making.  Her professional website is, although she hasn’t had a chance to update it in over a month and is mostly just hanging onto the domain name.

Lesley Looper

By night, Lesley is a part-time MLS student at the North Carolina Central University School of Library and Information Sciences in Durham, NC,LesleyHeadshot where she is president of the ALA Student Chapter. By day, she works full-time as the supervisor of Receipts Management Section in Cataloging & Metadata Services at Duke University Libraries.  Her professional interests include academic libraries, the library as place and community, nontraditional students, information literacy, and how libraries and librarians use social media. Lesley was an ALA Student-to-Staff Program volunteer at ALA Annual 2012 in Anaheim, where she enjoyed working with ALCTS. In her free time, she enjoys reading, blogging, travel, digital photography, genealogy, and geocaching.

In addition to Facebook, you can find Lesley on Twitter @lllooper, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Flickr. Follow her ramblings about her library school experience at Lesley’s Journey through Grad School.

Michael Rodriguez

Michael is a first-year MLIS student at Florida State University’s iSchool. He works at the Collier County Public Library and at the Hodges University Library,RodriguezHeadshot does freelance research and editing, and aspires to become an academic reference and instruction librarian. Michael graduated summa cum laude from Florida Gulf Coast University with a dual B.A. in English and history. When not charming the public or kayaking the seas off southwest Florida, he blogs on librarianship and classic literature at Shelver’s Cove and keeps up with the LIS world on Twitter @topshelver. He is a proud bearded librarian and professional all-rounder.

Rebecca Katz

Becky is a second year student in the LIS program at Catholic University of America, specializing in law librarianship.RebeccaHeadshot She anticipates graduating in the summer of 2014. While not in school, Becky is an attorney for the D.C. Council. She has worked for the D.C. government in various capacities for almost seven years and has found herself, much to her surprise, to be somewhat of an expert regarding the District government’s information resources. Becky is a lover of all things grammar, a fierce advocate for the Oxford comma, and a consumer of vast quantities of caffeine. You can read her unfiltered thoughts on Twitter at @dcdotnerd.

Samantha Winn

Samantha is a first year grad student working towards an MSLIS with concentrations in digital libraries and archives at Drexel University.SamHeadshot She currently works for the University of Texas at Tyler as the archives assistant. After graduating in December 2014, Samantha plans to pursue a career in humanitarian or performing arts archives. Her interests include digital preservation, open access to information, digital literacy, human rights advocacy, and advancing the participation of women in STEM careers. Follow her on Twitter @sam_winn.

Categories: Hellos & Goodbyes

6 replies

  1. Pingback: HLS | DC.Nerd
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  3. I’m a little late on this, but I just wanted to say welcome to all the new writers. As a HLS alum, I can definitely say that it’s a great experience and I really look forward to all of your posts!

    Ps – Samantha Winn, your photo is *excellent* 🙂


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