Off the Shelf is a project of Salina Public Library and deals with all things library — books, research, technology, literacy, genealogy, movies, games … we do a lot at the library.
You’ll see posts from library staff on their areas of interest and expertise.
We hope you find this blog informative and entertaining. We welcome your suggestions.
Allyson is the Head of Circulation at Salina Public Library. She grew up in Salina and graduated from Salina Central. After high school, she spent several years living on the East Coast before returning to Salina in 2011.
Allyson believes in lifelong learning and as a former instructor, she conveyed to her students the importance of reading and reading comprehension in order to always be increasing one's knowledge base. Allyson's reading preferences include recipe/cook books, self-awareness and self-improvement books, and books, blogs, articles, and etc., that help her to stay up on current events.
She earned a BA in Applied Behavioral Science from Ashford University and an MEd in Education from Concordia-Portland University.
When not working at the library, Allyson enjoys exploring and perfecting new recipes, walking her two fur babies, binging on the latest Netflix find, and spending time with family & friends.
Allyson can be reached at email@example.com.
Amanda Colgrove is the head of Community Engagement at Salina Public Library. She holds Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Kansas Wesleyan University. Amanda enjoys the subtle art of graphic design, cooking and eating all types of food, and playing board games with friends.
Amy Adams is the library’s assistant director.
She is a native Salinan and received a B.A. in English from Bethel College in North Newton. Amy is a voracious reader, picking up anything from fantasy, graphic novels and pop fiction to classics and literary fiction. She loves “Dr. Who” and “Game of Thrones” and admits that she is a bit of a nerd. Her more homespun hobbies include cooking, failing as a gardener, writing, singing and laughing a lot with her husband, children and friends.
Ashley Will is an Information Services Librarian at Salina Public Library.
Ashley graduated from Green River High School in 2004 and from Western Wyoming Community College in 2006 with an Associate of Arts degree. Upon receiving her Bachelor Degree in English from the University of Wyoming in 2008, she asked herself “What do you do with a B.A. in English? What is my life going to be?” exactly like the lyrics from one of her favorite musicals, Avenue Q.
Ashley started working in libraries soon afterward as a substitute librarian in youth services; circulation; and reference departments for the Sweetwater County Library System while applying for various library positions after falling in love with helping people find the information that they want. Prior to becoming a part-time reference librarian at Rock Springs Library, Ashley was the newsroom proofreader for the Rocket-Miner Newspaper and wrote a weekly column titled Under the Radar about movies and more. Ashley enrolled in the Utah Cohort of the Emporia State University School of Library and Information Management program and moved to Salina, Kansas for her current job soon after her graduation ceremony in January 2017 upon finishing her Master of Library Science degree with a concentration in leadership and administration.
In addition to working, Ashley volunteers a couple times a week as part of the Friends of Salina Animal Shelter Cat Crew, and enjoys watching anime and playing video games that have a good story. Ashley is married to James Will and they have three cats – Geordi, Tuvok and Peaches.
Ashley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Danielle works for the Circulation Department at Salina Public Library.
She is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a degree in Classical Antiquities. She mostly enjoys reading fantasy (both adult and YA) and some science fiction but does occasionally enjoy delving into nonfiction for topics like physics, sustainability, art, gaming, and books about weaving, crochet, and other textile arts.
Lerin is the Technology Trainer at Salina Public Library. Lerin enjoys (watching) video games, reading, psychology and of course technology. When not at work she adores spending time with her family and 11-year-old beagle Louie.
Lori Berezovsky is the Information Services Outreach Librarian at Salina Public Library.
A native of DeKalb, Ill., Lori spent only one summer detassling corn for DeKalb AgResearch and made an impressive $2.35 per hour. She stayed in her hometown and graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.A. and M.A. in art history. Lori moved to Kansas in 1990 with plans to get a Ph.D. in art history from KU, but that quickly turned into attending Emporia State University and receiving a second master’s degree in library and information science. She met a fellow library student named Nick and they married over spring break just before graduating.
Lori enjoys reading about, looking at, and researching anything having to do with art or art historical matters. Every spring she encourages her 30 fruit trees to bear well, and gardens on her three acres in Saline County. She appreciates the style of the 1920s-40s, and can often be found knitting, cooking (and eating) delicious Italian food, obsessively playing Words with Friends or working a crossword puzzle.
Lori can be reached at email@example.com.
Mark has worked a variety of library jobs over the past 20 years, holding positions in circulation, acquisitions, computer technology, cataloging and reference.
He received a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology and behavior science from the University of Kansas. Mark enjoys spending time with his family, reading and listening to books, watching movies, doing crosswords, and playing trivia games. He is originally from McPherson and considers the central part of Kansas the greatest place in the world.
Mark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melanie Hedgespeth is the library's director.
Prior to becoming the director, Melanie was the head of the library’s Technology Department for 14 years. She was integral to the transition from tracking materials with bar codes to using an RFID system; starting the Summer Learning program that now has over 3,000 participants; integrating a new Chromebox catalog-access kiosk system; handling E-rate funding; and designing technology plans for quality of service and replacement cycles. Melanie has a Master of Science in information technology from Kansas State University and a bachelor’s in business and computer education from Sterling College.
Melanie can be reached at email@example.com
Portia is a Programs Coordinator for the library.
Portia grew up here in Salina and has been an avid book addict from a young age. She moved to Wichita to attend Wichita State in 2014, where she majored in English Literature and Language with a minor in History. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Library Science program at Emporia State. Portia enjoys spending time with her friends and family, trying to catch up on her never-ending to-be-read list, and likes watching “Mad Men” and “Outlander” with her cat, Paris.
Portia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Switzer is a Tech Support Assistant at Salina Public Library.
When he’s not helping patrons with technical issues he enjoys tearing apart electronics and remixing them into new things, or modeling objects to print on the 3D printer.
Sam can be reached at email@example.com
Amy Butala Pihl was an Information Services Librarian and was hunting down the answers to reference questions at the Information Desk from 2009-2015. She hails from Southern California, but a brief stint as a soccer player at Kansas Wesleyan University led Amy to plant her roots in central Kansas with her husband. Amy is the proud owner of a weird but wonderful, accident-prone blue parrotlet who is currently on her 11th life. She spends her free time cooking, writing on her blog and lamenting the fact that “Gilmore Girls” is over.
Barbara was an information services librarian. She has more than 30 years of experience with genealogy research and has lead personal history recording efforts at the library, including StoryCatchers and an oral history recording project for Kansas Stories of the Vietnam War.
Connie Hocking was the library’s Interlibrary Loan Coordinator.
Eric is the library's Technology Department Head. When not writing for Off the Shelf, Eric enjoys watching movies, discussing video games, and pondering the possibilities of technology. His current ambitions are to further promote the library and the technology they offer as well as bettering the world through friendly conversation and cheerful technical support. Eric received his Bachelor's Degree from K-State's Salina campus in Technology Management and then took the deep dive into librarianship with a Masters in Library Science from Emporia State.
Glory Benacka was a programs coordinator at Salina Public Library.
Glory is from Nebraska and holds a B.A. in Visual Art from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. With a passion for lifelong learning she enjoys spending free time reading, writing, learning languages and taking photographs. Outdoors she is a modern homesteading enthusiast with two energetic dogs who take her for walks.
Helen Gregg, was the Technology Trainer at the library for three years and retired in 2017.
She had been enjoying an “encore career,” following her retirement from the local school district. Helen has a bachelor’s degree in History and Secondary Education from Kansas Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in Secondary Education Classroom Technology. There are some in Kansas who know her simply as Grandma, and this grandma enjoys the fact that her grandkids come to her with their tech questions. That wacky place in the order of things seems to suit her. She enjoys being part of a team that brings 21st Century literacy to anyone who wants to learn.
Joe McKenzie is the former Director of Salina Public Library.
He retired December 2017, after 40 years of service at the Salina Public Library.
Kat was a clerk in Youth Services, as well as a stay-at-home-mom and a lifestyle family photographer. Her favorite things include: books, reading, kiddos, black and white photos, old dogs, old houses, Harry Potter, Chuck Taylors, stars, gardens, rainbows, oceans, COFFEE, and magic.
Megan Mack is a native of Salina and is a lifelong learner (literally…she’s always been in school).
She has a B.A and M.A. in history from Fort Hays State University, an M.A. in Medieval history from the University of Sheffield and is currently pursuing a master’s in library and information science from Emporia State University. She has worked in both public and academic libraries and has interned in a museum. Her preference is for public libraries because she loves meeting new people and putting her random trivia knowledge to use. When she is not working or going to school, Megan loves to read, write, travel, play music, sing and binge-watch television shows. She also has two little nieces and a baby nephew with whom she likes to spend time.
Morgan Davis was the Community Learning Coordinator at Salina Public Library for five years, through 2017.
A Salina native, Morgan earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations and minor in leadership studies at Kansas State University, in the Little Apple. She also studied dance and psychology at K-State, and taught dance in Manhattan. Morgan enjoys sharing her love of the arts, music and directing holiday productions at church. She loves spending time outdoors, drinking coffee, and her husband and sweet pup Annie.