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.
Adriana is a Youth Services Programs Coordinator at the Salina Public Library. An island native, she was born and raised in Puerto Rico and moved to Salina two years ago. She has a BA in English and a passion for all things books, and sharing her love of literature with others. When she's not at the library, Adriana enjoys traveling, reading YA Fiction & Fantasy, cooking with her husband, making crafts, and watching the Harry Potter movies on repeat.
Adrienne has worked in youth services for over a year and can't imagine a better job.
Adrienne is married with two kids that are homeschooled. She loves reading, dungeons and dragons and just being nerdy with her family. In her spare time, if she's not gardening, she is sure to be crafting.
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 Little was born and raised here in Salina and loved it so much she decided to stay. She is a full-time high school English teacher. Her love of books brought her to work part-time at the library, and she has loved every minute of it. She earned her bachelor's degree in secondary education from Kansas Wesleyan University and earned her masters in English from Fort Hays State University. When she isn't working, you might find her reading, crocheting, writing poetry, or enjoying time at one of her kids' many sporting events or at church.
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 the Utah cohort of Emporia State University with her Master's in Library Science and moved to Salina, Kansas for her current job soon after her graduation ceremony in January 2017. Ashley is married to James Will and they have three cats.
Ashley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben is the Information Services Programs Coordinator, putting together the adult programs and crafts at Salina Public Library.
After falling in love with theatre in high school, he went on to complete a BFA in Theatre with a focus on Stage Management from Emporia State University. He is an avid reader who enjoys Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Plays, Classics, and LGBTQ+ Fiction/Nonfiction. When not at the library, Ben enjoys watching true crime shows and comedies, trying out new recipes, seeing live theatre, crafts/sewing, and spending time with his partner.
Originally from Mexico City, Elisheva has lived in Kansas since 2001, she has a B.S. from Kansas State University - Salina in Technology Management with an associates degree of Business. When not working at the library she spends time with her family walking or biking on Kansas trails and attending school events for her two kids.
Katie has been the Head of Youth Services since July 2021.
She was a high school English teacher for seven years and an elementary school librarian for four years. Katie's love of children's books runs deep—she is still waiting to grow up and become Nancy Drew, and in her spare time, she's writing a historical mystery novel for middle-grade readers.
Lerin is the Head of Community Engagement.
Lerin enjoys (watching) video games, reading, psychology and of course technology. When not at work she adores spending time with her family.
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
Neva Heikes has been a circulation clerk here at the Salina Public Library for three years and has lived in Salina for over 20 years.
A northwest Kansas native, she moved to Nebraska to get a BS in Biology with a wildlife emphasis from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. While there she volunteered at the Lillian Rowe Sanctuary during several crane seasons giving tours, helping at the sanctuary and helping with injured birds. She has been a part of the National Audubon for over 20 years with memberships at the different local levels. She still enjoys volunteering time with the local chapter, Smoky Hills Audubon, as vice president and the state chapter, Audubon of Kansas, as a chapter representative board member.
Pat is a native Kansan who grew up in western Kansas and has moved around in central Kansas for the last 57 years. She has worked at the Tech Help Desk for three and half years. Working at the library is a dream job! She earned her Associate Degree in Electronic Technology, her B.S. degrees in Women’s Studies, and Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, her Master’s in Sustainable Community Development and a Master’s Certificate in Women’s Studies from Kansas State University. She has five grown children and nine grandchildren, ranging in age from 7-34. Her interests include reading, word puzzles, gardening, hiking and environmental and social justice activism.
Rebecca Rose is a circulation clerk here at Salina Public Library.
She has lived in Salina since shortly after she received her B.A from Bethany College in 2010. She graduated with a double major in English and a contract major in Philosophy of the 19th Century. She enjoys reading about trees, talking about plants, and nature walking on the trails around Salina. When she's not here you can find her thrifting, composting and tracking down a good coffee. She welcomes any garden pictures and 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
Sara Porter is an Information Services Associate at Salina Public Library. Originally from southern California, Sara earned her Bachelor’s in Sociology from California State University, Fullerton. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Information Science with a concentration in Information Organization from the University of North Texas. In her free time, Sara enjoys spending time with her family, playing with her pets, listening to podcasts, playing video games, reading, and knitting.
Amanda Colgrove was 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 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.
Danielle was a clerk 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.
Eric was the library's Technology Department Head.
Eric enjoys watching movies, discussing video games, and pondering the possibilities of technology. His ambition is to better the world through friendly conversation 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.
Portia was 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.