RAILS Board Election

Voting is open for the 2017 RAILS Board of Directors election from April 24 through 5:00 p.m. on May 12.

Each RAILS member library may cast only one ballot on behalf of the library agency. (Each library designates one person who will vote; generally, it will be either the library director or board president.) Your library may vote on all seats, regardless of your library type.

Profiles of the 2017 candidates are available below.

Map of Current Board and 2017 Candidates

Academic Library Seat Candidates

Alexis Carscadden

Kendall College

Candidate statement:

I am interested in increasing my involvement with this organization and hope to support its growth as RAILS has been an incredible resource for our library and its users. As I represent a small academic library, I hope to provide a distinct view of how RAILS can best support its various constituents. My previous involvement in a larger academic environment as well as in the archival field provided me with a variety of experiences which would be a benefit to the Board.


Relevant Experience

Kendall College, Chicago, IL - February 2010 - Present

Library Manager, June 2013 - Present

Responsible for all professional library functions including managing, scheduling, and training all employees and student workers; manage online resources, inter-library loan, collection evaluating, weedings, and maintenance; assist patrons with research questions; maintain relationships with donors; provide research workshops in classrooms; manage budget and all purchasing for department.

Manager of Technical Services, February 2010 - June 2013

Responsible for cataloging all new acquisitions; managed all online resources and reserves; created library displays; assisted students with research questions; managed, scheduled, and trained all student workers.

Sisters of the Living Word Catholic Convent, Arlington Heights, IL - January 2010 - December 2010


Collected, processed, and preserved records and historical documents entrusted to the department.

Schingoethe Center for Native American Cultures at Aurora University, Aurora, IL - May 2009 - October 2009

Project Archivist                                                                          

Created the Herbert and Martha Schingoethe Archive, created and maintained the institution’s first archival process, and accessioned several collections.


Dominican University, River Forest, IL 

Masters of Library and Information Science, Concentration in Archival Management - 2009

Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL

Bachelor of Arts, History - 2006

Gwen Gregory

University of Illinois at Chicago

Candidate statement:

I believe that multitype library cooperation is key to information provision and knowledge diffusion in our society. Academic libraries must work with public, school  and special libraries to serve all our users. On the RAILS Board I will represent academic libraries and communicate their needs and interests, while working toward the common good.


I served on the RAILS Member Advisory Group while it existed. I previously served on the Academic Advisory Group of the Metropolitan Library System. I have worked in academic libraries in Illinois, Colorado, and New Mexico, where I was also involved in multitype library networks and consortia. I am involved in the Illinois Library Association and served as President of the Illinois Association of College and Research Libraries, developing programs and activities for academic librarians. I attended the Illinois State Library's Synergy program in 2015, where I worked with colleagues from all over the state. I hold a Master of Public Administration degree with coursework in budgeting and public management.  To be brief, my career in libraries since 1988 has always focused on how all libraries can serve the common good as well as how libraries can work together to be more than just the sum of the parts.

Christine Kuffel

Harper College Library

Candidate statement:

I am interested in sharing my experience, knowledge, and unique perspectives with the RAILS organization and the population it serves.  My previous career in retail provided a solid background in customer service, training, and management.  This experience helped me to develop a unique perspective that has benefitted my career in libraries.  I am passionate about delivering excellent service, improving accessibility, promoting professional development, and supporting opportunities for educational and recreational growth.  This role would give me the opportunity to represent academic libraries, seek ways to support all libraries, and help build the profession.



Seven years’ experience in an academic library and two years’ experience in the public library setting

In addition to my work at the reference desk, teaching instruction classes, and working on the collection, I oversee the college’s common read program, marketing initiatives, and programming.  I am the Coordinator of User Services which includes managing the circulation and interlibrary loan departments and I currently serve as department chair. 

I represent the library on a variety of college-wide committees, including Faculty Senate, the Cultural Arts committee, and the Curriculum Committee.  I also help plan the faculty retreat and student convocation.

Served as a Universal Design Faculty Fellow

Participated in the College’s Multicultural Faculty Fellowship program

I engage in a variety of professional development opportunities including CE classes, additional graduate work, conferences, and webinars.  I have completed three classes about event and meeting planning which although unconventional, have been extremely helpful in my current role.

Currently participating in library renovation project


  • Passionate about libraries, knowledge, and most importantly connecting people and resources
  • First generation college student
  • Hobbies include baking (especially pies), old movies, anything related to World War II, antiquing, writing haiku, and reading
  • Organized, detail-oriented, creative, and personable
  • Favorite book genres: self-improvement, cozy mysteries, personal stories, and anything about the 1940’s

Cynthia Romanowski

Governors State University

Candidate statement:

With smaller budgets, less staff, and technological expectations from patrons, libraries are doing more with less, regardless of library type. RAILS is key in helping its member libraries maximize opportunities as a result of these challenges through sharing resources and costs, and providing continuing education workshops to share ideas. My work experience in both public and academic libraries has afforded me a unique perspective and appreciation for how RAILS and other consortium work together to support libraries. I welcome the opportunity to serve on the RAILS board to contribute my skills and expertise to their continuing success in advocating libraries.


Skills and Qualifications:

  • Experience working in the SWAN and CARLI networks
  • Experience as a co-chair on an ALA committee
  • Experience working in both public and academic libraries
  • Working knowledge of multiple library information systems
  • Self-motivated, detailed oriented, people-oriented, consistently responsible and proven leader
  • Functions well both independently and as a team member
  • Able to assess situations, make informed decisions, and implement solutions to meet deadlines
  • Published in library related publications
  • Presented at both state and international conferences
  • Familiarity with Robert’s Rules of Order


MCIS, Master Degree in Computer Information Systems

Elmhurst College, Elmhurst IL

May, 2014

MLIS, Master Degree in Library and Information Science

Dominican University, River Forest, IL

August, 2002

BA, History

Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI

December, 1998

Professional Affiliations:

American Library Association Member

American Library Association Library Collections & Technical Services Member

Professional Committee Experience:

July 2016 to present

Co-Chair Cataloging & Metadata Management Section’s Copy Cataloging Interest Group

American Library Association (ALA), Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, Chicago, IL

Successfully wrote and garnered support for the renewal of the Copy Cataloging Interest Group; successfully posted for and selected Vice Co-Chairs; successfully organized and selected presentations for the ALA Midwinter Meeting with 20 people in attendance and 3 presentations; responsible for posting Call for Proposals on various listservs for bi-annual meeting presentations; responsible for organizing and selecting presentations for the ALA Annual Conference; responsible for advertising group’s ALA Midwinter and Annual program; responsible for submitting reports on bi-annual meetings.

July 2016 to present

CARLI Technical Services Committee Member

Consortium for Academic and Research Libraries of Illinois (CARLI), Champaign, IL

Responsible for contributing to annual project on Microsoft Access reports to be used by consortium members; responsible for assisting in the planning of the annual CARLI forum, which will be held at Governors State University April 2017; requires attendance of monthly meetings and review of meeting minutes.

February 2016 to present

University Curriculum Committee (UCC) Appointed Liaison to General Education Council

Governors State University, University Park, IL

Responsible for attending General Education Council monthly meetings as a representative for UCC; responsible for reporting back to UCC the meeting’s proceedings; requires regular attendance to monthly meetings, reviewing and approving of meeting minutes.

August 2015 to present

Governors State University’s University Curriculum Committee Member

Governors State University, University Park, IL

Responsible for the review and approval of curriculum changes, course deletions, and course syllabi; requires regular attendance to bi-weekly meetings; serves as secretary, responsible for taking and distributing meeting minutes to members and Associate Provost office administrator

July 2015-June 2016

Vice Co-Chair Cataloging & Metadata Management Section’s Copy Cataloging Interest Group

American Library Association, Association for Library Collections & Technical Services, Chicago, IL

Responsible for assisting the Co-Chairs in organizing and selecting presenters for the Annual ALA Meeting which had over 80 people in attendance and 3 presentations.

March 2015-June 2015

Describing Team Committee Member, I-Share Next Describing Task Force

Consortium for Academic and Research Libraries of Illinois (CARLI), Champaign, IL

Responsible for creating and reviewing proposed specifications for the RFP for a new library system; required regular attendance of committee conference calls.

September 2013-September 2015

Triton College's 50th Anniversary Marketing Committee and Events Committee Liaison

Triton College, River Grove, IL

Responsible for generating ideas for marketing materials within designated budget; served as secretary for Marketing Committee, responsible for notes and meeting minutes; served as liaison to the Events committee, reporting on actions of the Marketing Committee.

Professional Work Experience:

January 2015 to present

Technical Services Librarian, Assistant Professor

Governors State University (GSU), University Park, IL

Responsible for the leadership, training, supervision, and evaluation of paraprofessional staff; oversees all Technical Services operations; works with vendors to select and purchase library resources and manages library’s acquisitions budget; develops and implements new Technical Services policies and procedures; represents college at statewide consortia meetings; compiles and reports statistics.

November 2007-September 2015            

Director of Library Systems and Technical Services

Triton College, River Grove, IL

Responsible for the leadership, training, supervision, and evaluation of paraprofessional staff; oversaw all Technical Services operations; developed and implemented new Technical Services policies and procedures; managed library’s acquisitions budget; worked with vendors to select and purchase library resources; served as liaison with college’s Information Systems and Computer Services; represented college at statewide consortia; served as liaison with Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois; compiled and reported out statistics.

April 2006-October 2007              

Supervisor of Cataloging and Processing

College of DuPage Library, Glen Ellyn, IL

Supervised, hired and provided evaluations for student aides and full-time classified staff; assisted librarians with classifying, reclassifying, and weeding the collection.

March 2004-March 2006              

Library Support Representative

Endeavor Information Systems, Des Plaines, IL   

Solved Voyager software and other technical problems for customers; assisted colleagues in troubleshooting by sharing Cataloging and MARC format information; worked with other departments in resolving major software conversion and upgrade issues; met deadlines and solved problems promptly and efficiently.

March 2003-March 2004                              

Cataloging Librarian

Addison Public Library, Addison, IL          

Supervised copy cataloger; generated monthly holdings reports and statistics for the Technical Services Department; created inventory reports for Adult and Children services.

January 2002-February 2003       

Cataloger, Acquisitions, Administrator, Reference Librarian

North Riverside Public Library, North Riverside, IL

Supervised clerks and pages; gathered statistics for the IPLAR; acquired and cataloged materials using SWAN guidelines; instructed patrons in Internet, databases, and basic computer skills.

Public Library Trustee Seat Candidates

Dave Barry

Bartlett Public Library District

Candidate statement:

I am interested in running for a second term on the RAILS board because I want to help RAILS negotiate the  current budget crisis.  The uncertainty of RAILS funding from the State of Illinois has stressed  its ability to serve library readers  across the state, the RAILS Board and I wish to remain part of the solution as the RAILS Board finds creative solutions.


I currently serve as a Trustee at the Bartlett Public Library  District since 2013 and as its President since 2015.  I also currently serve as a board member at RAILS since 2014 and its President since 2016.  I have made it my business to attend ILA Conferences, Trustee Forums,  and ILA luncheons with state legislative officials annually.  I have also attended National Library Legislative Day in Washington D.C. on several occasions to lobby our national elected officials.  At the latest ILA conference on Trustee Day, I made a presentation concerning new trustee training.  As a RAILS board member and President, I have attended and chaired our Board meetings in locations across our service area in order to become more aware of the libraries outside of the metropolitan area.

I have practice law for the past 25 years across North Eastern Illinois where I called upon to use my skills as an advocate, negotiator, counselor, and analyst  for my clients as they face legal challenges.  I can bring those same skills to a second term on the RAILS Board.

Dee Runnels

Moline Public Library

Candidate statement:

I have been a committed Board member with the Moline Public Library for over eight years. I served as President for two years. MPL has recently rejoined PrairieCat, and I believe service on the RAILS Board would be a natural extension of my service on MPL's Board.


I am an attorney licensed to practice in Illinois and Iowa. In addition to my service on the MPL Board, I currently am a book discussion leader for the Wilson Middle School Morning Coffee Club, which meets five times a year. I have previously been a board member on what was formerly called the Mississippi Valley Girl Scout Council, Skills, Inc., the Youth Service Bureau, and Skip-A­Long Child Development Services. I also volunteered for Volunteers for the Older Adult.

Member of the following professional associations:

Iowa State Bar Association

Illinois State Bar Association

Scott County Bar Association (Chair, Fee Dispute Committee, 2012-present)

Arbitrator, Rock Island County Circuit Court

Current Community Involvement:  

Moline Public Library Board of Trustees (2008-Present; President, 2009-2011)

Wilson Middle School Morning Coffee Club 

Past Community Involvement: 

Alternatives for the Older Adult (Volunteer)

Development Association of Rock Island

Mississippi Valley Girl Scout Council, Inc.

Youth Service Bureau of Rock Island County

Skip-A-Long Child Development Services

Moline Rotary Club (Chair of Literacy Committee)

Big Brothers/Big Sisters Lunch Buddy

Pro Bono Activities:

Volunteer Lawyer Project - Rock Island County, Illinois 

Cepican Seminar Committee for HELP Legal Aid, Scott County, Iowa

Additional Information: http://bnpn.com/Attorneys/Dee-A-Runnels.aspx

Nadia Sheikh

Carol Stream Public Library

Candidate statement:

I grew up with a passion for libraries and believe the main focus of a library board should be to promote and expand resources/services that are relevant to today’s society and beneficial to our communities. My motivation for running for library trustee came from my belief that personal satisfaction comes from working for and with other people toward mutually established goals.  Accountability and transparency are very important qualities to have in any board member and I promise to listen to the needs of our stakeholders and be an enthusiastic advocate for libraries within our region and at the state level.



University of Southern California

-Masters in Health Administration

-Certificate in Management of Ambulatory Care Systems

University of California, Los Angeles

-B.S. in Neuroscience

Fullerton College

-Associates in Chemistry

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

-General Education

2013 – Present

Trustee, Carol Stream Public Library (Carol Stream, IL)

Officer: Secretary

On April 9, 2013 I was elected in the general consolidated election to serve a 4-year term as Library Trustee.  I was sworn into office on May 1, 2013 and serve as Secretary of the board.  I attend monthly board meetings and serve on the following committees: human resources, bylaws, facilities, and finance. 

2013 – 2015

Friends of the Carol Stream Public Library (Carol Stream, IL)

Position: Director

The Friends of the Carol Stream Public Library is a non-profit organization which provides support for the Library through membership fees, fund-raising events, and special projects. They create community support for existing Library programs. The Friends provide direct financial help and volunteer assistance and sponsor programs designed to add to the cultural life of the community.  This position is strategically important to the Libraries’ mission and goals and extends the Libraries’ outreach and promotional activities.

2012 – Present

Support the Library Carol Stream (Carol Stream, IL)

Position: Marketing and Publicity Chair

The Support the Library (STL) Committee supports the successful campaigns of Carol Stream library trustee candidates.  I was responsible for helping devise a marketing strategy, coordinate fundraisers, and designing campaign literature.

2012 – Present

Village of Carol Stream Comprehensive Plan (Carol Stream, IL).

Position: Steering Committee Member

The Village of Carol Stream Comprehensive Plan is the local public policy planning document that helps determine community goals and aspirations in a variety of areas, such as land use, recreation, housing, education, economic development, quality of life, open space, and infrastructure.  As a part of this endeavor, the committee conducted several focus groups to gather information from the community.


Glenbard North High School Referendum Committee Member (Carol Stream, IL).

I served on a ballot initiative committee representing Glenbard North High School advocating for the passage of the March 2014 Glenbard District 87 ballot referendum.

2011 – 2014

Information Connections (Wheaton, IL).

Position: Social Media Administrator

Information Connections is a website for parents of children with developmental disabilities and chronic diseases with a special focus on autism, cerebral palsy, ADHD, Down syndrome, and Brain Injury. InformationConnections.org provides centralized access to up-to-date, reliable, and high-quality health information resources.  The informative website was developed by the Marianjoy Medical Library with funding from the National Library of Medicine. Easy access simplifies and enhances a parent’s ability to gather accurate information.

Professional Development:


Illinois Library Association (ILA) West Suburban Library Legislative Luncheon. Oak Brook, IL (2/13/17).


ILA Annual Conference, Trustee Day.  Rosemont, IL. (10/20/16).

RAILS Trustee Workshop.  Keys to Running a More Successful Board Meeting Lisle Public Library, IL (10/1/16).


ILA West Suburban Library Legislative Luncheon.  Oak Brook, IL (2/13/15).


ATLAS Trustee Workshop, New Lenox Library, IL (5/3/14).


Dominican University Public Library Trustee Orientation/Training at Gail Borden Library.  Elgin, IL (8/03/13).

Deputy Registrar Training, DuPage County Election Commission. Wheaton, IL (6/19/13)



Carol Stream Public Library Annual Holiday Open House (12/4/16)

Iftaar with Rahm Emanuel at Chicago Cultural Center (6/28/16)

Summer Reading Program, Go for the Gold! Party (8/7/16)


Carol Stream Public Library Annual Holiday Open House (12/4/15)


Carol Stream Public Library Annual Holiday Open House (12/7/14)

Annual Shape of Carol Stream Town Hall Meeting (9/24/14)

National Night Out Against Crime at Community Park (8/5/14)

Carol Stream Public Library Strategic Plan Focus Group (7/28/14)

Cinco de Mayo event at Carol Stream Public Library (5/4/14)

Village of Carol Stream Comprehensive Plan Public Forum (4/23/14)


Carol Stream Public Library Annual Holiday Open House (12/4/13)

Annual Shape of Carol Stream Town Hall Meeting (9/25/13)

City of Winfield “Good Old Days” Parade (9/8/13)

City of Naperville “Last Fling” Labor Day Parade (9/2/13)

Carol Stream Public Library July 4th Parade (7/4/13)

Carol Stream Park District Just Play! Event (5/18/13)

Joe Skibinski

Oak Lawn Public Library

Candidate statement:

Joe is a library user. He talks with Village residents to get feedback on services and to increase backing for the Library. He understands the relevance of libraries in today's world and he knows how important it is to consider library services outside the local area. He grasps the impact of consortiums like SWAN and he realizes that support for RAILS means support for libraries across the State.


Joe started as a Trustee for the Oak Lawn Public Library in 2011. He was integral in hiring the current Director. He has served as the Financial Secretary for many of his years on the Library Board and he also serves as a Director of the Library Foundation. He is a Trustee on the Village's Police and Fire Pension Boards. Joe is very involved in the community via the school district, his church, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Elks Club. He is a CPA, has an MBA, and has taught accounting and finance at the college level.

School Library Seat Candidates

Janine Asmus

Leyden High Schools District # 212

Candidate statement:

I have been in public education for 27 years. I believe that school librarians are in dire need of strong alliances and advocates to sustain the profession in our schools.  I am interested in being a part of the RAILS Board, as I am a strong believer in creating and sustaining alliances across varied library disciplines.


I am currently the West Leyden High School librarian.  I was the Department Chairperson of the Leyden Libraries. I created the "Silver/Gold Consortium of Libraries," spoken at state and national conferences and am an active member in my District and in my community.  I have worked in the school library for 11 years.  Before that, I taught English, coordinated the gifted program, ran the Alumni program and worked in various capacities through the school. I am an active member of the ESSA task force, written grants and orchestrated successful programs for the District.

Christine Barr

Geneva CUSD 304

Candidate statement:

I am interested in serving on the RAILS Board of Directors because I feel that I can make a strong contribution to the board.  My experience working with multiple types of libraries while serving on the ILA Board of Directors, and my passion for school libraries has given me a unique perspective and understanding of how we can all work together to serve our patrons and advocate for the good of all libraries.  I look forward to the opportunity to serve on the RAILS Board.


Illinois Library Association Executive Board of Directors - current

School Librarian Fabyan Elementary Geneva, Il - 2009- present

Memeber of ISLMA

Presenter at Kane County ROE 2017 Institute Day

Contributed article to upcoming publication for iRead.

Served on ISLMA/ESSA task force 2016

Presenter at ISLMA 2016 Conference

Sia Paganis

Itasca SD 10/F.E. Peacock Middle School Library

Candidate statement:

I am interested in serving on the RAILS Board because I believe when libraries work together they can better serve all communities. I have been a school librarian for the past five years; while also working in public libraries. Although both library types serve different populations, the commonality of libraries as service institutions remain.  My school library’s mission is to support instruction and lifelong learning for our learning community. Our membership to RAILS has been an integral part of executing this mission, whether it is through vendor discounts, resource sharing or continuing education. These services are instrumental to our success.


ISLMA member 2012-Present, Committees served: SLO/PERA Committee and ESSA Committee

Presented numerous times at ISLMA conferences on subjects from serving special populations, library networking, social-emotional learning in the library, PERA and SLO etc.

Illinois State Library Learning- Synergy Class of 2015, ILEAD USA 2013

Grant recipient: 2012 and 2015 LBSS, 2013 and 2016 Read for Information

Current employment:    Teacher-Librarian at  F.E. Peacock Middle School Library Itasca, IL    

2015-Present- Heidi Weeks, principal (630)773-0335

Adult Reference Librarian at Glenside Public Library District Glendale Heights, IL    2016-Present-Karen Luster, Adult Services Manager (630)260-1550

Past employment:

Teacher-Librarian at Spring Wood Middle School Hanover Park, IL

2012-2015-Craig Barringer, principal (630)893-8900

Youth Program Associate at Glen Ellyn Public Library Glen Ellyn, IL

2011-2015  Melissa Hilt (630)469-0879