Much of NELA’s work is done by dedicated volunteers who serve on a variety of committees:

Administrative | Conference PlanningEducational Assistance | FinanceGovernance | Help Desk | Intellectual Freedom | Membership | New England Library Leadership Symposium (NELLS) | Nominating | Personnel | Public RelationsVolunteer

Administrative Committee

The Administrative Committee is composed of the Association’s Elected Officers. See Board. The Administrative Committee oversees the activities of the Association, sets the agenda of the Executive Board meeting and conducts the business of the Association between Executive Board meetings in compliance with the actions and principles of the Association. The Administrative Committee meets bimonthly between the Executive Board meetings.

Conference Planning

The Conference Planning Committee is headed by two co-chairs. The committee plans the Association’s Annual Conference, including approving and scheduling conference programs and managing the exhibit hall and vendor needs. 

Conference Committee Co-Chair
Vicki Oatis
Norwalk Public Library, CT
[email protected]
Conference Committee Co-Chair
Holly Williams
Bangor Public Library, ME
[email protected]
Conference Committee
Jennifer He 
Bethany Klem
Grace Larochelle

Maisam Nouh
Bernie Prochnik
Mike Zeller

Educational Assistance - Currently Seeking Volunteers

The Educational Assistance Committee reviews applications for the scholarships and grants NELA offers and makes recommendations to the Executive Board. They are also involved in developing and carrying out fundraising activities which support the Educational Assistance Fund.

Volunteer expectations & responsibilities: Fundraising; reviewing applications for educational assistance grants from NELA to cover MLIS or certificate study, continuing education, or conference/program funding for NELA section members.

When & how often does this committee meet?  This committee will meet virtually every other month for 1 hour. Dates/times of 2022 meetings are TBD.

Expected monthly time commitment: Outside committee meetings, members can expect to devote about 3 hours every-other month to reviewing educational assistance applications and brainstorming fundraising opportunities.

Contact: Lauren Mandel, [email protected]

Lauren Mandel - Chair
University of Rhode Island, RI
[email protected]


The Finance Committee makes recommendations to the Executive Board regarding the budget, applications for expenditures of funds, and other financial matters. It shall be composed of the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Library Association Administrator, and two members elected from the Executive Board.

Bernie Prochnik
Bath Public Library, NH
413-323-5925, ext 105
[email protected]


The Governance Committee is responsible for formulating and recommending changes to NELA's bylaws to the membership.

Edna Hutchins - Chair
Cranston Public Library, RI
[email protected]

Help Desk

Michael Zeller
Shrewsbury Public Library
[email protected]
Stephen Spohn
Ocean State Library
[email protected]

Intellectual Freedom

The Intellectual Freedom Committee’s goal is to promote awareness of intellectual freedom issues and to provide support to the New England library community in upholding the principles of intellectual freedom.

Colleen Bailie - Chair
West Haven Library, CT

[email protected]


The goal of the Membership Committee is to encourage New England librarians to become new or renewing members of NELA and to promote active participation in the Association. Currently seeking volunteers.

Volunteer duties & expectations: Top priorities this year are strengthening and promoting NELA’s Mentorship Program and Resume Review.

Frequency of meetings: The group meets about once every other month.

Expected Monthly time commitment: 1 hour/month for committee meetings, plus 1-2 hours per month individually to work on initiatives. 

Contact: Ben Hanley, [email protected]

Curious about membership benefits? Learn more.

Ben Hanley - Chair
Barrington Public Library, RI
[email protected]

New England Library Leadership Symposium (NELLS)

More about NELLS I and II

Jenn Bruneau - Chair
Northborough Free Library, MA 
[email protected]


This committee consists of the six State Representatives to the Executive Board and the Past President, who serves as chair. The members nominate candidate(s) for each elected office to be filled:

Vice President/President-Elect
Treasurer (odd years only/two-year term)
Secretary (even years only, two-year term)
Member-at-Large (a Member-at-Large is elected each year for a two-year term)

NELA Officer Job Descriptions

Contact the Nominating Committee for details at [email protected]

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As of 2015, NELA has two part-time employees: The Library Association Administrator (LAA) and the Events & Communication Coordinator. See Staff. The Personnel Committee's role is to recruit, hire, and manage NELA employees, conduct their annual review, and the budgeting of personnel costs. The members of this committee shall be the President, Vice President, a Member-at-large, and the Treasurer.

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Public Relations - Currently Seeking Volunteers

The Public Relations Committee promotes the purpose and objectives of NELA by establishing contacts with other organizations and publicizing the value and importance of libraries and NELA programs.

Volunteer expectations & responsibilities: The committee will be undergoing some changes in 2022-2023. Specific tasks and initiatves for the coming year are flexible, based on the makeup of the committee.

When & how often does this committee meet? This committee meets virtually every other month.

Expected monthly time committement: In addition to bimonthly meetings, members will be expected to communicate regularly via email and contribute to monthly NELA social media updates.  

Marilynn Lewicki - Chair
Greenwich Public Library, CT
[email protected]


The goal of the Volunteer Committee is to encourage New England librarians to become new or returning volunteer members of NELA.

Volunteer expectations & responsibilities: The committee is undergoing changes. Specific tasks and initiatives are flexible, based on the makeup of the committee.

Seeking New Chair