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Meet Your Officers

The 2013-14 school year is fast approaching. Before we start talking about events and workshops, we’d like to take a moment to introduce ourselves.

President: Ashley DeWitt


Before moving to Lexington four years ago, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Georgia. I originally moved here to pursue a Master’s degree in History, which I finished in the fall of 2011. While I do miss many aspects of History as a discipline, I have never been happier than I am in the field of Library and Information Science. 

My strong desire to help others has only been strengthened through my work at the UK Writing Center and my role as instructor for two of UK’s Core Curriculum classes. I never imagined I would enjoy teaching as much as I do, and the experience has encouraged me to pursue a career as a reference and instructional services librarian in an academic library. Eventually, I hope to earn a Ph.D. in Communications or Education in order to teach in a Library and Information Science program. 

A few weeks into my first semester, a fellow student advised me to take advantage of all opportunities, and I have tried to follow her advice. I have greatly enjoyed the service I have been able to provide as Vice President and now President of our ALA student chapter. Additionally, I have participated in Kentucky Library Legislative Day and the Alternative Spring Break Program, which has been the pinnacle of my education thus far.

On a more personal note, I have always loved plants and gardens, and I do my best to bring that love indoors by tending to a very hearty peace lily and philodendron. My other interests include baking and handcrafts. I enjoy the process of making something by hand, whether for consumption, use, or display.

Vice President: Renae Newhouse


I am entering my last year in the LIS program. Before entering the LIS program, I was pursuing a Ph.D. in English and teaching first-year composition (writing, rhetoric, and digital media) here at UK. After a year in the program, and some realizations, I decided to switch into the LIS program and pursue a second master’s degree, instead. I have not once regretted my decision; the more I come to know about the library world, the more I love it. Being a graduate assistant at the Agricultural Information Center on campus has only encouraged this feeling, as I have had the chance to experience multiple areas of information science all in one space. I have become particularly interested in collection development and information literacy while working here.

This year, I have been granted the opportunity to serve as Vice President of the UK ALA Student Chapter. I will act as program coordinator, which means I will oversee the Student Mentorship Program, the Portfolio Workshop, and many more of the wonderful programs we are planning for the upcoming year. In those spare moments of free time I get as a graduate student, I spend time with my son (this often involves Legos, video games, and reading) or crochet.

You can contact me about program ideas and more at renae.newhouse@uky.edu.

Secretary: Alexa Clark

I am a second year student in the MLIS program at UK. After I graduate I hope to find a position working in archives at an academic library. I am interested in digital preservation of documents as well as other medial formats like video and audio.

I graduated from NKU in the fall of 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Media. My classes at NKU gave me skills such as: video editing, operating a camera; photo editing, and more.

As secretary of the UK ALA Student Chapter my job is to keep records of our meetings by taking down minutes. I am also responsible for planning our meetings, which I do with the help of Doodle, a handy dandy scheduling website.  I’m looking forward to the start of a new semester, we are planning some pretty awesome events and I’m so excited to be a part of it.

Treasurer: Kristen Hanny


I have always loved reading, learning and helping others. Those interests lead me to obtain a degree in elementary education. However, upon graduating I decided I enjoy teaching best in small sessions as opposed to a full time teaching position. A couple years later it occurred to me there are times when I feel more at home in a library than in my own house.

So here I am entering my final year in the MLS program at UK. I am the Treasurer of the UK ALA Student Chapter. It’s my job to take care of all the monetary needs of the organization. I am interested in all aspects of information science, but I have a particular interest in how technology can be used to unite all people with information. I work in electronic resources on the 2nd floor of Young Library. Feel free to stop by and chat anytime! I’m always up for exchanging recipes, watching TV shows (super excited about the Veronica Mars movie in the works), and doing anything outdoors.
You can contact me at kristen.hanny@gmail.com and on Google+ username Kristen Hanny.

Social Media Engineer: Karalea Lane


I’m a second year student in the MLS program at UK. There has never been a time in my life that I didn’t want to be a librarian. On my eighth birthday a librarian at my local branch let me stamp books with the date due for an hour. There have been very few gifts that have been so kind or satisfying. It made up for having my bike taken away the previous summer for riding to the library unattended.

Believing all librarians are English majors, I have a strong background in literature, with a heavy focus in Shakespeare. After becoming a student assistant at Ohio University library, I realized librarians have a variety of interests that help form their specialization. I then focused on art and obtained my BFA from Ohio University in 2012.

As social media offer of the UK ALA Student Chapter my job is to manage the internet presence the group, keeping it current and interesting. This is just more than status updates and event notifications. As  distance student. I’m aware that for many of us the internet becomes our university.  Therefore, our group activity would be internet based as well. My position is to ensure everyone feels involved and a part of the group, even of they live in a different time zone.

You can contact me at karalea.lane@uky.edu.

Louisville Representative: Rebecca Freihaut


I returned to UK to work on my LIS degree after a ten year break from school.  During that time I worked as a Realtor and started a family.  When I decided to leave real estate and pursue a second career, I immediately knew it would be in Library and Information Sciences.  I’d worked at an academic library throughout my undergraduate years, and after trying another career path, I knew that I belonged back in an academic setting!  My areas of interest are medical librarianship and web archiving.  The UK LIS program has given me many opportunities, including a weeklong internship at the National Library of Medicine, and a summer internship at Kornhauser Health Sciences Library (University of Louisville’s medical library).  I’m excited to be serving as the Louisville area representative for UK’s student chapter of ALA this year.  As a distance learner, I realize the importance of staying connected, and being part of ALA is a great way to accomplish that.


How do I join ALA?

Why should you spend the money to join a professional organization?  You’re a student, we know.  Money is tight and every dollar has to count.  But joining ALA is not an expense, it’s an investment.  As a member of ALA, you can count on the following benefits:

  • Tangible benefits such as a subscription to American Libraries (11 issues per year)
  • Discounts on ALA publications and graphics
  • Member rates at conferences
  • Special travel and tour benefits
  • Voting privileges
  • Professional support through active national programs in legislation, intellectual freedom, standards, research, technology, and more
  • Information and networking for professional development
  • A voice in the future of your profession

Membership in the UK Student Chapter of the ALA is automatic when you join the national organization. Currently the student rate to join ALA is $33.00 and you can enroll online.  We really hope that you will partner with us and join the premier professional organization for librarians and information professionals.


The student chapter of ALA at the University of Kentucky primarily exists to support the students, faculty, and staff of the School of Library and Information Science at UK.  Find additional information about our local organization here, including a list of our current officers and contact information.

What is ALA?

The ALA Constitution  states the purpose of ALA as, “The object of the American Library Association shall be to promote library service and librarianship.” The stated mission is, “To provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.”

Interested in learning more about ALA on a national level?  Here’s a handy page for finding quick answers to questions and examining different aspects of the organization.