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Divisions > Library Services > Public Libraries
About Us


Assistant State Superintendent for Libraries


Irene Padilla, Assistant State Superintendent for Library Development and Services, Maryland State Department of Education, oversees the Division of Library Development and Services. As the state library agency, the division administers state and federal programs to improve library services in public libraries and schools throughout the state. 


Ms. Padilla served as the Director of the Harford County Public Library System from August 1994 – June 2002.  In that capacity, she led the system through a period of rapid growth.  The system has nine branches and a staff of 338 employees. She has developed and managed an annual budget of $10.6 million, plus a capital improvement budget of $10.5 million.  Three more branches are in the planning stages.


Prior to becoming director of the Harford system, she served as Deputy Director from April 1990 to August 1994.  She has also worked for libraries in Virginia and Michigan.


Irene earned both a bachelor of arts and a master of science in librarianship from Western Michigan University.  She also holds a master’s degree in public administration from George Mason University.




Dennis Nangle

Chief, Public Libraries and State Networking Branch


Dennis Nangle began his first job at a Maryland library which inspired him to continue the profession in a variety of environments, including public, academic, special, traditional, and digital. He received a Bachelor’s Degree from Cedarville University in English combined with two minors in Writing for the Professions and Editing and Publishing. His undergraduate thesis compared Cirque du Soleil shows with modern day philosophy and cinema. Upon graduation from Cedarville, Dennis was hired as a Library Technician III at UMUC where he developed a hands-on approach in providing students quality resources with exponential service. While employed with UMUC, Mr. Nangle completed his Master’s of Library Science Degree at University of Maryland. During his tenure at UMUC, he became published in two scholarly articles and a book chapter on the subject of utilizing Microsoft SharePoint as an essential tool in libraries; he had the opportunity of sharing his findings at statewide and national conferences.


After his employment with UMUC as a Library Technician III and upon completion of his MLS, Dennis became the Technical Documentation Coordinator for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, NV. At Cirque du Soleil, Dennis had the opportunity of combining his passion for both the arts and SharePoint and spent his time with Cirque organizing and auditing information related to the shows. Upon returning to his home state of Maryland, Dennis began his position as the Public Libraries and State Networking Branch Chief for MSDE where he strives to be an advocate for Maryland libraries, and facilitate opportunities for staff statewide to provide the most effective services to the community. Additionally, Dennis is still employed with UMUC as an adjunct professor teaching a research course to incoming graduate students.




Online Learning Coordinator


As the Projects Coordinator, Organizational Learning and Innovation, Nini helps Maryland public libraries systematically address the learning needs of library staff. She is involved in statewide initiatives such as SkillSoft Online Learning, Wimba Synchronous Training, Library Associate Training Institute, Leading From Any Position, and Learning Libraries. She also coordinates the statewide staff development group and runs MERLIN, a learning community for library staff. Nini was formerly a library associate with Baltimore County Public Library and has graduate degrees in library science from Drexel University and Instructional Systems Development and Training Systems from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. She thinks library staff people are the coolest and will visit a library branch any chance she gets.




Library Facilities Projects Manager


Renee Croft, Library Facilities Projects Manager, oversees the County Library Capital Grant Program. Croft previously served as Director of the Somerset County Library System from 2005 to 2008 where she led the development of a countywide master facilities plan and long range plan for the enhancement of library services resulting in an 83% increase in library usage. Prior to becoming Director of the Somerset Library System, she served as Executive Director and Treasurer of the MOLO Regional Library System, a 31 member multi-type library consortium in Ohio, from 1997 to 2005, and Director of the Holmes County District Public Library, serving the world’s largest Old Order Amish Community, from 1991 to 1997. She has also held administrative positions in public libraries in Licking and Muskingum Counties in Ohio, as well as, library support staff positions at the Cleveland Museum of Art Library and the Humanities Library at Case Western Reserve University as a college student.


Croft received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Psychology, with honors, from Case Western Reserve University, and she also holds a Master’s degree in library science from Kent State University. She is an avid supporter of the Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association and the "Paws to Read" Program for reluctant readers in school and public libraries across the U.S.


Library Services and Technology Grant Coordinator


Rocco DeBonis administers and coordinates the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant program for Maryland libraries. He also provides assistance in seeking government and private grant funding for statewide and public library initiatives.

Rocco earned his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a Master’s of Secondary Education from Mercy College, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia, and a Master’s of Library and Information Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. He taught science education at Elizabeth Blackwell Junior High School in Ozone Park, New York and was a member of the founding group of teachers who established Mott Hall II, a public charter school for specialized studies in math, science, and technology in Manhattan. After moving to Virginia, he taught writing at the University of Virginia and Northern Virginia Community College-Alexandria. Prior to joining DLDS, he was a Reference and Instruction Librarian at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), and he continues to serve as a Graduate Professor at UMUC.


Paula Isett

Marketing and Outreach Specialist


Paula Isett is responsible for providing leadership in outreach, marketing support, and training for Maryland public libraries. This position includes regular meetings of the marketing staff of the public libraries, press releases to the general public and the library community and community outreach activities which include exhibits and fairs.

With years of experience in the early childhood field, Paula began her public library career as the Coordinator of the Birth to Four Program at the Wicomico Public Library. This position included creating a story time project which collaborated with the local Rotary Club to provide child care providers with a free bag of books and monthly story time visits from the library. An early childhood newsletter was published in order to inform parents of early childhood issues. As their coordinator, Paula set up programs in Head Start and child care centers. Paula also managed grant funding and public relations for Salisbury University.

Paula earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Salisbury University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Tennessee Temple College. She is a Master of Library Science candidate at Drexel University.


Susan Paznekas

Public Library Consultant


Susan Paznekas is a Chicago native who moved to Baltimore in 1976.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Northeastern Illinois University with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Education.  She received her Master’s degree in Library Science from Rosary College (now Dominican University) in 1972.

Susan began her career as the assistant librarian for the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Chicago after receiving her master’s degree.  In 1973, she moved on to become the assistant librarian for the Environmental Protection Agency Region V in Chicago.  In 1976, she moved to Baltimore and received a promotion to transfer to the U.S. Treasury Department Library in Washington, DC, as the Acquisitions Librarian.  In 1978, she received a promotion to Assistant Librarian at the U.S. Customs Service.  In 1983, she left the federal government to become the Director of the Government Reference Service at the State Library Resource Center at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore City .  In 1989, she became a public library consultant with DLDS.

Susan was initially hired to develop and implement the Health Information Project – a four-year project designed to enhance the delivery of health information to the public through Maryland public libraries.  When that project was completed, Susan was tapped to be the LSCA Coordinator for Maryland and subsequently, the LSTA Coordinator.  In 2003, she became the Evaluation Officer for DLDS specializing in outcome-based evaluation.  In the fall of 2005, she was asked to be acting Branch Chief.  In April of 2006, with a new Branch Chief in place, she resumed her role as Evaluation Officer and also specializes in grant writing and strategic planning.

Liz Sundermann

Youth Services Coordinator


As the Youth Services Coordinator for DLDS, Liz Sundermann works with library systems around the state to help them provide cutting edge, fun, creative, and educational services for youth and their caregivers.  She has facilitated several training workshops to help librarians understand how to fully engage youth of all ages in STEM activities, and is helping public libraries make the shift to fully utilizing Maryland’s new Common Core curriculum.  She enjoys working closely with other DLDS staff and colleagues around the state to ensure that public libraries are places where children and their caregivers can go for resources and programs that will help them on their educational, social, and physical paths from infancy through high school.

Liz earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH and her MLS from Dominican University in River Forest, IL.  She has worked in retail management, at a battered women’s shelter/rehab facility, and at the Schaffner Library at Northwestern University.  In 2007 she moved from Chicago to Baltimore where she worked with neighborhood teens at an east-side branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. She moved on to be the Teen Specialist for the Enoch Pratt Free Library System/State Library Resource Center of Maryland where she worked with youth, educators, and librarians to provide excellent library services to teens. While working there she had the privilege of redesigning the teen department and piloting a program in which the Library lent e-readers to a local middle school. Liz serves on the Books for the Beast Conference Planning Committee and writes reviews of teen reading material for VOYA magazine.






Chief, Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, (LBPH)


As the Director for the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Nancy guides the direct services to approximately 10,000 blind and physically handicapped patrons throughout Maryland.  In addition, she provides oversight in development of programs, services and outreach associated with the library.  One component of the library is to provide consulting services to public libraries to insure that services and programs are inclusive and meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Most of Nancy's work has been in the southern states (Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.)  She has been a public library director, a military librarian, and a professor at University of West Alabama, College of Education, School Library Media Program and has taught as an adjunct professor with the University of Alabama, School of Library and Information Studies.  As a free-lance consultant, her areas of expertise include: public libraries, management, gerontology, grant writing, people with disabilities and staff training.  Nancy has published and presented in the area the Americans with Disabilities and staff development. A life member of the American Library Association, she served on the Council, as an at large delegate, from 2006 – 2009 and various association committees since 1987.  Her education includes a Master degree in Education, Master degree in Library and Information Studies, he University of Tennessee and Doctor of Philosophy in Library Science from Florida State University.



Assistant Director


Mollyne began her state career in 1997 as a technology librarian just as the internet was gathering momentum. Mollyne then moved into the position of Systems and Network Manager. She now directs all areas relating to technology including the infrastructure and adaptive technology.


Her earlier career includes a researcher position, managing a health science library, managing a law school library and consulting with various colleges in developing special collections. She was also the Director and Executive Director respectively, of the Metropolitan Washington Library Council, based in the District of Columbia serving the sixteen metropolitan counties, and the Southeastern New York Library Resources Council serving eight counties in New York State. . These two agencies were multitype library cooperatives that worked with public, academic, school and university libraries.


She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Curry College in Milton Massachusetts, and a second Bachelor of Fine Arts from Queens College in New York. She holds a Master’s in Library Science from The Catholic University in Washington DC. In 2008 she completed her Accessible Technology Professional Certification from California State University at North Ridge.




Reference and Outreach Coordinator


Originally from Chicago, Tyson Fogel obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Religion, with honors, and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois in 2006.  During his graduate coursework, Tyson moved to Washington D.C. to complete an internship at the Philips Art Collection, where he worked in the Archival Department assisting in provenance research of the Phillips Art Collection.  


Tyson moved to Baltimore City with his wife in 2007, and began his career as an Adult Reference Librarian at the newly built Southeast Anchor Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Highlandtown.  After helping to establish the library, Tyson was soon promoted to Assistant Manager of the Media Department at State Library Resource Center at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, where he was responsible for overseeing the Media Department’s Collection Development and Reference Services.


In November, 2008, Tyson accepted a position at the Maryland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped where he manages Reference Services, and is responsible for outreach, marketing, and program coordination.



Youth Services Coordinator


Lori Guenthner works with children from birth to 21-years-old and their caregivers.  She coordinates programming, such as the summer reading club.  In addition to her duties at the library, she presents an adapted version of Mother Goose on the Loose at Port Discovery.

Lori previously worked as a librarian for Baltimore County Public Library.  Lori grew up in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia and attended George Mason University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication.  She earned a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Drexel University.


Recording Studio Director and Coordinator of Volunteer Services

Wilhelmina came to the library in 2000 as an Office Clerk in the Recording Studio and became the Studio Manager in 2001 upon the retirement of the incumbent.  She now oversees the library’s digital audio book production and duplication, the Marylandia collection and the volunteer services program.


Her earlier experience includes owning and operating a retail business in Baltimore City; human resource management in the public sector, private sector, and health care; managing circulation at a branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library; and a stint as a research statistician in the now defunct Department of Licensing and Regulation’s Division of Savings and Loan.  This position was responsible for gathering and analyzing data and producing reports used during the final years of the Savings and Loan crisis in the late 1980’s.


She received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Towson University in Towson, Maryland and holds a Master of Science Degree in Library and Information Science from Drexel University.


Contact Information
Irene Padilla, Assistant State Superintendent For Libraries
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  (410) 767-0444
Fax:  410-333-2507
Email:  ipadilla@msde.state.md.us
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