Staff Bios

portrait: Tracy ByerlyTracy Byerly, Chief Communications and Membership Development Officer
Tracy Rochow Byerly has been Amigos Chief Communications and Membership Development Officer since July of 2012, when the Missouri Library Network Corporation (MLNC) merged into Amigos Library Services. Tracy served as Executive Director of MLNC since December 2003 and played a key role in the merger of the two organizations.

In her current position, Tracy provides leadership and support for new members and directs membership activities. She also guides the organization’s communications activities, from managing the production of newsletters to developing informational materials and social media outlets. Prior to assuming her role as Executive Director at MLNC, she taught many workshops in her role as User Services Manager. Her library career began at St. Louis County Library, MO, where she worked in both public and technical services. Known for her knowledge of consortial management, enthusiasm and positive outlook, Tracy is a popular speaker at library meetings.

portrait: Charles CasonCharles Cason, Chief Financial Officer
Charles began his Amigos career in May 1999 as Director of Business and Accounting Services, responsible for managing the organization’s business operations and monitoring its financial performance. Previously, Charles served as Director of Administration for the North Texas Council of Governments, one of a number of positions he held with that organization. He is a graduate of Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, TX, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting, and Bachelor of Arts degree in bible and psychology. Charles served in the U.S. Army at Fort Bliss, TX, where he held the rank of captain.

portrait: Carmen CowickCarmen Cowick, Collections Care Specialist
Carmen Cowick provides training, support and consulting services for Amigos member libraries in the areas of preservation and collections care. She previously worked in the library and archives of The American Irish Historical Society, The Seamen's Church Institute, and the Special Collections department at CUNY Queens College. She received a bachelor's degree in art history and a master's degree in library science with a certificate in archives and preservation of cultural materials from CUNY Queens College in New York City.

portrait: Keith GaertnerKeith Gaertner, Chief Internal Audit and IT Officer
Keith Gaertner currently serves as Chief Internal Audit and IT Officer for Amigos Library Services. He oversees organizational management services projects, internal IT management and assists with the preparation of the Amigos annual budget.

Keith served MLNC for over 25 years prior to its 2012 merger with Amigos, responsible for accounting, personnel services, and the MLNC computer network. He began his MLNC career in 1984 as a part-time accountant, and became full-time business manager in 1987. In 2008, he was promoted to Associate Director, Business Services. Keith implemented several systems at MLNC that streamlined processes and increased organizational efficiency, including a remote deposit capture system, a member relationship management system, and a Citrix server for remote access to the network.

Keith has a Master of Arts degree in Information Technology Management from Webster University, St. Louis, a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and two Chancellor’s certificates in data processing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

portrait: Bonnie JuergensBonnie Juergens, President and Chief Executive Officer
Bonnie has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Amigos Library Services since 1989. She earned her Master of Library Science degree from the University of Arizona, Tucson, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from MacMurray College, Jacksonville, IL. She has worked for two regional library networks, a library automation vendor, in both academic and public libraries, and has provided consulting services to libraries of all types.

She has served on the American Library Association Council, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Library & Information Technology Association, and as a Delegate to the OCLC Members Council. She chaired the committee responsible for developing the Texas Library Association's Leadership Development Program, known as TALL Texans, and served on its Steering Committee from 1992-1996. She worked with library leaders throughout Texas to plan and implement TexShare, a statewide library resource-sharing program that serves over 600 libraries across the state, many of which are Amigos members.

Bonnie has published a variety of articles on library resource sharing, technology training, and application of information technology in libraries.

portrait: Arta KabashiArta Kabashi, Consulting and Education Services Manager
Arta provides training, support and consulting services for Amigos member libraries in the areas of reference, virtual reference, reference technologies, social networks and customer service skills. Prior to joining Amigos, Arta worked at the University of North Texas, Denton; and Texas Tech University, Lubbock. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Harding University, Searcy, AR; Master of Arts degree in history from Texas Tech University; Master of Science degree in library science from the University of North Texas, Denton, where she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in information science.

Arta teaches and consults in the areas of reference workflows, roving reference, virtual reference platforms, social media, reference technology planning, user experience, website accessibility, e-books and e-readers, and teaching in online environments. She presents annually at state conferences on subjects relating to reference, reference technologies, and the user experience in the library.

portrait: Christine PetersonChristine Peterson, E-book Pilot Project Manager and Continuing Education Librarian
Christine provides training, support and consulting services for Amigos member libraries in the areas of Internet and technology. Prior to joining Amigos, Christine served for eight years as the automation consultant and then manager for the Continuing Education and Consulting Department of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Before that, she was the systems librarian at San Antonio College and the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne. She holds Bachelor of Science degree in music and a Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Christine teaches and consults in the areas of e-books and e-readers, teaching in online environments, CONTENTdm (OCLC's digital asset management system), technology planning, social media, open source software, RFID, HTML, website design, website accessibility, cascading style sheets, mobile website creation and design, and XML. She tries very hard to keep up with changes in the technological landscape, and annually presents the interesting and engaging session, "Playing Catch-up with Technology," which covers what occurred on the tech front during the past year.

portrait: Bill WalkerBill Walker, Metadata and Digitization Specialist
Bill is the metadata and digitization expert at Amigos. His courses cover all aspects of digital projects and metadata, including cataloging and RDA. Prior to joining Amigos in 1996, Bill served as Music Cataloger at Southern Methodist University, Dallas. He has a Bachelor of Music degree in classical guitar and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; a Master of Music in music theory and a Master of Science in library science from the University of North Texas, Denton.