PALA 2018-2019 Officers
President: Mary Bakija
Mary Bakija is in the MLIS program at Pratt, and is also currently at the Brooklyn Public Library managing a new literacy program called Team Up To Read. Designed for kids ages 5-9 and their families, she’s developing the program’s curriculum materials, hiring and training educators, providing professional development to librarians, analyzing survey data, and more. Before that, she spent many years as a journalist working mostly for web-only publications. As a result, she has a particular interest in digital preservation and the ways we can ensure today’s news is available for future researchers. She also likes to cook, craft, and collect the pennies she finds on the street.
Vice President: Ann Koh
Ann Koh is a second-semester graduate student at Pratt Institute’s School of Information, pursuing a Master of Science in Library and Information Science with an interest in archives, conservation, and digital curation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Art History from Syracuse University. Prior to Pratt, she worked in various industries including building and zoning, health services, and education. Currently, she is a page at the NYPL Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division. She is thrilled to be a part of PALA in order to advocate for students at the School of Information and create enriching experiences through lectures, workshops, and events. Ann enjoys film photography, watching movies, and visiting museums, libraries, and galleries.
Secretary: Melissa Bergoffen
Melissa Bergoffen is a second semester masters student within the Pratt Library and Information Science program. Her undergraduate degree is in Archaeology and Classical Civilizations from the University of Glasgow. Initially, she joined the program because of her love of books, and wanted a graduate agree that would allow her to share that love. However, upon completing her first semester, she finds herself fascinated with the concept of information sources, whether it be the information obtained through the study of the physicality of the objects (such as books, manuscripts, and in her case, other artifacts) or the preservation of those information sources. She is excited to be PALA’s secretary and looks forward to continuing the growth of the organization and serving the Pratt community.
Treasurer: Paolo Balboa
Paolo Balboa currently works as a Technology Instructor at the New York Public Library where he facilitates a variety of computer-related classes, ranging from an office readiness series to a 10-week web development course called Project Code. He moved to New York from Cleveland, where he worked for five years as a library assistant at the Cleveland Public Library. There, he primarily wrote and taught the organization’s computer classes, which ranged in topic from basic mouse-clicking courses to more ethereal concepts like understanding and managing one’s digital footprint. In 2017 he joined a yearlong cohort called Web Literacy Leaders, which was created by the Mozilla Foundation with money from an IMLS grant. His work with Mozilla led him to plan, organize, and program the annual meeting of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) in April 2018. In June 2018, he spoke on a panel at the annual meeting of the American Library Association called “Impact of Embedded Digital Inclusion Champions.” He has been a member of ALA and the New Members Round Table (NMRT) since May of 2018.