The story behind the people behind the desks...
Library Director: Donita Carlquist-Ward Email Donita
Donita has been with the Wells Branch Community Library since 2002, serving first as the Children's Librarian and as Director since 2004. She moved to Wells Branch in 2000 where she received her MLS from Texas Woman's University. Donita is kept busy with her 3 children and the menagerie of strays they've rescued. She enjoys quiet evenings at home with her husband, live theater, and trying new restaurants- preferably those with extensive dessert menus.
Administrative Assistant/ Bookkeeper: Karen Mustard Email Karen
Karen Mustard was born in Alamogordo, New Mexico and eventually moved to El Paso, Texas. As soon as she could (at 18) she moved to Austin where she settled down. Currently, her extended family includes 1 husband, 2 children, 4 dogs, 3 cats, 2 horses, a donkey and a goat. She received her Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin in 1988. On her off time she enjoys all sorts of creative things, jewelry making, various art projects, sprinkler systems and writing computer applications for personal use. She even plays drums every now and then (never turns down a good jam session). When she's not busy with projects she can be found on the couch with a good spy novel.
Children's Librarian: Kristin Johnson Email Kristin
Kristin grew up in south Austin, and has been with the Wells Branch Community Library since 2008. She graduated from Southwestern University with a B.S. in Communication Studies, then received her Masters of Library and Information Science and Youth Librarianship Certification from the University of North Texas. Kristin loves children's literature, cookbooks, comics, and graphic novels. She loves reading, doing crafts, cooking, and spending time with with her husband, son, and dogs.
Circulation Supervisor: Natalee Corbett Email Natalee
Natalee grew up in the wilds of West Texas. After 22 years in the desert, she had had quite enough of pump jacks and tumbleweeds, so she packed up and headed east for the deep, deep south. Natalee received her BA in History from the University of Georgia in 2005. She's happily served as Circulation Supervisor at Wells Branch Community Library since 2007. In her spare time she enjoys reading, writing, hanging out with her dog, and winning at Words with Friends.
Adult Program & Service Librarian: Brittany Hecker Email Brittany
Brittany was born in Waco, Texas and raised in Round Rock. Growing up, she always had her nose in a book, so no one was surprised when she announced her intention to become a librarian. She is currently working towards a Master's degree in Library Science. When not working or studying, she is usually hiking, reading fantasy, science and history books, or watching classic TV and movies.
Library Associate, Volunteer Services: Katrina O'Keefe Email Katrina
Katrina was born in El Paso but managed to grow up all over the world thanks to being an Army brat. In 2001 she wound up in Round Rock. In 2012 she graduated from Texas State University with a B.A. in History and in 2014 got her Masters of Information Science from the University of North Texas. Katrina and her husband are often seen acting with a respected local theater troupe, teaching at Renaissance European re-enactments,or just trying out new places to eat. She loves to read sci-fi, mysteries, knitting books, and biographies of historical women. Katrina is staff for three cats and sometimes a college-aged child.
Library Associate, Youth Services: Linda Lam Email Linda
Linda was born and raised in Austin, TX, and recently graduated from Southwestern University with a B.A. in Education. One of the most important things to know about Linda is that she loves penguins and will enjoy almost anything related to penguins! She enjoys listening to music (specifically, but not limited to, K-pop), reading children's books and manga, watching Asian dramas, random dancing, arts and crafts, knitting, a nice nap on a good day, and spending time with friends, family, and pets.
Library Associate, Technical Services: Veronica Johnson Email Veronica
Veronica grew up just outside of El Paso, TX. In school she would often spend recess, and the occasional PE class she could talk her way out of, hanging out in the library helping the librarian and reading everything she could get her hands on. Collecting, reading, and loving books has been her lifelong passion, and she has always had a need to be surrounded by large quantities of books. She went to college in Albuquerque, NM and graduated with a BA in Spanish in 2010. She met and married her incredibly charming husband while in New Mexico. 3 years later their small family grew to include an amazingly cute little boy who also loves books. When not at work Veronica enjoys arts & crafts, cooking, and reading the same book to her child a million times before he tires of that particular book. She has yet to be able to walk out of a bookstore empty handed. That’s why working at the library is her dream job. Veronica is constantly forcing her arts & crafts and positive attitude on everyone at the library. She's pretty sure that's her superpower.
Library Assistant: Hannah Quintana Email Hannah
Hannah lived in the Corpus Christi until moving to Austin in the summer of 2009. A year later she began volunteering at the Wells Branch Library and she joined the staff in 2011. Hannah graduated from Connally High School in 2014 and is pursuing an Art degree with specialization in game art at ACC. She is also a giant video game, Manga and Greek Mythology nerd.
Library Assistant: Nathaniel Hailu Email Nathaniel
Nathaniel was raised in Wells Branch, and has lived in Austin for 21 years. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014 with a degree in Radio, Television, and Film production. When he isn't contemplating the meaning of life and the path towards happiness and fulfillment, he enjoys immersing himself in comic books, videogames, and movies. He is currently working on his budding career as a film producer/radio dramatist/hip-hop superstar.
Library Assistant: Michelle Zarse Email Michelle
Michelle was born and raised here in Austin and has lived in Wells Branch her entire life (with the exception of the year she spent studying abroad in Korea). She has attended both the University of North Texas and Korea University in the pursuit of a Bachelors in Library Science and has future plans to acquire a Masters as well. She is exceptionally fond of books, cats, video games, and cute things. She assists Linda in supervising the Teen Advisory Group (T.A.G.) to bring awesome books and fun activities to teens. (Join T.A.G.!)
Library Assistant: Jacob Vera Email Jacob
Jacob was born and raised in the Austin area, moving from Pflugerville to Wells Branch at a young age, and growing up here in the community. He attended Wells Branch Elementary, went on to Deerpark Middle School, and is now currently enrolled at McNeil High School and working towards graduation in 2016. He enjoys reading fantasy books and books on space exploration, playing video games, biking, and watching football.
Library Assistant: Stefani Ozbek Email Stefani
The newest member of the Wells Branch Library team, Stefani is our new library assistant. She hails from beautiful San Diego, CA. Stefani is a military veteran as well as a hair stylist, in addition to her duties at the WBL. She will be finishing her BA in Business sometime soon. Stefani recently moved to Austin in March and enjoys every minute of free time outdoors with her beautiful wife and 3 chihuahuas! She loves dog parks, biking, hiking, and kayaking. She enjoys helping others and is always excited to try something new and learn.