Thad Hartman is the Chief of Staff at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. He is responsible for leading operational and administrative functions for Collections, Community & Strategic Services, Facilities, Public Services and Safety & Security. In addition, he assists the CEO and Management Council in ensuring that services and resources align with organizational priorities and are reflective of, and responsive to, identified community needs.
Thad began his career as a shelving assistant at the library in 1993. He has worked in a variety of positions at the library, including most recently as Community and Strategic Services Manager. He has lead numerous projects throughout his career including the implementation of the Library @ Work program, Smartlockers, and the community center computer labs. He has also been the co-host of Hush, the library’s podcast, for the last several years. Two of the major initiatives that Thad is currently focused on is the implementation of the Facilities Master Plan and Community Impact Goals.
As a lifelong Topekan Thad developed his love of reading at a young age by going to the library and checking out Choose Your Own Adventure books, sports biographies, and books about bigfoot. Thad’s proudest moments at the library include being a member of the 2016 Library of the Year, being named an American Library Association Emerging Leader in 2006, and once managing the library softball team to a 1-11 record.
Erin Aldridge is the Executive Director of The Library Foundation, the fundraising arm of the library. She has worked with non-profit organizations including serving as marketing and sales manager at the Topeka Performing Arts Center. Aldridge has a bachelor of science in journalism and mass communication with a strategic communications emphasis from the University of Kansas.
As a civic leader she has chaired the Topeka Chamber’s young professionals organization, has been a board and committee member for numerous organizations, and just recently completed a two-year term as the president of the Junior League of Topeka.
Marie Pyko is the Chief Executive Officer for the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. She is a 30-year library veteran beginning her career by telling stories in youth services and fell in love with libraries. She has managed several areas of the library including Public Services, Red Carpet, Local History/Genealogy, the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery, Community and Technical Services.
She represents the library and the library profession regularly, advocating for literacy and libraries. Nationally she is recognized within the American Library Association, the Kettering Foundation and National Endowment of the Arts as a leader, spokesperson, and presenter. She currently serves on two Public Library Association committees focused on family engagement and strategic planning and partnership. Marie enjoys being actively involved in Topeka and communicating the essential role of the library with community leaders. She serves on the United Way On-Grade Achievement Impact Council, Smart City- Momentum 2022 and is the current president of the Rotary Club of Topeka.
Marie holds a bachelor’s degree in human development psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit and a master’s degree of library science from Emporia State University.