• Librarian

    I've worked in a variety of jobs in a variety of contexts, serving children and teens, and the adults who love them, in urban, suburban, and rural areas; in homogeneous and diverse communities; in small towns and big cities. I've overseen large budgets, administering million-dollar grants and performing system-wide materials selection, and I've delivered excellent service on a shoestring. I've managed a staff of over thirty people, and worked on my own. And no matter the situation, I have tailored my efforts to the information and reading needs of the young people in my service. 

    Whatcom County Library System

    Bellingham, WA

    Youth Services Manager, 2015-present

    Dominican University

    River Forest, IL

    Curator, Butler Children's Literature Center

    Lecturer, Graduate School of Library and Information Science


    Austin Public Library

    Austin, TX

    Youth Services Manager, 2006-2009

    Spokane County Library District

    Spokane, WA

    Youth Services Coordinator, 2002-2006

    Youth Services Supervisor, 1995-2002

  • Reader

    I'm an avid reader of books for children and teens. I believe deeply in the power of story to help us make sense of the increasingly complex world we inhabit together, and hold a special affinity for books that challenge us to see one another as more the same than different.

  • Writer

    I write frequently on books, reading, and literary culture.

    Horn Book Magazine. July, 2015

    From Series to Serious

    Horn Book Magazine. May, 2015

    Horn Book Magazine, March, 2014

    Horn Book Magazine, September, 2013

    Horn Book Magazine, with Viki Ash, March, 2011

    Hundreds of book and audiobook reviews

    Booklist Magazine and Horn Book Magazine, 2006-present

  • Leader

    American Library Association

    ALA Council

    Councilor-at-Large, 2013-2016

    ALA Council Orientation Committee, 2014-2016

    American Library Association

    Association for Library Service to Children

    Chair, Newbery Committee, 2015-2017

    Chair, Managing Children's Services Committee, 2014-2015

    Chair, Nominating Committee, 2012-2013

    Immediate-Past-President, 2011-2012

    President, 2010-2011

    Vice-President/President-Elect, 2010

    Board Director, 2007-2010

    Member, Membership Committee, 2005-2007

    Member, Newbery Committee, 2003-2005

    Chair, Notable Recordings for Children, 2003-2004

    Member, Notable Recordings for Children, 2001-2003

    American Library Association

    Young Adult Library Services Association

    Member. Research Committee, 2017-2018

    Member, Presidential Task Force, 2011-2012

    Member, Youth Participation Committee, 2003-2004

  • Speaker

    I speak regularly around the country, doing presentations and training on topics including book evaluation & selection; book talking; diversity; library programming & service; and mission integration.

    Association for Library Service to Children

    Bill Morris Seminar

    "Getting the Most out of Book Discussion" 2016

    Picture Book Reflections

    Washington State Early Learning Public Library Partnership Symposium, 2015

    Texas Library Association

    TLA Preconference

    Facilitator, Mock CaldeNott, 2015

    Texas Library Association

    TLA Conference

    Moderator, Youth Literature Diversity Summit, 2015

    Texas Library Association

    TLA Conference

    Trainer, Texas State Book Award Committees, 2015

    Northern Illinois University

    Featured Booktalker, Children's Literature Conference, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011

    San Antonio Public Library

    "The ABCs of Annotations, Booklists, and Collections" 2014

    Spokane County Library District

    "Chairing the Boston Globe Horn Book Award Jury" 2013

    Association for Library Service to Children

    Caldecott Preconference

    "Using Caldecott Books with Older Readers" 2013

    Reaching Forward Illinois

    "Collection Development for School and Public Libraries" 2013

    Carthage College

    Featured Speaker, Caldecott Celebration, 2012

    Missouri State Library

    Statewide Summer Reading Training, 2012

    Suffolk Cooperative Library System

    "Nonfiction: It's Not Just for Homework Anymore" 2011

    Suffolk Cooperative Library System

    "Collection Development Plans: Helping Children Help Themselves" 2011

    Library Administrators Conference of Northern Illinois

    "The Best Books for Tweens of Every Age” 2011

    Illinois School Library Media Association

    "Looking at Picture Books" 2010

    Association for Library Service to Children

    ALSC Institute

    Collection Development Panel, 2010

  • Learner

    MLS, University of Pittsburgh, PA, 1995

    Specialty in Library Service to Young People.

    Elva S. Smith Scholarship, awarded to outstanding applicant with a focus on youth services.

    Class Marshall, awarded to graduate with highest GPA.

    BA, Grinnell College, IA, 1987

    Major in Art

    Associated Colleges of the Midwest Semester in Florence, Italy