Business & Marketing
Bill Ott, Editor & Publisher, has been at Booklist for 30 years. In addition to his various management duties, he continues to edit the crime fiction section of the magazine and delights in discovering new hard-boiled writers, particularly those who set their stories in Europe and Asia (where noir is more than mere window dressing). To get away from books, he attempts to play golf.
Mary Burkey is a teacher-librarian in the Olentangy School District in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to writing the “Voices in My Head” column for Booklist, she also writes the Audiobooker blog for Booklist Online. Among her many accomplishments, she chaired the very first Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production committee.
Michael Cart, author of "Carte Blanche," and a Booklist reviewer, is a former president of YALSA and of ALAN. Founding editor of the YA literary journal Rush Hour, he is the author or editor of 20 books, most recentlty Young Adult Literature: From Romance to Realism. Until his recent re-location to the Midwest, he taught YA literature at UCLA.
Kaite Mediatore Stover writes the “She Reads...” column with David Wright and refuses to give up her day job as Director, Readers' Services at the Kansas City Public Library. When she’s not reading tarot cards, gardening, tap dancing or despairing of ever redecorating her bathrooms, she’s a roadie and merch girl for her husband’s numerous bands.
David Wright ("He Reads") has a dream job in his hometown, working as a reader services librarian at the Seattle (WA) Public Library's Central Branch, and teaches readers' advisory at the University of Washington iSchool. He reads thrilling tales at his library's storytime for grownups, buys too many books, pays too many library late fees, and is otherwise just generally a mess, as is his desk.
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Joanne Wilkinson, Editor-at-Large, is responsible for editing features across the magazine as well as adult reviews; she also regularly reviews new fiction. Her previous experience as a proofreader and a copy editor has made her a bit prickly about punctuation—Booklisters who don’t have an hour to spare know better than to engage her on the current sorry state of the apostrophe.
Booklist Online Editor, works closely with the editors of Booklist to ensure a lively rapport between our print and electronic products. In addition to writing book reviews and e-newsletters, he contributes to Likely Stories, the Booklist blog, musing on publishing news and the art of the review. He has written four novels for adults and recently published his first children's book, The Other Felix (October 2011).
Brad Hooper, Editor, oversees the Adult reviewing program and participates in conferences, panels, and workshops throughout the country. The author of Writing Reviews for Readers' Advisory (2010), Read On...Historical Fiction (2005), and other books, he is Booklist’s in-house expert on history, geography, royalty, and the art of the short story.
When Donna Seaman, Senior Editor, isn’t reading and reviewing, she’s working with freelancer reviewers who cover everything from romance and poetry to health and the environment. She also teaches and speaks at creative writing programs, and serves as a book critic for Chicago Public Radio. Seaman is especially proud of receiving the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award.
Vanessa Bush, Contract Reviewer, is a former financial reporter who has worked as a freelance writer for the past ten years, editing an international housing finance magazine, contributing to Chicago Public Radio and writing book reviews for Booklist magazine. She is a former VISTA volunteer and is on the board of Young Chicago Authors, a nonprofit organization that encourages adolescents to develop writing and performance talent as a means of self-expression. She is also currently teaching a media course at Columbia College of Chicago.
Chris Anderson, Editorial Assistant, is a 20-year veteran who tracks, processes, and formats reviews from nearly 100 freelance reviewers for 4 different editors. In his spare time he enjoys occasional yard work with his wife, Kristin, at their home in Evergreen Park, IL. A former member of the Rolling Clones, and currently playing with Superband and Lost Elevator, Chris has also been known to jump onstage with just about any blues band and wail away on harmonica. He now proudly owns a harp in every key.
Annie Bostrom, Editorial Assistant, spends most of her time getting acquainted with the stacks of books that arrive every day, and then processing the reviews that follow them. She spends her time away from work reading and enjoying all Chicago has to offer, especially culinary gems and fashion treasures, both new and vintage. If you have a minute, or a few hours, ask her about her dog Arthur, the winsome Westie.
Books for Youth
Gillian Engberg, Editorial Director, Books for Youth, had been Young Adult Books Editor up until May 2011, and before then was an assistant editor at Book Links. Prior to that, she lived in the Czech Republic, where she taught English to high-school students. She also works with the Resource Center, a Chicago non-profit focused on sustainable living, which grows famously good tomatoes in its urban farms.
Ilene Cooper, Senior Editor, spends most of her day looking at, assigning, and reviewing (some) of the 7,000 children’s books that are published each year. She oversees the religion coverage for the Adult Books section of Booklist, too. On her own time, she’s (“unfortunately”) adding to mountain of children’s books by writing her own, even though her (imaginary) bumper sticker reads “I’d Rather be Knitting.”
Daniel Kraus, Senior Editor, spent a decade in the trenches of men’s and women’s magazines before initially joining ALA as an editor at American Libraries. He is the producer and director of numerous feature films, most notably the documentary Work Series. His first novel, The Monster Variations, was published in 2009, and the second, Rotters, in 2011.
Sarah Hunter, Associate Editor. Sarah came to Booklist following her work with Open Books, a literacy nonprofit in Chicago, and she’s pleased to finally make good use of her MA in English from the University of Chicago by editing the Graphic Novels section of Booklist and reviewing a surprising number of youth books every issue. Meanwhile, she’s also the editorial assistant for Booklist Online, payer of freelancers, and keeper of a very crowded desk. When she’s not reading (which is rare), she’s baking something tasty to share or planning trips to the Pacific Northwest.
Carolyn Phelan, Contract Reviewer, spends her time reading, reviewing, and discussing books for young people, from babies through teenagers. But once or twice a week, she’s transformed—into a mild-mannered librarian for a great suburban library, helping those same young people find those same books. “It’s circular, but satisfying,” she reports.
Courtney Jones, Editorial Assistant, spends her days tracking and formatting reviews, and her nights reading. Since completing her B.A. in Fiction Writing at Columbia College, she has battled a serious addiction to DIY books. Her success in this fight can be measured by the assurance with which she holds forth on topics ranging from soap- and candle-making to Web site design.
Joyce Saricks, Audio Editor, headed the Readers' Advisory department at the Downers Grove (IL) Public Library for many years. In addition to overseeing our audiobook coverage, she writes the column "At Leisure with Joyce Saricks." But she's addicted to audiobooks; when she's not reading a book, she's listening to one, while she enjoys her hobbies—cooking, walking, and traveling.
Sue-Ellen Beauregard, Video Editor, coordinates coverage for our Video Review newsletter. During baseball season, Sue-Ellen can be spotted at Milwaukee Brewers games, cheering on her favorite team and placing bets on the seventh-inning sausage race (and if you don't know what that is, you've probably never visited the land of cheese).
Candace Smith, Contract Reviewer, reviews audiobooks and videos for Booklist. She also leads a mystery book discussion group and heads the Readers’ Advisory Department at the Villa Park Public Library. In her several minutes of free time, Candy squeezes in as many mysteries as possible and cheers on Chicago’s “premier” baseball team—the Chicago White Sox.
Rebecca Vnuk is Editor, Reference and Collection Management. As the author of Read On . . . Women’s Fiction and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide, she’s an expert on Chick Lit, but she also likes to read about serial killers and zombies (it’s not all about the shoes!). If she’s not tucked away filling her head with terrifying tales or women’s weepers, she’s probably running after her two young sons. Rebecca has a BA in Theater and Music and an MLIS.
Rebecca Hayes, Editorial Assistant, comes to Booklist from a public library background. She graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI with a BA in History. At work, she bounces back and forth between Reference and Media, and she spends most of her spare time reading—no surprise there! When she can tear herself away from her books, she enjoys rediscovering her hometown of Chicago.
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Ben Segedin, Production Director, oversees the layout and design of Booklist. When he is not making PDFs, he enjoys spending time with Dora, his adorable daughter, and Carolyn, his lovely wife. If there’s any time left over after that, he might try to catch a flick, read a book, or take a nap.
Jennifer Brinson, Production Editor, lays out Booklist and creates art for both Booklist and Booklist Online. A graduate of DePaul University, she received her B.A. in art and design. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and watching live music.
Carlos Orellana, Production Editor, lays out the Youth and Media sections of the magazine and performs a plethora of extremely exciting database-related activities. A rabid music fan and LP collector, he serves as a vital staff resource, watching bad TV so we don’t have to. He is a Pisces.
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Katharine Fronk, Marketing Manager, spends her time handling Booklist marketing and the webinar program—a task not unlike herding cats. Purported to be a cat lady in some circles, this is probably why she loves her job so much. Outside of work and felines, she enjoys playing violin in the Ravenswood Community Orchestra, posing a danger in the kitchen, and riding her bike through Chicago’s neighborhoods.
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Cynthia Harden, Ad Traffic Coordinator, works with production editors on ad placement and handles ad billing and tracking, working on up to four issues at one time. Like a juggler, she keeps plates spinning, hoops twirling, and countless balls in the air. She loves reading and playing video games with her adorable five-year-old monster, DeMario.
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Mary Burkey, Chair, is a teacher-librarian in the Olentangy School District in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to writing the “Voices in My Head” column for Booklist, she also writes the Audiobooker blog for Booklist Online. Among her many accomplishments, she chaired the very first Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production committee.
Neil Hollands is an adult services librarian at Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He reviews books for Booklist and Library Journal, writes articles for publications such as RUSQ, and presents at state and national library conferences. He is the author of Read On…Fantasy Fiction (2007) and Fellowship in a Ring: a Handbook for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups (2009).
Erin Downey Howerton is a librarian and youth advocate who is passionate about exploring the intersections between libraries, education, and technology. Erin enjoys sharing new ideas and providing training to library professionals both regionally and nationally, and has written articles and book chapters on library collections, intellectual freedom, and technology topics concerning youth. Currently, she is the children's manager at the Wichita Public Library in Kansas.
Lucy M. Lockley is Collection Development Manager for the St. Charles City–County Library District in Missouri, where she coordinates the district's readers'-advisory team and instructs the staff in collection development and readers' advisory. She has served on the Reading List Council, Notable Books Council, and Zora Neale Hurston Award Committees and was cochair for the RUSA CODES Readers’ Advisory Committee. She is also the author of the chapter “Keeping Up: Genre Studies as Continuing Education” in The Readers’ Advisory Handbook (2010).
April Mazza is the Advisor for Youth and School Library Services with the Massachusetts Library System. In that role, she provides training, resources, and advisory services across the state. She has taught Children's Literature and Media at Simmons College, GSLIS, and has reviewed youth materials for a variety of publications. A highlight of her time as a children's librarian was serving on the 2012 Sibert Committee. She lives near Boston with her husband, who she met at the library, and her cat, Taco, who has her own Facebook page.
Elizabeth McChesney, Director of Children’s Services for Chicago Public Library, is responsible for staff and system-wide services to youth for the city's 80-branch library system. Service to underserved populations is her professional passion, and she has received national attention for her redesign of the library's summer reading program to include twenty-first century skills. Liz is also the mother of twin 11-year-old daughters who can, and do, out-read her on a daily basis. She enjoys travel —especially when it doesn’t involve driving in the school carpool.
Debbie McLeod, Youth Collections Specialist for the Johnson County Library (Overland Park, Kansas), selects children’s and YA materials for a 13-branch system. When not heeding the desires of book and AV users, she’s busy in her role as matriarch of a clan that consists of one semiretired husband, one law-student daughter, one journalist daughter, one Marine son-in-law, four horses, five ponies, one miniature donkey, five dogs, and one cat. To relax, she travels to get away from it all.
David Tyckoson is the Associate Dean of the Henry Madden Library, California State University–Fresno. He came to Fresno as Head of Reference in 1997. Prior to moving to California, he held positions at SUNY–Albany, Iowa State University, and Miami (Ohio) University. He has been involved with reference service for 30 years and has written extensively about reference service and the reference interview. The chair of the Reference Books Bulletin Editorial Board, he is an active member of RUSA and served as RUSA President in 2007–2008.
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