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 both YALSA and ALAN. Recipient of the 2000 Grolier Foundation Award and first winner of the YALSA/Greenwood Publishing Group Service to Young Adults Achievement Award, he is the author or editor of twenty-two books, most recently Cart's Top 200 Adult Books for Young Adults. Until his recent relocation to the Midwest he taught young adult literature at UCLA.
Kaite Mediatore Stover writes the "She Reads..." column and refuses to give up her day job as Director, Readers' Services at the Kansas City Public Library. Kaite is the co-editor of The Readers' Advisory Handbook, a regular contributor to Book Group Buzz, and co-writes the "Under the Radar" column for Public Libraries. Kaite was the recipient of the 2012 Allie Beth Martin Award and was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2003. When she's not reading tarot cards, gardening, or tap dancing, 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. He reads thrilling tales at his library's story time for grownups, buys and checks out 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 (most notably REaD ALERT), he contributes to Likely Stories, the Booklist blog, musing on publishing news and the art of the review. He is the author of four novels for adults and one children's book, The Other Felix (2011).
Sarah Grant, Editorial Assistant, spends her days preparing content to be published on Booklist Online, updating Booklist's Facebook page, and assisting with various administrative tasks. She is a proud graduate of Booklist's internship program, having been an intern in 2012, and holds a master's degree in the Humanities from the University of Chicago, where she studied modernist literature and theater. She also works in Chicago's theater scene as a dramaturg and actor, and is an ensemble member at Red Tape Theatre.
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, Publishing Assistant, is a Booklist veteran who logs in and mails out scores of new titles for three different editors, and tracks, processes, and formats the reviews of many freelance reviewers. In his spare time, he enjoys entertaining his son, Dean (born in 2012), and doing yard work with his wife, Kristin. A former member of the Rolling Clones, and currently playing with cover band Cloud of Shame, Chris has been known to jump onstage with any blues, rock, or country band and sing or wail away on harmonica. He proudly owns a harp in every key.
Books for Youth
Daniel Kraus, Editor, Books for Youth, 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, and the author of several YA novels, including Rotters and Scowler, both of which won the Odyssey Award. His next novel, Trollhunters, is co-authored with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.
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."
Gillian Engberg, Editor of Book Links, served as Editorial Director of Books for Youth from 2011 to 2014. Prior to that, she lived in the Czech Republic, where she taught English to high-school students. She currently lives in Switzerland.
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. When she's not reading (which is rare), she's baking something tasty to share or planning trips to the Pacific Northwest.
Julia Smith, Associate Editor, is a graduate of the MLIS program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She worked for six years as a bookseller, and was most recently a CyberNavigator with Chicago Public Library. She is also trained in aerial acrobatics.
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.
Maggie Reagan, Editorial Assistant, has two loves in life—books and horses. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from Denison University and attended the NYU Summer Publishing Institute, perfect preparation for Booklist, where she spends her days tracking (and pining after) children's books and their reviews. Maggie enjoys poetry, country music, Joss Whedon, and weird musical theater. Away from work, you can usually find her reading or riding.
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 three nonfiction titles on Women's Fiction (including Women's Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests), she's an expert on Chick Lit, but she also likes to read about serial killers and zombies (after all, 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.
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 Uhrich, Marketing Director, 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.
Dan Kaplan, Periodicals Manager, has worked in the newspaper, book, and magazine publishing business for more than 25 years, and has experience in online publishing, digital product development, ecommerce, circulation, and consumer marketing. He's a coffee fiend, a news junky, an avid reader, and a public transportation commuter—but not necessarily in that order. Thanks to Booklist, he keeps his wife and two kids supplied with a steady stream of ARCs and review copies to meet their every need (known or unknown).
Annie Bostrom, Marketing Associate, is a key part of the well-oiled machine that is Booklist webinars. When not elbow deep in PowerPoints and webinar calendars, Annie assists with marketing, production, and editorial. Annie loves Chicago summers, and is grateful that the other nine months of the year coincide nicely with the academic calendar, when she continues to pursue her MLIS.
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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). When he isn't in the library, Neil is working on stage or behind the scenes at a theater or traveling with his wife.
Erin Downey Howerton is an experienced public librarian and youth advocate who is passionate about exploring the intersections between libraries, education, and technology. Erin has served on the Margaret A. Edwards and Printz Award committees, and has written several book chapters on collections for youth, intellectual freedom, and technology in the library. Currently, she is the Children's Manager at the Wichita Public Library (Ks.). In her free time, she keeps up with trends online and enjoys learning new silversmithing techniques.
Lucy M. Lockley is the Collection Development Manager for the St. Charles City–County Library District in Missouri. She also coordinates the district's readers' advisory training program. Lucy has served on various RUSA award committees, co-chaired the RUSA CODES Readers' Advisory Committee, and is author of the chapter "Keeping Up: Genre Studies as Continuing Education" in The Readers' Advisory Handbook (2010). She is addicted to audiobooks and, with her husband and two grown children, is a HUGE fan of trivia, animation, special effects, and action films.
April Mazza is an 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 (whom she met at the library) and their 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. Before 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. For Booklist, he works with Rececca Vnuk as the Reference and Collection Management advisor. He is an active member of RUSA and served as RUSA President in 2007–2008.
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