“My name is Andrew”
--A, My Name is Andrew by Mary McManus Burke, illustrated by Donna Ingemanson (All About Kids, 2003)
With a librarian mother and elementary school principal father, I came to children’s librarianship by nature and nurture. I was always the first kid signed up for the summer reading program in June (even the year I wasn’t born until July) and a favorite early memory is receiving a set of encyclopedias as a holiday gift. My school librarian Mrs. Iverson at Broadmoor Elementary and children’s librarians Miss Dutton and Tish Wilson at the Trotwood branch of the Dayton Metro Library sealed the deal.
In high school I began shelving picture books as an aide in Dayton, then worked the circulation desk, helped with craft programs, and set off to library school. With my MLS from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, I worked as at the Brooklyn Public Library (my first reference question was from a fifth grader looking for poems about fall) and then Bernie Nowakowski hired me at Chicago Public Library (CPL). After serving kids and families in the branches and regionals of Chicago I became CPL’s Youth Materials Specialist and now lead all of CPL’s collection team as Assistant Chief for Technology, Content and Innovation.
One of our fantastic professors when I was at Rutgers was that year’s ALA president, Dr. Betty Turock, and observing her leadership was inspiring. From that I understood that participating in ALA, and the division(s) related to your passions and closest to your heart, was the best way to move forward, reach out, and give back to our profession. I’m so proud that all of us in ALSC do just that as, together, we create a better future for children through libraries.