Stacey Barney is an executive editor at G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers. She has edited recent New York Times bestsellers House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland, The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh and Bunheads by American Ballet Theater principal dancer Misty Copeland, as well as Caldecott Honor-winning The Cat Man of Aleppo and New York Times bestselling Ellen Hopkins’ middle grade debut, Closer to Nowhere and New York Times bestselling Katherine Arden’s middle grade series Small Spaces. This spring she welcomed an inspiring picture book biography of African American Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch, Saving American Beach from debut author Heidi King and Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes and Olivia Abtahi’s delightful and hilarious debut, Perfectly Parvin. This coming fall she looks forward to the publication of the much anticipated series opener Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray
Regis and Kahran Bethencourt are the husband-and-wife duo and the imaginative forces behind CreativeSoul Photography. With more than ten years of working with hundreds of children, families, and brands, they specialize in child and lifestyle photography while incorporating authentic visual storytelling. They live in Atlanta, Georgia.
Pauline Boss, Ph.D.; Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota; family therapist; and consultant is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and a former president of the National Council on Family Relations. With her groundbreaking work in research and practice, Dr. Boss coined the term ambiguous loss in the 1970s and since then, developed and tested the theory of ambiguous loss, a guide for working with families of the missing, physically or psychologically. She summarized this research and clinical work in her widely acclaimed book, Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief (Harvard University Press, 2000). In addition to hundreds of academic articles and book chapters, her books include Loss, Trauma, and Resilience: Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss (W. W. Norton, 2006) and Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope While Coping with Stress and Grief (Jossey-Bass, 2011). Her most recent book is The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic, to be published by W. W. Norton in November 2021.
Cozbi A. Cabrera is a multimedia artist. Trained as an art director, this Parsons School of Design grad left her dream job creating music packaging in NY (art direction and design for artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and award winning platinum selling artist Ginuwine) to make handmade collectible cloth dolls (Muñecas) in honor of her Honduran heritage. Her dolls were featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Martha Stewart Living, Land Of Nod catalogue, and many US networks. Cozbi’s star reviewed illustrated titles include: Beauty Her Basket by Sandra Belton, Thanks A Million by Nikki Grimes, Stitchin’ and Pullin’ by Patricia McKissack, Most Loved in All the World by Tonya Cherie Hegamin, and Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade. Cozbi has authored/illustrated My Hair Is A Garden and Me and Mama.
Andrienne Cruz is a public librarian who orders ebooks and loves recommending books! Cruz is a Booklist reviewer, NoveList contributor, and LibraryReads board member. She loves to read a wide variety of books to better prepare for any book requests that might come her way!
Sandra Farag is the Head of Youth Services for Kalamazoo Public Library, where she supervises a team to ensure high standards in collections, programming, and community partnerships—with a focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Prior to working at KPL, Sandra was the Manager of Youth Collection Development for Ingram Library Services, providing libraries with curated collections, and developing new and ongoing diversity resources. Sandra also worked for the New York Public Library for 17 years, and also 3 years working simultaneously with NYPL and Brooklyn Public Library as a Supervising Librarian with the Youth Collection Development team. She curated collections for both NYPL and BPL while supporting programs and initiatives. She is active in ALA (ALSC, YALSA, LLAMA, EMIERT, RRT, SRRT) and currently collaborating on projects with BCALA and GNCRT. Sandra has served on award committees such as: #WNDB Walter Award, ALSC’s Batchelder Award, and YALSA’s Excellence in Nonfiction Award.
Derek Ivie is the Youth Services Coordinator at the Suffolk Cooperative Library System in Bellport, NY. He is also the co-chair of the Long Island Library Pride Alliance (LILPA) whose purpose is to provide LGBTQIA+ information, services, and materials to library professionals on Long Island. Outside of the library world you can find him enjoying a cold brew, reading YA novels, and co-hosting the pop culture podcast, A Bite Of.
Named the 2020 National Librarian of the Year by School Library Journal and Scholastic, a 2019 Library Journal Mover and Shaker and the 2019 National Teacher Award for Lifelong Readers by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and Penguin Random House (PRH) , Cicely Lewis is a school librarian with a passion for creating lovers of reading. In 2017, she started the Read Woke challenge in response to the shootings of young unarmed black people, the repeal of DACA, and the lack of diversity in young adult literature. Her students were required to read books that challenge the social norm and give voice to the voiceless. Using this platform, she had inspired the nation to Read Woke with educators across the world joining in and sharing the movement with their students. A native of Mississippi, she currently resides in Georgia with her Anime loving husband, Michael and two rambunctious children, Tristan and Trinity. When she is not reading, you can find Cicely writing for her bi-monthly column in the School Library Journal where she shares her book recommendations. Her writing was recently featured in the 20th Anniversary Edition of Walter Dean Myers 145th Street Short Stories.
Denene Millner is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of 31 books, including The Fresh Princess, co-written with Will Smith, and The Vow, the novel on which the Lifetime movie, “With This Ring,” was based. Denene also is editor of Denene Millner Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint that won Newbery and Caldecott honors and the Kirkus Prize for Children’s Literature in its debut year. Denene also is co-host of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “A Seat at the Table,” an Emmy-nominated talk show about black women, and host of “Speakeasy,” a podcast that examines blackness.
Alene Moroni is a Sagittarius who’s been professionally pushing books for more than a quarter century. She spent the first couple of decades at two giant library systems (one on each coast) and in 2015 settled into a small standalone library in western Massachusetts. She takes milk and sugar in her tea, likes peanut butter on most things, and does laundry to relax.
Senior Director of Library Marketing Talia Sherer coordinates the library marketing activities of Macmillan’s adult publishers, which include St. Martin’s Press, Henry Holt, Tor/Forge, Minotaur, Picador, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Celadon, Wednesday and Flatiron Books. Talia was chair of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) Trade Libraries committee for four years and was proud to be named a 2010 Library Journal Mover & Shaker!
Kaite Stover is the Director of Readers’ Services for The Kansas City Public Library. She holds Master’s degrees in Library Science and English Literature from Emporia State University. Stover is the co-editor of The Readers’ Advisory Handbook (ALA Editions 2010) with Jessica E. Moyer. From 2004-2016, Stover wrote the “He Reads, She Reads” column for Booklist with David Wright and wrote, “Under the Radar” for Public Libraries from 2012-2017. Stover is a founding member and former Steering Committee member for LibraryReads. During the pandemic, Kaite read and listened to far more books than she thought possible, failed to learn how to use an InstaPot, and walked streets in her neighborhood she never knew existed.
Natasha Tarpley is the author of the bestselling picture book I Love My Hair!, as well as other acclaimed titles for children and adults. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and numerous other awards and she is the cofounder of Voonderbar! Media, a project seeking to expand the depictions of children of color in media. She lives with her family in Chicago, Illinois.
Rebecca Vnuk is the Executive Director of LibraryReads. She has an MLIS from Dominican University and worked as a public librarian for a decade before becoming the editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist magazine. Rebecca is the author of three reference books on the topic of Women’s Fiction, as well as a best-selling book on weeding library collections. She was named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2010 and was the 2010 PLA Allie Beth Martin Award Winner for distinguished Readers Advisory Service. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two tween sons (both of whom still love to read, whew!).
Sara Wedell is the Collections Manager at the Ann Arbor District Library. In her 15-year career as a public librarian, she has worked in organizations sized small, medium, and large.
Jane White received her BA and AMLS from the University of Michigan. She spent 15 years working in public libraries as a Children’s, YA and Reference Librarian before accepting a position with the publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. She spent the next 23 years at Wiley in various positions including Account Manager, Regional Sales Director and Global Director of Sales Support. She is currently the Library Success Manager at Above the Treeline and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.