Something About the Authors and Songwriters
Claire Abraham is a senior librarian in the youth services division of the Fort Worth Public Library, where she has worked for the past four years. She previously worked for the Waco-McLennan County Public Library and for the Harris County Public Library Systems. Claire earned her MLS at the University of Texas at Austin. She is married and has three children, all of whom love being read to. She also has two cats, which oddly enough, prefer to nap.
A Texan for 35 years and an Oklahoman by birth, Waynetta Ausmus grew up in the heart of the famed Osage Country. From her Cherokee grandmother, she learned to love and respect all living things. At the same time, Waynetta learned the valuable role that stories can play in character building and in developing life skills.
Waynetta is a firm believer that stories can do more than entertain. They can change lives. Her warmth, good-natured humor, and gentle spirit are ever-present evidence of this belief.
Waynetta was the first artist chosen for Texas A&M’s Storyteller-in-Residence program and is listed on the Touring Artist Roster of the Texas Commission on the Arts. She also produces two syndicated radio shows, Waynetta’s Western Roundup and Hide and Horn, both of which can be heard at www.waynettaausmus.com.
Debra fell into her current job as a children’s services assistant at Harrington Library in Plano, Texas when a friend suggested she apply for a part-time job after 12 years as a stay-at-home mom. To her surprise and delight, Debra discovered she could get paid to read books and tell stories to children, write and record puppet plays, and play a multitude of characters for the Plano Public Library System’s Teen Mystery Nights and summer reading programs. Currently Debra is appearing as Trail Boss Betty in the third installment of PPLS’s summer reading promotional video “The Further Adventures of Trail Boss Betty and Readin’ Randy.” She will graduate from Amberton University in May 2006 and then intends to begin work on an MLS degree at the University of North Texas.
Teresa graduated from the University of Dallas with a Bachelors degree in philosophy in 1986. She received an MLS from the University of North Texas in 1998. Teresa worked in the children's department at the Irving Public Library from 1994 to 2003, first as a library assistant and then as a librarian. Until early 2005, Teresa worked for Fort Worth Public Library. At both libraries, she conducted weekly toddler and pre-school storytimes for crowds of around 100 parents and children.
Teresa is currently pursuing a secondary education teaching certificate and plans to go into school librarianship. She is married to a wonderful man, who is originally from Cambodia, and has two children who are learning Cambodian and English. She and her family live in Keller, Texas.
Catherine Clyde has been a children’s librarian at the Fort Worth Public Library for about 10 years. She received her MLS at the University of Texas at Austin and has worked in public and academic libraries and bookstores for many years.
Alexandra Corona currently works for the Harris County Public Library as a family literacy specialist. She graduated from the University of Houston in 2001, cum laude, with a Bachelors degree in bilingual elementary education and a minor in Spanish. Alexandra came into the library world in 2002 after teaching a first grade bilingual class. Children are her inspiration in the education world and she enjoys doing anything that involves helping and caring for others, where she can make a difference in someone's life.
Kippy Edge has been the children’s librarian for the San Patricio County Library for the past 15 years. He has a Bachelors degree in music from Angelo State University and a Masters degree in theater, music and art from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. When not performing in area libraries, Kippy plays tuba with the Corpus Christi Wind Symphony and rides his unicycle in parades. Sometimes, he does both at the same time! He has authored two musicals, “The Service” and “Rapunzel—A Hairy Tale,” and is the host of a public television children’s program, The Sweety Foods and Games Bicycle Blowout.
Paula Gonzales has worked for the past 21 years in public, university, and college libraries. Paula enjoys her career as a children’s librarian because the creative skills needed to perform her full-time work carry over into her spare-time avocation as an artist. She received her MLS in the spring of 2004 from the University of North Texas and was initiated into the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Paula currently works in children’s services at North Harris Montgomery County College District for the Cy-Fair College Library.
Sara Hickman is a prolific songwriter and performer. Born in Houston, Texas, Sara was raised in a creative family. She began playing guitar at age seven and wrote her first song when she was eight years old. Sara received a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of North Texas. After graduation, she pursued her dream of being a performer, rather than becoming an art director. Playing clubs in Dallas garnered a loyal following and Sara released her first album, Equally Scary People. After moving to Austin and having her own child, Sara became inspired by parents who were unsure how to be spontaneous, creative, or musical with their children. This led her to produce a series of recordings for children, beginning with Newborn, released in 2000. Sara is very involved in community activities, frequently lending her talents to fundraising recordings. She is also a strong supporter of public library services, especially for children, and frequently performs at Austin-area libraries. Visit her web site at www.sarahickman.com.
Jeanette Larson has worked in libraries for thirty years and has written, edited, or been involved in the production of more than a dozen Texas Reading Club manuals. Since 2000, Jeanette has been youth services manager for Austin Public Library. Prior to that she was the director of the Texas State Library’s Library Development Division and the manager of Continuing Education and Consulting Services. Her frontline experience includes five years at Anaheim Public Library in California, a year at Irving Public Library, and twelve years with Mesquite Public Library. Jeanette is the author of Bringing Mysteries Alive for Children and Young Adults, published by Linworth Publishing in 2004, and collaborated with illustrator Adrienne Yorinks to produce A Quilt of States: Piecing Together America, published in 2005 by National Geographic. Jeanette holds an MLS from the University of Southern California. She and her husband, Jim, live in Austin with a multitude of dogs and cats. Jim is often recruited to illustrate her work, while the dogs and cats primarily get in the way.
Sally Meyers has been the children's services coordinator for the Tom Green County Library System in San Angelo for fourteen years. Previously she was teacher-director of La Escuelita Preschool for nine years. Sally served on the Texas Reading Club Advisory Committee from 1994-1998 and has written the summer reading piggyback theme song every year since 1995. She has served as a member of Children's Round Table's 2x2 Committee and served as chair of student participation on the Texas Bluebonnet Award Committee. Sally is choir director at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. Sally and her husband, Craig, are raising their two grandchildren, Troy, 15 and Travis, 13.
Susan Muñoz has been a librarian for over 18 years, and has spent 13 of those years as a youth librarian at the Fort Worth Public Library. She has also worked for the Harris County Public Library as an assistant branch manager/children’s librarian. Susan received her MLS from Indiana University in 1989.
The year 2000 was a big one for Vonnie Powell. Not only did she graduate from Texas Woman’s University in Denton with an MLS, but also began her career as a youth services librarian at the Hazel Harvey Peace Youth Center of the Fort Worth Public Library. Before entering the library profession, Vonnie was a preschool teacher for twelve years at Rosemont Tuesday/Thursday School in Fort Worth.