About the Authors and Singer/Songwriters
Heather Coleson, author of the Celebrations, Toddler, and Preschool Programs chapters, has worked for the Dallas Public Library and currently serves as a Children’s Librarian at Nicholson Memorial Library System. Heather loves kids. She should, she has all the kids at Garland’s Nicholson Memorial Library System’s Central Library, plus four of her own! Between chauffeuring, Girl Scouts, and impromptu storytimes at home, Heather somehow manages to be a top-notch librarian. She holds a B.A. in History from UT Arlington and earned her MLS from the University of North Texas.
Laura Douglas, co-author of the Elementary chapter, is a genealogy and special collections librarian with the Denton Public Library. Laura has a bachelor of science degree in History from Texas Woman’s University and received her master of library science degree from the University of North Texas in 2003. She has worked at Denton Public in various positions for 16 years, mostly in youth services. She has worked closely with the youth services staff to develop services for young children and their families.
Susan Elliott and Joe Romano (The Non-toxic Band)
Susan Elliott and Joe Romano composed the 2010 Texas Reading Club theme song, "Catch the Reading Express!". Creative partners since 1984, these Houston, Texas natives have more than 50 years collective experience writing and performing for children. Joe is the music director for the Texas Theatre Foundation and has been a contributing songwriter for Sesame Street since 1978; Susan is an award winning studio singer whose recordings for Silver Burdett and Ginn have been used in public school systems throughout the world. In 1993, they formed The Non-Toxic Band, and shortly thereafter, began performing in Texas schools and libraries as part of the Texas Commission on the Arts touring artists roster. Their critically acclaimed recording, It All Comes Together Right Here, was recommended by Scholastic Books of New York as supplemental educational material for teachers, and has received favorable national reviews from USA Today, School Library Journal and the American Library Association's Booklist. Susan and Joe also perform together as the popular jazz duo, Mood Indigo, and both are Performing Artists in Residence at Writers in the Round, Houston.
Stacey Irish-Keffer, co-author of the Elementary chapter, has been a youth services librarian with the Denton Public Library for over twelve years. She received her B.S. in Education from the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville in 1994 and her M.L.S. from the University of North Texas in 1997. She was chair of the 2006-2007 Children’s Round Table Family Literacy Committee. Through a quirk of fate not to mention some really cool puppets, Stacey found her calling as a children’s librarian shortly after she graduated with her MLS and has not looked back since.
Jeanette Larson has been involved with the development of the Texas Reading Club for more than 25 years, writing and editing manuals and implementing programs in public libraries. Prior to establishing her freelance business in 2006, Jeanette worked as youth services manager for Austin Public Library and as the director of library development for the Texas State Library. Jeanette teaches the Youth Programs for Public Libraries course for Texas Woman’s University and is a frequent workshop presenter. She was the 2002 winner of the Siddie Joe Johnson Award and the Texas Library Association recognized her as Librarian of the Year in 1998. Jeanette is a frequent contributor to Book Links and other professional journals. Her book, Bringing Mysteries Alive for Children and Young Adults, was published by Linworth Publishing in 2004. Jeanette holds an MLS from the University of Southern California. She and her husband, Jim, live in Pflugerville with their two Schipperke dogs and two cats. The dogs enjoy riding in the car but so far have not tried any other modes of transportation.
Kay Lincycomb, author of the puppet plays, is the children's librarian at the Rowlett Public Library. She received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from West Texas State University, and her MLS from North Texas State University. She previously worked for the Nicholson Memorial Library System in Garland, and for the Garland Independent School District. She is the author of Storytimes Plus (Neal-Shuman, 2007).
Sally Meyers, author of the piggyback theme song, has been the Youth Services Coordinator for the Tom Green County Library System in San Angelo for eighteen 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 2 X 2 Committee, served as chair of student participation on the Texas Bluebonnet Award Selection Committee from 2004 to 2006 and is presently chair of the Texas 2 x 2 Selection Committee. Besides reading, Sally is an elder and choir director at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in San Angelo.
Vanessa Sáenz, co-author of the Bilingual Programs Chapter, is the Children’s Department Supervisor at the Sekula Memorial Library in Edinburg. Miss Sáenz began working in the public library system in 1999. “What do I read next?” is her favorite reference question. She loves collaborating with fellow librarians and can be reached via email, mailto:email@example.com or on her Twitter account- twitter.com/miss_nessa, where she may or may not be cyber-stalking Mr. Neil
Priscilla Celina Suárez, co-author of the Bilingual Programs Chapter, forms part of the McAllen Public Library team. A native to the Rio Grande Valley, she works in a bilingual community less than half an hour from the Reynosa International Bridge and coordinates programs for the children and teen populations. Author of Hija of the Valley, she has had a great experience writing poetry for children. Priscilla will also be a presenter during the Cool Teen Programs panel at ALA 2009.