Meet the Youth Department Staff
Stephanie Rivera, Youth Department Director
“”You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
— Madeleine L’Engle
Stephanie has been a budding bookworm since before she could walk. Her love of reading even created true love of its own — she met her husband while working at her college’s library. She likes to read all sorts of books, especially realistic and historical fiction. Instilling a genuine love of reading is her passion, and she enjoys the challenge of helping children find that just-right book.
Melissa Hilt, Youth Department Assistant Director
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”
— Walt Disney
Melissa loves the Glen Ellyn Public Library so much that she just keeps coming back! Growing up, she knew she wanted to work with kids and combined this love with her love to read. She enjoyed working at the library as a teen. Her responsibilities include booking outside performers to educate and entertain our young readers and coordinating Summer Reading.
Catherine Almendinger, Early Literacy Librarian
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
— John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
Katy was raised in a family of readers. She became a librarian to share her love of books with others and does so in Book Babies, After School Stories and Glen Ellyn Preschool classrooms. But if you don’t want to talk about books, she’d be happy to talk about the Green Bay Packers, popcorn or her current favorite recipe.
Christina Keasler, Middle School Librarian
“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives.”
— Roald Dahl, Matilda
As a child, Christina actually played library — not store or house, but library — and becoming a librarian just made sense. When she’s not teaching middle school students how to do something awesome, she’s learning new technologies or working with the 3D printer. She loves reading and movies, and can even appreciate a bad movie adaptation.
Amy Waters, School Liaison
“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”
— Anna Quindlen
Amy Waters has been at GEPL since 2001, when her children were students in Glen Ellyn. She grew up surrounded by books, biking to the library and later working at a succession of bookstores starting with Kroch’s and Brentano’s. She has 16 bookshelves in her home and is ready to talk about what you’re reading!
Kate Easley, Youth Librarian — Homeschool Services
“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”
— Dr. Seuss
Kate loves reading and working with kids, so being a youth librarian is the perfect fit. Her favorite parts of the job are doing storytimes and working with the homeschooling families. Her favorite books as a kid were Little Women, Anne of Green Gables and The Babysitters Club. Other than reading, she loves dancing, theater and being outside.
Deanna Siegel, Youth Librarian
“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”
— Lemony Snicket
Deanna creates and organizes engaging and fun programs for the Youth Department. Her favorite book series when she was a child was A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. She also likes to write poems, short stories, long stories, fiction, non-fiction — she will write it all!
Kelly Mahoney, Youth Associate
“Once you were a child…you asked questions because you wanted answers and were glad when you had found them. Become that child again: even now.”
— C.S. Lewis
Kelly is an avid reader and writer who has never stopped asking questions. She loves to revisit her favorite books over and over again while always discovering new ones. She has worked as a middle school teacher, camp leader, theatre director and school librarian. Kelly enjoys helping kids of all ages have fun while exploring new things.
Megan Stepniewski, Youth Associate
“It’s good to help children achieve their dreams, but dinosaurs are now becoming a real problem. So lets dial it down just a little bit.”
— Joseph Fink, Welcome to Night Vale
Megan is a child who survived adulthood, so working with children is like working with her own kind. Having a background in Professional Storytelling, as well as, a degree in Elementary Education, she is well equipped in creating fun and wacky ways to learn and have great time. What drives her is a passion of curiosity and she wishes to spread that curiosity to others.
Angela Vahle, Youth Associate
“There’s no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading, and kids who are reading the wrong books.”
— James Patterson
Angela has worked with kids as long as she can remember. It brings her to life to be around these precious young ones who never hesitate to tell you exactly what they think about things! Angela loves connecting kids with books that set their imaginations ablaze and is also excited to share her bilingual expertise in special programs at the library!