Meet the Youth Department Staff
Heather McCammond-Watts, Youth Department Director
“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten”
— Neil Gaiman, Coraline
Heather grew up in Kansas, and naturally wished to travel to Oz and other magical places through reading. She loves reading any book that involves a difficult quest, and potentially meeting a dragon or a wizard along the way. Heather enjoys telling silly stories to kids, baking, gardening, music, theater, and playing board games. Her favorite mythical creature is a phoenix, because they are always reinventing themselves, they can heal others with their tears, and they can fly!
Melissa Hilt, Community Engagement Librarian
“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, Youth Department Asst. Director and Youth Technology 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 kids 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.
Tom Malinowski, Middle School Librarian
“Well, maybe it started that way. As a dream, but doesn’t everything. Those buildings. These lights. This whole city. Somebody had to dream about it first. And maybe that is what I did. I dreamed about coming here, but then I did it.”
— Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach
Tom Malinowski is the new Middle School Librarian. When he’s not having fun at work, he can be found performing stories written by grade school kids with the comedy troupe, Barrel of Monkeys. Tom has been journaling for over 30 years and dabbles in poetry, particularly sestinas. He leans towards fantasy and science fiction for literature, movies, and TV.
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.
Cristina Bueno, Youth Associate
“”There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we spent with a favorite book.“
— Marcel Proust
Cristina has been a lover of books and libraries since her preschool days. She has a background in Museum Education and is happy to be putting her programming skills and love of children to use at the library. She enjoys reading all kinds of books, but is especially drawn to fantasy and science-fiction. Her favorite childhood series is Dorrie the Little Witch by Patricia Coombs.
Alexa Moffat, Youth Associate
“You can’t pick out the pieces you like and leave the rest. Being a part of the whole thing, that’s the blessing.”
— Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
As a child, Alexa could often be found curled up in her bed late at night reading a Nancy Drew mystery by flashlight. In 20 years, not much has changed. She began her career as a first-grade teacher and loves sharing good books with children. Alexa is energized by seeing children’s imaginations come alive as they read and explore new topics.
Kelli Rolston, Youth Associate
“Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!”
— Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
One of Kelli’s favorite memories as a child was learning to read her first words from a book checked out at her hometown library. Millions of words read later, she has been blessed to share the joy of reading for the first time with her classroom students, young readers at a local school library, and her own children. Kelli looks forward to creating other “magic hour” moments for children that will inspire them to soar into reading.