Youth Department Staff
Christina Keasler, Youth Department Director
“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.
Contact Christina by email at ckeasler followed by @gepl.org or 630-790-6733.
Sophie Kenney, Youth Department Assistant Director
“When there are many worlds, you can choose the one you walk into each day.”
– Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming
In every stage of life, Sophie has looked to libraries to help her learn, connect with others and explore the world around us. She is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion and loves reading books about and meeting people different than herself. Sophie teaches youth technology classes and plays the ukulele, but hasn’t tried doing both at the same time yet.
Contact Sophie by email at skenney followed by @gepl.org or 630-790-6736.
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.
Contact Melissa by email at mhilt followed by @gepl.org or 630-790-6734.
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.
Contact Katy by email at calmendinger followed by @gepl.org or 630-790-6739.
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
Since March, 2018 Tom Malinowski has been the 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, Playmakers Laboratory. Tom has been journaling for over 30 years and dabbles in poetry, particularly sestinas. He leans towards fantasy and science fiction for literature, video games, movies, and TV.
Contact Tom by email at tmalinowski followed by @gepl.org or 630-790-6738.
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!
Contact Amy by email at awaters followed by @gepl.org or 630-790-6737.
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.
Contact Kate by email at keasley followed by @gepl.org or 630-790-6787.
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.
Contact Alexa by email at amoffat followed by @gepl.org
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.
Contact Kelli by email at krolston followed by @gepl.org
Cathy Mori, Youth Associate
“Reading one book is like eating one potato chip….”
— Diane Duane, So You Want to Be a Wizard
The day she learned how to read Cathy excitedly ran home from school, eager to share the joy of reading with her family. She’s been reading ever since and as a child would often have to be told to “put the book down and go outside and play.” When she’s not reading she enjoys digging into her family history and working on the occasional craft project. Cathy also speaks Japanese.
Contact Cathy by email at cmori followed by @gepl.org or 630-790-6787.
Jacquei Hyde-Young, Youth Associate
“There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you… until the day you begin to share your stories. And all at once, in the room where no one else is quite like you, the world opens itself up a little wider to make some space for you.” — Jacqueline Woodson, The Day You Begin
Jacquei has always found herself at home when she walks into a library. There may not always be familiar faces, but the welcoming atmosphere, overabundant number of materials, and other unique offerings give her plenty to enjoy and explore. Aside from reading and taking “field trips” to other libraries whenever she can, Jacquei loves spending time with her children, going to concerts, and cheese. Jacquei is super excited to meet everyone who walks in, so stop in and say “Hi!”
Contact Jacquei by email at jacquei followed by @gepl.org.