Children’s book author and New York Public Library staffer Elizabeth “Betsy” Bird will join the Evanston Public Library as collection development manager at the end of this month.

Bird has become influential in the world of children’s literature. Her blog in School Library Journal gets tens of thousands of visitors each month and she regularly reviews children’s books for Kirkus and the New York Times. A sought-after public speaker, Bird has served on the Newbery committee and been profiled in Forbes magazine.

At NYPL, she developed lecture series, storytelling events, and literary salons that attracted parents, teachers, librarians, authors and illustrators–anyone with a passion for the best in children’s literature. As a buyer of print and digital materials for NYPL, Bird oversaw a budget of $1.7 million.

“Having spent much of my professional life in New York City, it is both a thrill and an honor to be joining the people of Evanston at this time. There are few places in this country where you can find such a strong, dedicated literary community and I will do my best to give Evanston all my support and skills,” Bird, a Midwest native, said in a statement.

Evanston Library Director Karen Danczak Lyons said, “I am excited to welcome Betsy to the EPL family. Among the most important services that the Evanston Public Library provides are thoughtfully developed, skillfully managed collections of materials for all ages and in all formats and programming that engages our community. Her experience, professional network and skills will enhance our efforts and bring new thoughts and energy to our engaged, dynamic and talented team.”

Bird is the author of “Children’s Literary Gems: Choosing and Using Them in Your Library Career;” co-author of “Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature;” and the author of “Giant Dance Party.” She recently wrote the introduction to “Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age.”

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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1 Comment

  1. Betsy Bird Comes to Evanston
    This is awesome that such an accomplished, respected, and hugely followed children’s librarian is coming to our town! I’m not really up on librarians but after reading this article I googled Betsy Bird and found her to be incredibly passionate, spirited, and perhaps even a little crazy (in a good way). No doubt she will add flavor to our library and our town. Welcome to Evanston, Betsy Bird. http://www.betsybirdbooks.com/

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