Lissa Staley

Lissa Staley

Lissa Staley has worked as a Public Services Librarian at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library since 2001. When visiting the library, one will find her at the Reference Desk, leading book discussions, writing reviews, and helping her customers find the information they need. Lissa is ourHealth Information librarian.

How to Start, Lead, Attend and Enjoy a Book Group

Lissa will answer all of your questions and share everything you need to know about book discussion groups, including how to use the library’s “Book Group in a Bag” service to get multiple copies of the same title for your group.

Information Rx:  Health Resources @ your Library

Locating and evaluating high-quality health information from trusted sources can be a challenging endeavor. Lissa, our consumer health librarian, can show you how to access the best answers to all your health and wellness questions.

How to Write a Novel in 30

As the local leader of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) since 2003, Lissa will convince you that writing the 50,000 word first draft of a novel in the 30 days of November is not just an amazing, crazy, frantic, caffeine and creativity fueled undertaking, but that you yourself want to participate this November. Learn more at

Journaling with Words and Images

Personal Writing includes documenting your days in a diary, consciously creating memoir and family history, self-reflection, working through emotions, planning, dreaming and goal setting,  coping with depression or grief, writing about gratitude, celebrating, noticing the natural world, listing and brainstorming. Images are incorporated by adding collages, photographs, mementos, doodles, watercolor, sketches and rubbings. There is no wrong way to journal. Inspiration for journaling can come from books, prompts, published journals, and the world around you.

Learn why journaling is useful, why taking time to journal your personal thoughts is important and where to find ideas for expanding your journaling. Handouts will include prompts and inspiration for your group, and can add an interactive portion with journaling prompts and writing exercises to the presentation. Handouts can be found online.

Community of Writers

Find encouragement for your own writing while learning about the range of programs that the library offers annually for aspiring and established writers. Library programming supports writers as they try something new, learn from each other, and share their work. Library books and resources provide inspiration and tips on the craft. You could write a novel in 30 days with National Novel Writing Month, collaborate with your community to create a novel from premise to publication, hone your skills in self and traditional publication, or meet local writers at our author fair—all at your library.