Youth Services Staff

Angie Reed

Library Superpower:
I am always geared up for a book talk and can’t wait to tell you what I’m reading.

Likes to read and recommend:
YA Fiction, specifically Fantasy and Science Fiction, and kids chapter books.

A favorite library visitor:
Open minded, enthusiastic readers looking for their next great read and wanting to discuss their favorite reads.

Arion Beals

Library Superpower:
My super powers are helping you figure out how to use your technology to achieve your goals. I can also come up with some pretty fun and creative crafts.

Likes to read and recommend:
I like to read juvenile and young adult fantasy fiction especially anything about dragons.

A favorite library visitor:
I love seeing all our patrons but especially those who come back to tell me about the successes they had using their technology after I’ve helped them learn how to make it do what they needed. I also love anyone who comes in to join me in creating something fabulous or to share something fabulous they’ve been creating.

Betty Jean Neal

Betty Jean NealLibrary Superpower:
My enthusiasm and my smiling face!

Likes to read and recommend:
I love Science Fiction and Fantasy for the older readers. For the younger readers, I like to recommend things that are funny.

A favorite library visitor:
I like sharing favorite vampire books or dystopias with the teens, working with the babies in Baby Bookworms and sharing the joy of just beginning to read on their own with the Easy Reader crowd.

Carrie Podlena

Library Superpower:
Finding books for reluctant readers. I think patrons can hear how much I enjoyed the books I recommend in my descriptions. I like to recommend the books on the William Allen White Award list because I read and enjoy each and every one of them.

Likes to read and recommend:
My favorite genres are realistic and historical fiction.

A favorite library visitor:
Because I work with all ages of students in my full-time job as the librarian at a grade school and high school, I like when all students visit the library, but I feel I have the most knowledge about books in the 3rd grade through 8th grade range.

Dawn Buttery

Dawn ButteryLibrary Superpower:
Reading stories aloud with a terrific voice.

Likes to read and recommend:
Great new picture books, biographies, memoirs and historical fiction.

A favorite library visitor:
I love it when animals come visit the library; whether it’s 4H pets, the reading dogs, the chicks we hatch, or the small critters from the zoo. They all get kids excited about nature.

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Deborah Reiff

Library Superpower:
My superpower is connecting with the families of young children and guiding them toward a love of learning.

Likes to read and recommend:
I like to read and recommend Newbery Medal winners. Dystopian novels are my favorite.

A favorite library visitor:
I love seeing families return week after week, especially those I’ve met in Baby Bookworms or on the Learn & Play Bus.

Jennifer Grammer

Library Superpower:
Finding that super awesome book that you didn’t even know you wanted!

Likes to read and recommend:
I like to read YA realistic fiction, cook books, memoirs and anything funny!. I like to recommend graphic novels and nonfiction books to kids.

A favorite library visitor:
I like school age kids and their families. I enjoy sharing the library story with all of the family members. I do school outreach programs and it is so fun when those students come in and say I remember you from my school when you talked about bugs!

Joyce Hedlund

Joyce HedlundLibrary Superpower:
My library superpower is Preschool storytime! I love to prepare and present a super duper fun loving, learning pack storytime for preschoolers!!

Likes to read and recommend:
I read a lot of picture books, to preview for storytime. I can recommend great books for a storytime and give hints on how to involve preschoolers in the book you are reading!

A favorite library visitor:
My favorite visitors to the library are the preschoolers that we service in community. They are so amazed to see me at the library and always ask to see Boomer and get a sticker. It is also a treat to see them in the community and have them recognize me as “the library lady!”

Judy Espinosa-Gonzalez

Judy Espinosa-GonzalezLibrary Superpower:
I am able to speak to customers in Spanish and English.

Likes to read and recommend:
I like to read and recommend picture books and historical books.

A favorite library visitor:
I really like it when new Spanish speaking families come to the library.

Katie Simmons

Library Superpower:
Doing everything in my power to get you the books you want/need.

Likes to read and recommend:
I’m game for J and YA books. Personal interest and good versus evil are favorited. I like to recommend books based on interest, not based on age or reading level.

A favorite library visitor:
Anyone interested in learning, from the basics of reading and writing to nuclear engineering.

Kathy Ellison

Library Superpower:
I know everything about our picture book collection and can share hundreds of my favorites that will soon become your favorites, too.

Likes to read and recommend:
Picture books! Stories about animals, getting along, growing up, toilet training, you name it.

A favorite library visitor:
The library’s morning visitors are busy at work learning pre-reading skills and I love to observe the learning in process.

Kody Stadler

Library Superpower:
I think I’m still figuring that out! One day I’ll be Spider-Man, but for now, I’m okay with learning to be Peter Parker.

Likes to read and recommend:
Surrealist fiction (some prefer ‘magic-realism’ as a term) is a personal favorite lately, particularly from a lot of pioneering Spanish writers in the genre. Whenever writers are able to utilize their language and voice in unique and beautifully poetic ways, I chase those moments.

A favorite library visitor:
Favorites are overrated, as I cherish any opportunity to connect with others over their passion. But I do love that connection.

Kyler Carpenter

Library Superpower:
Getting kids to love books through music.

Likes to read and recommend:
Picture books.

A favorite library visitor:
Families who come to events.

Leah Anderson

Leah AndersonLibrary Superpower:
Algebra is my superpower.  Slope cannot escape me.

Likes to read and recommend:
I enjoy reading thrillers, horror, and young adult fiction.  I like to recommend children’s picture books and juvenile fiction.

A favorite library visitor:
Students who want to get their homework completed are my favorite library visitor.  I like to help students become successful and responsible in doing their homework.

LeAnn Brungardt

LeAnn Brungardt

Library Superpower:
I am sort of like the Wonder Twins in that I am able to morph from thing to thing.  Part of my job is staying flexible and taking the shape of whatever is necessary to help things run smoothly.

Likes to read and recommend:
I read to know more, so I am typically reading nonfiction.  I enjoy books related to my faith, parenting, health, food, nature, my job and human growth and development.

A favorite library visitor:
Onlookers to the aquarium often give me pause to play for a moment.  As I pass through the space on my way to a meeting there is frequently a smiling toddler pointing to a favorite finned friend, and I have to stop to see what’s happening.  I likewise like sharing with older kids that the thing they see on the sea urchin that looks like an eye, isn’t an eye.  It makes a good gateway for learning more about the wonders of the world.

Luanne Webb

Luanne WebLibrary Superpower:
Being able to find things no one else can find.

Likes to read and recommend:
I really like to read mysteries like the Theodore Boone series by John Grisham and books that were read to me by my teachers like Harriet the Spy or From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

A favorite library visitor:
My favorite visitors are the little ones who come to my Toddler Time 1 program. They are experiencing the songs and stories for the first time, and they are so excited!

Marlana Hodgkinson

Marlana HodgkinsonLibrary Superpower:
My library superpower is zooming across the street to bookmobile or leaping up and down stairs to fetch items for people when those items aren’t on the shelf. I’m also pretty super at recommending a good J Fantasy book because those are the stories that make me want to fly with dragons and stop dastardly villains in their tracks!

Likes to read and recommend:
I love to read J (and Y) Fantasy Fiction. All the best books have dragons in them – I especially like friendly dragons the heroine can talk to – preferably through telepathy. If there isn’t a dragon, another type of kindly, unusual friend will do as well.

A favorite library visitor:
My favorite visitors to the library are the ones I see on a regular basis. The 24-36 month olds who are part of my Toddler Time 2 classes; the families that come to the library regularly and stop to talk with us at the desk about their favorite books/pet chickens/school projects/etc. and who check out lots of good dragon/impossible quest/magic books, and that I love to watch grow up over the years; the teens who regularly attend Teen Writing Group and amaze me with their awesomeness.

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Natalie Moreland

Natalie MorlandLibrary Superpower:
When you’re looking for “that one book with the blue dragon,” I can usually figure it out. I’m magical like that.

Likes to read and recommend:
I love kids’ non-fiction, picture books, wordless books, and books with really intricate and detailed illustrations and cool diagrams.

A favorite library visitor:
It’s so cool when the READ dogs come to visit us. They love to hear you read to them!

Rhonda Cathey

Rhonda CathyLibrary Superpower:
I am personal friends with Clifford the Big Red Dog, Pete the Cat, and Curious George!

Likes to read and recommend:
Classic preschool picture books are my favorite but it is always fun to see what is in the “New” picture book bins.

A favorite library visitor:
As an outreach storyteller, Boomer Bear, the library’s unofficial mascot, and I visit preschools in the community and share stories, songs, finger plays and instill a love of books and learning.  Once while out to eat, a little girl shyly approached me with her mother pointing saying, “That’s the library lady!”  Her mother came over laughing and said her little girl wanted to know if Boomer was in my purse!  I love that children associate me with the library.  Each month I get to read to over 600 children and adults in the community – – that’s a lot of books – songs – fun!

Sherry Hess

Sherry HessLibrary Superpower:
My library superpower is noticing the unique or special qualities of a young person and then telling the young person or their adult.

Likes to read and recommend:
I love to read!  I like to read historical non-fiction; I like to peruse the N.Y. Times top list for possible titles to read.  I like to read favorite children’s books recommended by other librarians.  I like to read informational books related to the development of young children (especially research-based information).

A favorite library visitor:
My favorite visitors to the library are the families.  I love the young children who walk about the kid’s library like it is an old friend.  I like the school-aged kids who totally know what book or author they are searching for –all the while their parent follows them in this search.

Theresa Girdler

Library Superpower: I’m fantastic at finding the right picture book for anyone who asks. 

Likes to read and recommend: I really like to use and recommend picture books with great illustrators.

A favorite library visitor: I like to interact with preschoolers and their parents. It’s especially nice to see kids who are students at the sites I visit as an Outreach Storyteller, so the parents find out who Miss Theresa is and get to meet Boomer Bear.

Tracie McClusky

Library Superpower:
Building relationships with a sense of humor is my library superpower. I love getting to know our students and their families.

Likes to read and recommend:
YA Fiction, J Sports Fiction, and any Nicholas Sparks book are my favorite things to read.

A favorite library visitor:
My favorite visitors are the students who come to the Homework Center to say hi and share their day.