Meet Our Staff
Staff members with expertise in early literacy, child development, and children's literature are always available to help you find just the right book, program, or information.
Heather, Librarian & Manager
Miss Heather grew up in Kansas, the Land of Oz. She was even in a tornado once! She likes to read almost anywhere, but the strangest place she ever read a book was on a plow at her grandparents' farm. Heather likes to garden, play with her kids, sing, go to the movies, tell stories, and cook. Her favorite food is chocolate and the best part about being a librarian is the free books!
Mr. Andy is originally from Indiana, which is why he'll ask questions like, "Hoosier favorite author?" Some of his favorites are Beverly Cleary, Nancy Farmer, Terry Pratchett, Jonathan Stroud, and Megan Whalen Turner. Besides reading, he loves playing Ultimate Frisbee, partly because he can get really dirty and no one will yell at him about it. Other things Mr. Andy can do: sing loudly, juggle, eat lots of pizza, speak un poquito de español, and laugh at bad jokes. Things Mr. Andy can NOT do: color within the lines, keep his mouth shut for long periods of time, fly (his arms get too tired), or play any musical instruments. He is very fond of pets that have four legs and bark or purr or eat bananas.
Mr. Ben has lived in Oak Park since he was very little, and has loved reading almost as long. He likes to watch movies, listen to music, read all sorts of books, cook, ride his bike, and travel--just ask about the places he's been! Mr. Ben also loves the Cubs and Bears, and always roots for the home team.
Miss Genevieve is originally from Wisconsin, but has been lucky to call Oak Park home for more than 10 years. She's really good at MarioKart and pretty mediocre at Just Dance, but spends lots of time dancing with her kids and husband all the same. She also speaks Norwegian, loves to bake and is pretty crafty. Her favorite things (today) are sea otters, the color orange and the sweet/salty flavor combo.
Miss Jennifer was born in Oak Park and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. She came back to Chicago to go to college many moons ago. When she was little she loved to ride her bike to the Francis Branch library to read Betsy-Tacy and All-of-a-Kind Family books. Her other favorite books were Little Fur Family by Margaret Wise Brown, Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, Who Needs Donutsby Mark Alan Stamaty, the Great Brain series by John D. Fitzgerald, and anything and everything by E.L. Konigsburg. When she is not reading she likes to spend time with her kids Freya and Theo. Her favorite color is green, and her favorite food is bibimbop. She has a freckle in her left eye. If you want to learn to dance the cha-cha, just ask her--she would love to teach you!
Miss Jenny grew up right here in Oak Park. She attended Holmes Elementary, OPRF, and Northern Illinois University. Miss Jenny has a younger sister and two younger brothers, so that makes her the oldest! After graduating from college she spent six months on a kibbutz in Israel. It was a great experience; there were people there from all over the world. A mini United Nations! Her favorite books as a child were the Little House books, the All-of-a-Kind Family books, and anything about King Arthur. Her favorite hobbies are photography, bike riding, and gardening.
Mr. José grew up in Chicago. He is married and has two small children who enjoy playing “wrestling” with him on the floor. He also enjoys reading and traveling with his kids. During the rare free moments he has, Mr. Jose loves reading about history as well as novels such as Nicholasa Mohr’s Nilda, Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed, and Ernesto Quinones’ Bodega Dreams. His favorite hobbies include going on walks with his children, running, softball, dancing salsa and merengue, and listening to rap from the 1990s. Mr. Jose thinks he might have an addiction to trail mix.
Ms. Katie grew up in Minnesota, where it is even colder than Chicago! She has an older brother and a younger sister, which means she is stuck in the middle of a sibling sandwich (which makes her the good filling, like peanut butter!). Some of her favorite books include Because of Winn Dixie, Charlotte’s Web, and City Dog, Country Frog. When she is not reading or studying to be a librarian, Ms. Katie enjoys writing stories, acting, singing, dancing, playing piano and flute, doing yoga, cooking, and seeing great movies with friends and family. One of her favorite things to do is feed jumbo marshmallows to her two golden retrievers, Scout and Jem, and watch them try to chomp down the gooey treats.
Ms. Laura grew up in La Grange, Illinois, where she took dance classes, played lots of sports, and read books wherever she could find a quiet spot away from her three noisy sisters. When she’s not at the library, she spends her time going to dinner with friends and hanging out with her dog, Tripp. When she was younger, she loved to do crafts with her mom (she knows how to make all different kinds of friendship bracelets!) and her favorite picture books were Strega Nona and Purple, Green, and Yellow. Her favorite chapter books were The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Wayside School Is Falling Down, The Cricket in Times Square, and The Phantom Tollbooth. Ms. Laura loves getting book recommendations from her friends at the library, so stop by the desk and let her know what you’re reading!
Rory, Librarian & Assistant Manager
Ms. Rory grew up on farms in downstate Illinois. She has lots of sisters and brothers, but could always find quiet to read in a soybean field! Her favorite books were the Nancy Drew, Little House and Encyclopedia Brown series. Her favorite colors have always been orange and gold because those are the colors of lions--RAWR! Ms. Rory now lives in a disco dream house with her sister Abi, friend Dannielle and two little lion-cats, Dave and Moses. She is the only librarian in the world who doesn't like chocolate, and her favorite sweet treat is taffy. Her special talent is saying the alphabet backwards super fast. She thinks she has the best job ever because of kids like YOU.
Miss Shelley grew up in Chicago and Western Springs. She's always been the one walking around with her nose in a book! Her favorite books growing up were Anne of Green Gables, Betsy-Tacy, everything by E.L. Konigsburg and the American Girl books. She has even collected most of the historical dolls. These days, she still enjoys historical fiction, plus graphic novels like Amelia Rules and science fiction and fantasy like Harry Potter and Doctor Who. When she's not reading, Miss Shelley is usually writing stories or knitting. She loves to hear what kids are reading, so stop by and let her know what you like, too.