November 2022 Events

A Conversation Between Award-Winning Writer Christina Soontornvat and Professor Sarah Park Dahlen
Tuesday, November 1, 2022
12:00-1:00 pm Central Time via Zoom

Christina Soontornvat is an award-winning author, engineer, and STEM educator. Her many works for children include picture books and the Diary of an Ice Princess chapter book series. Her middle grade fantasy novel, A Wish in the Dark, and her nonfiction biography, All ThirteenThe Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team were both named 2021 Newbery Honor Books. Her latest book, The Tryout, is a graphic novel memoir and was published in September 2022 by Scholastic/Graphix.

Register Here for the Zoom session.

The Bulletin Brown Bag: The Art of Reviewing Youth Literature
Thursday, November 3, 2022
12:00-1:00 pm Central Time via Zoom

Join us for a discussion with reviewers from the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books about the process of reviewing books for young people and the value of such reviews in the professional and academic field.

Quinita Balderson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master’s in Library and Information Science with a specialization in Youth Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This faithful Illini currently holds a Library Specialist position at Interlibrary Loan & Document Delivery in the Main Library. Dedication to diversity and a fondness of dark humor, horror, and mystery in kids’ lit make her a special addition to the Bulletin staff.


April Spisak is Head of Youth Services at the Albany Public Library in Oregon and has reviewed children’s books for over fifteen years. She is obsessed with public libraries, and she considers reviewing to be a core privilege and responsibility for youth services librarians, whether on a local scale or for a professional journal. Given that her only skills are all word related, it is quite fortunate indeed that her dream job uses so many of them in myriad ways. 


Amanda Toledo is a writer, reader, and library student getting her MLIS at San Jose State University. A first-generation daughter of Cuban immigrants, she grew up on a steady stream of books and croquetas. She lives, works, and dreams in Chicago, Illinois.


Register here for the Zoom session.

The Bulletin Brown Bag: A Discussion with Sensitivity Readers
Thursday, November 10, 2022
12:00-1:00 pm Central Time via Zoom

Join us for a discussion with sensitivity readers about this essential practice in creating inclusive publishing and reviewing worlds with authentic and informed perspectives. 

Isabelle Felix is a psychology research and therapy assistant turned editor, sensitivity reader, and writing coach. The passion to reach out and understand another person’s perspective has led her to work with Big Four Publishers, NY Times and USA Today best sellers, Big Apple Film Festival screenwriting finalists, International Leaders of Scenario Planning consulting firms, and writers who are still getting used to putting themselves and their stories out there. So, whichever stage the writer is at, Isabelle is always thrilled to meet them there.


Adriana M. Martínez Figueroa is a bisexual Puerto Rican writer, editor, and sensitivity reader. They hold a B.A. from Iowa State University in Women and Gender Studies with a minor in US Latinx Studies. They’ve been an author’s assistant and editorial intern at Entangled Publishing. Adriana co-hosts a romance book podcast called “Mapping the Tropes.” Their words can be found on their blog (Boricua Reads), Bustle,, and Boricua en la Luna (2019) and Até Mais: Until More, an anthology of Latinx Futurisms (forthcoming). They live in Vega Baja with their family and three beautiful cats. 


Jessie Maimone is a second-year PhD student at the iSchool with research interests in the experiences of racialized teens in public library spaces and the ways we teach future librarians. She earned her MSLIS at UIUC and a M.S. in Book Publishing from Pace University. She has provided sensitivity readings for Haper Collins, the Center for Disease Control, Penguin Random House, and Simon and Schuster.


Register here for the Zoom session. 

The Bulletin Brown Bag: Librarians and Collection Development
Thursday, November 17, 2022
12:00-1:00 pm Central Time via Zoom

Join us for a discussion with public and school librarians about the significance of review journals as a collection development tool and other best practices to select materials to meet the need of a diverse patronage.

Anna Hartmann has been the Youth Services Manager at the Council Bluffs Public Library for the past 5 years. She also has 8 years of experience managing in Teen Services. Her work in both departments has included collection management, programming, and reader’s advisory. Anna earned her master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois and also has a master’s degree in Mass Communication & Media Arts from Southern Illinois University.

Aaren Tucker is a former theatre kid and EFL teacher who earned her MSLIS from the iSchool in 2019 and is now a YA Librarian in Moorpark, CA. She has reviewed YA books for School Library Journal and the BCCB. She is also an avid romance reader and wants to hug every cat. 

Also featuring Ariana Hussain

Register here for the Zoom session. 

A Book Club with Ms. Campbell and Dr. Dahlen (ABCCD)
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
6:00-7:00 pm Central Time

Join us as we discuss The Rebellious Life of Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis, adapted by Brandy Colbert and Jeanne Theoharis.

Register Here for the Zoom session.

A Book Club with Ms. Campbell and Dr. Dahlen (#ABCCD) is a virtual, monthly book discussion group hosted by Ms. Edith Campbell and Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen, with support from Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library and the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences Center for Children’s Books. In an effort to build solidarity among all readers, #ABCCD highlights youth literature representing Asian American and Black American experiences as expressed by creators from these communities.

An archive of our past events can be found here.

Return to the full Calendar of Events.