Our Team

Editor

Rebecca Vnuk

Rebecca Vnuk comes to IndiePicks after holding the position of Editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach with Booklist Publications. She has an MLIS from Dominican University and worked for a decade as a public librarian, in a variety of positions from Readers’ Advisor to adult services management. Rebecca is the author of three reference books on the topic of Women’s Fiction, as well as a best-selling book on weeding library collections. Rebecca was a 2010 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, the 2010 PLA Allie Beth Martin Award Winner for distinguished Readers Advisory Service, and the 2008 Library Journal Fiction Reviewer of the Year. She’s an expert on chick lit, but she also likes to read about serial killers and zombies (after all, it’s not all about the shoes!). If she’s not tucked away filling her head with terrifying tales or women’s weepers, she’s probably running after her two young sons.

Reviewers

Robin Bradford
Romance

Robin Bradford works for Timberland Regional Library District in Tumwater, Washington and started her career in book tyranny at the age of two, when she coerced her family into repeated readings of the relationship drama “The House that Jack Built”. Fast-forward a [redacted] number of years later, and she is still addicted to books and dedicated to helping others discover the love of reading. Along the way, she has hit almost all of the reading-related degrees (BA & MA in English, MS in Library Science, and a JD) but has found a permanent home in building reader-focused popular collections in public libraries. In 2016, she was awarded the Librarian of the Year award from the Romance Writers of America. She has worked with authors to help get their titles into these collections, worked with librarians to push for equal treatment of genre fiction, and worked with readers so that they can find their favorite authors on their library’s shelves. Read full bio and book reviews

Craig Clark
General Fiction

Craig A. Clark, MLS, Kent State University, has worked as a branch manager, circulation manager, and branch librarian for several Ohio public libraries. He has spent the last several years focusing on readers’ advisory in a freelance capacity and authored the book Read On…Sports: Reading Lists for Every Taste, reviewed titles for Booklist, and penned articles for NoveList. Currently, he serves as chair for the American Library Association’s Notable Books Council and lives in Columbus, Ohio. Read full bio and book reviews

Erin Downey
General Fiction

Erin Downey Howerton manages youth services for the Wichita Public Library in Wichita, KS. She holds an MSLIS from Florida State University and an MA from Kansas State University. Howerton has worked with young people since 2000 in both library and school settings, and has published various articles and book chapters about library collections, intellectual freedom, and technology topics concerning youth. She is a past chair of the Michael L. Printz Award committee, and a past member of the Margaret A. Edwards Award committee. Howerton facilitates continuing education for library staff nationally and regionally on booktalking, readers’ advisory, programming, and collection development.  Read full bio and book reviews

Alan Keep
Science Fiction and Fantasy

Alan Keep is a graduate of Ohio State University and is currently pursuing his MLIS in progress at Kent State. He’s an avid reader and writer with a particular interest in genre as well as literary fiction. Alan has recently moved to Pittsburgh where he hopes to further pursue his academic and professional career in the library field while also spending time with his boyfriend and several very tolerant cats. Read full bio and book reviews

Megan McArdle
General Fiction

Megan McArdle has worked in collection development in public libraries for over 15 years and is currently a senior collection specialist at the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  She spent four years as a reviewer and columnist for science fiction, fantasy, and horror for Library Journal and is the author of The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Genre Blends from ALA Editions. Read full bio and book reviews

Andie Paloutzian
General Fiction

Andie Paloutzian founded the Story Center program for Mid-Continent Public Libraries, where she worked to help others create and share their stories, and curated a related collection of local works. A frequent presenter, Andie has given talks on project and program coordination, readers advisory, and customer service at regional, state and national conferences, including the Romantic Times Booklovers’ conference and the Public Library Association’s annual conference. Andie holds two B.A.s, and is a graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute. Now, a resident of New Orleans, she works with the New Orleans Public Library System on a new training initiative. She has been advocating for, reviewing for, and judging contests for independent authors since 2013. Read full bio and book reviews

Becky Spratford
Horror

Becky Spratford is a Readers’ Advisor specialist who trains library staff all over the world on how to match books with readers. She runs the critically-acclaimed RA training blog RA for All, and is on the Steering Committee of the Adult Reading Round Table. Becky is also known for her work with horror readers as the author of The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror, Second Edition (ALA Editions, 2012) and is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association, where she was a guest of honor at StokerCon 2017 for her contribution to the genre.  You can follow Becky and her bookish adventures on Twitter @RAforAllRead full bio and book reviews

Kaite Mediatore Stover
Nonfiction

Kaite Mediatore Stover is the Director of Readers’ Services for The Kansas City Public Library. She holds Masters degrees in Library Science and English Literature from Emporia State University. Stover is the co-editor of The Readers’ Advisory Handbook (ALA Editions 2010) with Jessica E. Moyer. She has contributed chapters to Research-Based Readers’ Advisory (ALA Editions 2008) and Integrated Advisory Service (Libraries Unlimited 2010). Currently, Stover writes the “He Reads, She Reads” column for Booklist with David Wright and “Under the Radar” for Public Libraries with Jessica E. Moyer. She has also published articles in Reference & User Services Quarterly, Library Journal, Wilson Library Bulletin, Young Adult Library Services, The Emporia Gazette, The Kansas City Kansan, Present Magazine, INK, and The Kansas City Star. Stover serves on the Penguin Random House Library Advisory Board and is a Steering Committee member for LibraryReads. She is the recipient of the 2012 Allie Beth Martin Award and was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2003. Stover speaks regularly at international, national, regional, and state conferences on readers, reading, trends in publishing and reading, and training for library staff with an emphasis on readers’ advisory and customer service. Read full bio and book reviews

Magan Szwarek
Young Adult

Magan Szwarek is the Director of Reference Services for the Schaumburg Township District Library (Schaumburg, Illinois). A dedicated readers’ advisor, lover of audiobooks and eclectic reader, Magan chairs the RUSA CODES RA Research & Trends Committee and is enthusiastic about re-imagining the role public libraries can play in the lives of the communities they serve. Read full bio and book reviews

Etta Verma
Mystery and Thrillers

Henrietta (Etta) Verma has worked as a reference librarian in public and academic libraries. She is currently Senior Editorial Communications Specialist at the National Information Standards Organization, and before that was head of the reviews department and of the SELF-e indie book platform at Library Journal. Etta, who is from Ireland, is a mom to two avid readers.

Contributors/Writers

Justin Hoenke

Justin Hoenke has worked in public libraries all over the United States and is currently the Executive Director of the Benson Memorial Library in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Before that, he was Coordinator of Tween/Teen Services at the Chattanooga Public Library in Chattanooga, TN where Justin created The 2nd Floor, a 14,000 square foot space for ages 0-18 that brought together learning, fun, creating, and public events. Justin is a member of the 2010 American Library Association Emerging Leaders class and was named a Mover and Shaker in 2013 by the publication Library Journal. His professional interests include public libraries as community centers, music, video games, and creative spaces. Follow Justin on Twitter at @justinlibrarian and read his blog at http://www.justinthelibrarian.com