Meet Our Information and Readers Services Librarians


What do you look for in a good book?

The most important things I look for in a good book are good character development and descriptive writing. For me, if I can’t envision the character and the world they live in, I really struggle with connecting to their story.

Usually, I am drawn towards historical fiction, mysteries and literary fiction, especially books that are a little quirky or have magical elements to them. Although I am very loyal to my favorite genres and authors, I try to read new writers and books that are outside of my comfort zone as much as I can. 

What are your hobbies and interests other than reading?

I enjoy spending time outside whenever I can, going to the movies and traveling. ​



What do you look for in a good book? 

Multidimensional characters (whether fiction or nonfiction), an element of wit, and surprise are all important to me in a book.  Even if it is nonfiction and I know how it is going to end, page-turning writing that evokes people, time and place keep me up reading well past when I should be asleep.  A happy ending is always nice but often I love books with sad endings, wishing they would change.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

I will read anything written by Hampton Sides, Anne Tyler, Ben Macintyre, Tracy Kidder and Jacqueline Winspear.  My favorite book you've probably never read is Eileen Garvin's  How To Be a Sister: A Love Story With a Twist of Autism, which is so honest, funny, and true.  And Daniel Pinkwater is the author I'd want to have dinner with.

What is your favorite database?  

My favorite database depends on what I am using it for - for general research I start with General Reference Center Gold; for shopping, Consumer Reports, for health information, Medline.



What's Your Library Degree?

Master of Library and Information Science from Dominican University in River Forest, IL.

Who are your favorite books/authors?

I primarily enjoy either graphic novels, history, or novels that involve a road trip. Jack Kerouac, J.D. Salinger, Hunter S. Thompson, Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Chuck Klosterman are some of my favorite authors.

What are you reading right now?

I am reading Dark Knight III: The Master Race by Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello

If you could have dinner with one author, living or dead, who would it be?

Chuck Klosterman because he has some of the most interesting insights into pop culture.

What are your hobbies and interests other than reading?

I enjoy spending time writing pursuing projects I find interesting including novels, comics, essays, and poetry. 



What’s your library degree?

M.A.L.S. (Master of Arts in Library Science) from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Favorite books/authors?

Favorite books are almost always history (especially Civil War) or historical biography.  Favorite authors are usually historians – David McCullough (especially liked The Greater Journey), Allen Guelzo (Gettysburg: the Last Invasion), James McPherson, Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals, Bully Pulpit), Erik Larson, Barbara Tuchman (March of Folly), Gary Gallagher, Joseph Ellis (American Sphinx), among many others.

I focus on books written during the time period by its principle participants.    The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant is at the top of that list, and another favorite is Theodore Roosevelt’s Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail, which contains amazing adventures and seemingly the plot of every western ever written!

Among non-history authors and titles it’s a real mix (Christopher Hitchens, Mark Twain) but primarily late nineteen and early twentieth century fiction.  I’m currently reading the poems of Dorothy Parker. 

Sometimes my favorite book is the last one I read.  I just finished Benjamin Thomas’ Stanton: the Life and Times of Lincoln’s Secretary of War, in which Thomas, mostly successfully, corrects Stanton’s reputation as a tyrant.  Thomas died in the process of writing this book, and Harold Hyman completed the work, which may explain the less developed closing chapters.

Any other general interests?

Local and regional history, especially architectural and landscape architecture history. The Arts and Crafts movement in Britain and the U.S.  My local history interests cause me to read books like Allen Weller’s Lorado Taft and the amusing Chicago’s Left Bank by Alson J. Smith.   A wonderful book on landscape architecture is The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement.

Although I’m not a reader of mysteries, I enjoy the British television series.  Just completed Foyle’s War, which has the added appeal of its historical setting.



Mary is our Arts/Interior Design/Architecture/Crafts specialist. An avid mystery reader, she also works in the Youth Services Department. 

What do you look for in a good book?  Intriguing characters, plot, and setting

Name a few of your favorite books: Alienist (Caleb Carr). Remembrance of Things Past or In Search of Lost Time (Marcel Proust), Myth of Sisyphus (Albert Camus)



Nancy received her MILS from the University of Michigan, specializing in Archives and History.

Who are some of your favorite authors? 

Cora Sandel, Amalie Skram, Sigrid Undset. 

What are your reading interests?

19th and early 20th century social and political history.

What were you in a previous life?

Before beginning a career in archivy, she worked as a bartender, server, au pair, political science research, and translator. 



Gus received his MLS from Dominican University.

What are your reading interests?  I mostly read non fiction but I occasionally will enjoy fiction.

Who is your favorite author?  H.G. Wells

What are your hobbies? Reading, video games, technology, music and movies.

Anything else you'd like people to know?  I speak Greek.





What’s your library degree?

M.L.I.S. (Master of Library and Information Science) from Northern Illinois University.  Undergraduate degree- Bachelor of Science- Business Administration from Miami University

What do you look for in a good book?

Since most of my pleasure reading (fiction) is for escapism, I look for fast-paced stories with interesting, likeable characters. I read mysteries (from cozies to police procedurals to hard-broiled detectives), romantic thrillers, and urban fantasy. When I’m in the mood for nonfiction, I usually read books on social issues, politics, history and biographies (usually of historical figures.) I will challenge myself and read books outside my comfort zone (literary fiction, science fiction).

Favorite Database?

Chicago Tribune Historical Newspaper which covers the newspaper from 1849-1984. I love reading primary history sources.

What are your hobbies and interests other than reading?

I love being with my family and friends, travel, being outside (I am trying to hike all the Lake County Preserves in the Hike Lake County challenge), and crafts like cross stitch.