Our Team

Find out more about the bloggers that bring you all the latest and greatest in the world of books, movies, TV series and everything else WPL has to offer!

Sarah B.

My name is Sarah and I’ve been a Library Assistant since the Eastside Branch opened almost a year ago. If I seem familiar, it might be because your children have seen me at their school library; I also supply in the libraries for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board! Working in libraries is truly my passion, I love being surrounded by books and helping the community. 

When it comes to reading, I like to try a bit of everything. My favorite genres are historical fiction and YA fantasies. I also love any so-bad-its-good kind of book, such as cheesy romances and cozy mysteries with puns in the title. Essentially, if a book jumps out at me I tend to give it a shot. I fully believe in judging a book by its cover!  

When I’m not reading I enjoy playing video games like Pokémon or The Sims, desperately searching for a consistent Dungeons and Dragons game, or watching Disney movies. I like to say I’m basically a big kid disguised as an adult!

Nancy C.

Hello fellow readers! My name is Nancy. I am a retired banker and post-retirement I have been working at my dream job as an Information & Circulation Assistant at the John M. Harper Branch. I feel like a kid in a candy store! To have access to so many books, movies and DVDs seems like a dream come true.

I grew up reading the Little House on the Prairie series as well as all of the Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Donna Parker, Bobbsey Twins and Cherry Ames offerings. As I grew older, I devoured Irving Stone’s historical fiction as well as Sidney Sheldon, James Michener, Jeffrey Archer, Leon Uris, Taylor Caldwell, Arthur Hailey and yes…. even a little Harold Robbins!

I believe that my early exposure to reading has helped me to develop an appreciation for all sorts of writing. From fiction and non-fiction to poetry and even graphic novels, I have had the joy of being lost in the words and stories penned by some of the most amazing authors. Now, as a grandparent, I am so blessed to be able to watch and experience my grandchildren as they embark on their reading journey. What a joy!

Jenna H.

Hello, my name is Jenna, and I work in Information Services and Local History. I’ve been at Waterloo Public Library for about five years now. I love coming into work and discovering new and unique items to watch and read. Between working at the library and working on a degree in English and Medieval Studies, I read quite the variety of books that I hope to share with you.

I am also a regular user of the Download Library, in particular the eAudiobooks. I’ve found many interesting reads that I would have never noticed by browsing the “Available Now” titles online. And I love the convenience of having the audiobooks on my phone (using the Overdrive app) to make those boring commutes and household chores more exciting. I’ve often spent a moment too long standing at my front door, so that I can listen to another minute of an engaging title. You can be sure that I will be writing about some of these great listens!

Ikhlas H.

Hi there! I’m Ikhlas and I’m a Library Assistant at the Main Library. I may be new to WPL, but I am certainly not new to libraries! I’ve been a library lover ever since I was a little girl when my mother took me on frequent trips to our local library in Hamilton. And now I’m trying to cultivate the same love of books, reading, and libraries in my soon-to-be five-year-old daughter. 

Some of my favourite books growing up were the Harry Potter series, Artemis Fowl, the Princess Diaries series, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and anything by Sarah Dessen. I still love teen books, but now I tend to read a lot of thriller and women’s fiction, and I have recently even traversed into the land of romance! Jane Austen still reigns supreme in my heart. 

I have been writing fiction since I was ten years old and started off with a lot of Harry Potter fanfiction. I graduated from that to my own stories and currently have four unpublished manuscripts under my belt, while I’m currently working on my fifth . It’s a teen novel, and one I hope will grace the shelves of WPL someday soon!

Kelly I.

Hello!  I’m Kelly and I’m a Library Assistant at the Main Library. I have the great pleasure of spending my time both in the Children’s Department and Information Services. My previous library experience involved working as a Children’s Programmer on and off for about 10 years. For many years I found myself wonderfully immersed in all things picture books and junior fiction. While I still love to read those types of books, especially since I have kids of my own and like to stay in the know, I am currently enjoying diving back into other genres. In particular, I love to read Can Lit, but I am also challenging myself to read more widely; graphic novels, murder mysteries, and non-fiction are also becoming a part of my wheelhouse.

When I am away from the library I love spending time with my family. We are big into hiking and taking in the great outdoors. We also enjoy cooking, watching movies together, playing board games, and we are in the midst of some epic Lego building these days. I also love to immerse myself in all things arts and culture. I majored in art history at university and so my favourite way to spend a Sunday is at an art gallery (the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and Art Gallery of Ontario are my local favs), and then lounging at a charming cafe afterwards with a latte in one hand and a book in the other.   I look forward to sharing my thoughts, stories, and books suggestions with you!

Lesley L.

I’m Lesley. I’ve been behind the desk at the John M. Harper Branch since it opened in 2011. Before that, you could find me shelving books at the Main Library.

I fell in love with books back when my Mom read to me before bed. My most requested books was The Littles – a story about a miniature family that lived inside the walls of a house owned by the Biggs family. From there I graduated to reading about Ramona Quimby. I used to copy her cat shaped “Q” inside my notebooks. Now I read anything Teen – contemporary, dystopian, fantasy – that comes across my desk.

Penny M.

I’m Penny M. I work in the Collections Department at the Main Library which means I have one of the best jobs in the building – I work in the department where boxes and boxes of new books, CDs and DVDs first arrive. We have that incredible smell of new books in here several times a week. I also work at the Circulation and Information desks where I see the shiny new materials go home with our customers and then hear about them when they are returned.

Reading and going to the library has been a part of my life since I was young. I grew up in Hamilton, ON where my mother would let me take the city bus down to the main library and spend my Saturday mornings there. She would let me take a packed lunch and a thermos of milky tea so I wouldn’t have to hurry home until I had found all of the very best books. I have never lost the thrill of knowing that I have a bag filled with fresh stories to get me through the week nor have I lost the taste for milky tea to go with them.

I don’t really have a favourite book or author. Every week in the boxes of new books there is something that is so good that I can say to a customer or a friend that “I am reading the best book right now” and that doesn’t mean that it is my favourite or better than the last one, it’s just the best one right now. Who knows what will be in the bag I take home from the library next week?

Madison P.

Hello readers! My name is Madison and I work in Borrower Services at the Main Library. While I am fairly new to WPL, I am not new to the library world. I have been working
and volunteering in various libraries for the past eight years.

When it comes to reading, my kryptonite is YA Fiction. I’m particularly a sucker for LGBT+ romance and coming of age stories. There’s something about the quirky,
yet relatable “outcast” finally living their truth that never fails to catch me in the feels. In addition to reading I spend a significant amount of time binging TV shows. Some of my favourites include: Fleabag, Schitt’s Creek, Please Like Me, and The Boys.

On a more personal level, I am often referred to as an extroverted introvert. I am a lover of plants cursed with a brown thumb, have a weakness for red wine but suffer from chronic heartburn, and am a very good listener who is hard of hearing. I will never say no to ice cream, and will always appreciate a sarcastic comment.

I can’t wait to share more of who I am in posts to come! Please enjoy my quirky – and hopefully relatable – blog content.

Laurie P.

I’m Laurie P. and I am a Library Assistant at the Main Library, but over the years I’ve also worked at the McCormick and John M. Harper Branches, so you’ll see me occasionally working their Information Desks too.

Books have always had a place in my life but in varying degrees over the years. As a child I read a fair bit – I went through my Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables and Sweet Valley High phases followed by a little less reading as a teen and even less once I was busy at University and College. It wasn’t until I had my three kids that my love of reading was sparked by a little book series featuring a boy wizard. After that, I was wholeheartedly addicted to reading.

Books are a huge part of my life. I read over 125 books per year and I enjoy mixing it up with different genres. In 2009, after friends and family’s repeated requests for book and recipe suggestions, I turned my love for all things bookish and tasty into a personal blog – The Baking Bookworm – where I review the books I read and also share my favourite recipes. I regularly connect with fellow readers on GoodReads, Instagram, Litsy and Twitter – book lovers are everywhere! I also enjoy going to author events to get personally signed copies and chat with authors. I’m unabashedly a book nerd.

As a Library Assistant, books tend to follow me home and I always have quite a teetering TBR (To Be Read) stack because the thought of not having a book to read is not something I want to contemplate. I’m an equal opportunity reader and love books in all forms – I often have paper books, eBooks and eAudiobooks on the go at the same time. I also enjoy cooking, traveling with my husband, snuggling with my mini Schnoodle, Scout, and seeing my three teens grow into some pretty awesome people.

I love connecting with people about books and I’m not shy about talking to people (in English or American Sign Language) if I see them glancing at a book that I personally adored and think that everyone and their dog should read. If you want to put a smile on my face you just have to ask me, “Can you recommend a good book?”. Oh yes. Yes, I can!

Shaye R.

Hello, I’m Shaye and I’m just starting my journey at WPL in Information Services. My love of stories and books began at a very early age when my parents would recite Aesop’s Fables. Stories I love to this day.

With a background in history and political science my tastes vary from old to new. I enjoy classic literature as much as contemporary fiction and non-fiction. I love anything that makes me think. Stories with strong characters that best portray the human condition are my favourites; Catcher in the Rye, Ham on Rye – anything with Rye!

I’m also a lover of the arts; music, art, theatre – I love it all! So come along, let’s read some books and have some fun!

Megan R.

Hello! I’m Megan and I’m part of the Programming Team here at WPL. I’m delighted to share what I love about the books and other materials with you here and I hope you’ll do the same. 

The Libby App is where I do most of my reading, and it’s actually listening. My digital audiobook holds list is full of suspended titles so that I always have something exciting up on deck. I listen in the car, while doing household chores, during dog walks and as I fall asleep. Sometimes I even choose books based on narrators I enjoy! What I’m saying is – if you need help with Libby, just ask. 

Aside from audiobooks, I also read a lot of graphic novels. If you think graphic novels are basically super hero comics for kids, I have to tell you that you’re wrong. While those are wonderful, graphic novels are just books that use sequential art to tell a story. They are for every age and cover many subjects, but my favourite genre is the graphic memoir – there is something so special about seeing an author’s story come to life with images as well as text. 

I try to read widely and to introduce myself to diverse authors, but my favourite genres tend to be middle school titles, domestic and contemporary fiction, light fantasy and, (gasp!) romance. Pre-panini I also read a lot of dystopian and science fiction and I’m slowly coming back to those books. My favourite authors include Celeste Ng, Susin Nielsen, Margaret Atwood, Arnold Lobel, Lucy Knisley, Katherene Vermette, and Beth O’Leary.

Emma S.

Hello! My name is Emma, it’s really lovely to (one-sidedly) meet you! I’m a fresh and green Library Assistant at the Main Library, in both Info and Children’s Services, When I’m not here, I’m usually at my second job as a remedial Math/Literacy/study skills/really-whatever-is-needed teacher for students with complex needs. Despite all this people-centered work, I’ve actually just come hot off the presses with a BSc. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, with a minor in Physics! I love digging into a complicated system to connect with people, and the library is perfect way to do so.  

When I was little, my absolute favorite part of any day was a bedtime story from my parents, and I’m still a pretty voracious reader today! I love fantasy first and foremost. There’s nothing like a fully fleshed out world that practically breathes, and isn’t afraid to grow and change. Authors who embody this are Brandon Sanderson, Noami Novik, and Gabriel García Márquez. 

That being said, my love of complexity is balanced by my being a simple woman. I see a warm story; I warm to it. Romance, YA fiction (especially queer fiction), and smaller in scope stories with lovingly rendered characters are all on this docket. My favorites are Jane Austen (I’m named for her heroines!), Rick Riordan, and Sophie Kinsella. 

Lastly, there’s a special kind of magic in nonfiction. I love works that linger, and most of my favorites have been lounging in my mind for some time! The science in social science can be hard to pin down, so I particularly enjoy well documented research tempered by elegant framing. We’re lucky to have some truly exemplary Canadian authors in this regard, especially Malcolm Gladwell and Marshal McLuhan! 

Thanks for reading this bio, and my other posts. Happy reading!