Meet our 2019 Jurors
Gail de Vos
Gail de Vos is a professional storyteller and educator and has taught the online comic book course for the University of Alberta School of Library and Information Studies for over a decade. She is the author of 9 award winning books on storytelling, folklore, comics and popular culture. She is also a librarian advisor to the Core Collections, specializing in Children’s, Middle & Jr High, Senior High, Nonfiction, and Graphic Novels Core Collections.
Leigh Anne Focareta
Leigh Anne Focareta (M.A., MLIS) currently works as a Senior Librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Her professional experience includes managing a large graphic novels collection and serving as an advisor to the Core Collections including Fiction, Nonfiction, and Graphic Novels Core Collections. She has also written for a variety of review publications, including Library Journal, the Carnegie Library's award-winning Eleventh Stack blog, and the Pittsburgh PostGazette (forthcoming). In addition, Leigh Anne has taught English writing and literature at Duquesne University and Youngstown State University, and several of her poems have appeared in the online magazine Uppagus. Her favorite graphic novel is whichever one she's currently reading.
Francisca Goldsmith has a deep history in direct library services to teens as well as collection management. She currently teaches professional development courses, provides social media support for international children’s publishers, and publishes books, articles, and reviews; her revised edition of ALA Edition’s Readers Advisory Guide to Graphic Novels published in February 2017. She has served on numerous award committees and juries, including the Eisner Awards, the Audies, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Alex Awards. She is also an advisor to the Core Collections, specializing in Children’s and Graphic Novels Core Collections.
Paige Harp has been an avid reader of graphic novels and comics since she first discovered them as a young teenager. For the last three years she has worked as a Youth Services Associate with the Springfield Greene-County Library District at the Library Station Branch. In this position, she served the teens in her area through outreach to local schools and by conducting a weekly teen game and hang-out night. When not planning programs or outreach she could be found geeking out about books, anime, and video games with the teens in the department. In November of 2018, she will start in a new position as a Library Associate with Missouri State University.
John Meier is a Science Librarian at the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library in the Pennsylvania State University Libraries at University Park. His responsibilities include instruction, collection development, reference, and investigating methods of delivering library information and services to the departments of Mathematics and Statistics. He has published and presented on the importance of science comics for libraries. As part of the inaugural jury for the Lynd Ward Prize for Graphic Novel of the Year, sponsored by the Penn State University Libraries, he now serves on its advisory board. John holds an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh and MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
Mike Pawuk is a teen services librarian for the Cuyahoga County Public Library system in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the co-author of the recently published Libraries Unlimited book Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, 2nd edition and contributes to School Library Journal’s Good Comics for Kids blog. He has been a longtime supporter of graphic novels in libraries with the American Library Association and YALSA, helping to create the Great Graphic Novels for Teens award and the Graphic Novels and Comics Roundtable, and has also served on award committees including the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards.
Alea Perez has led the Youth Services department at the Westmont Public Library, located in the Chicago suburbs, since June 2015. For nine years, she has aimed to help children, teens, and their caregivers in both Illinois and Arizona discover the joy and wonder of libraries. Alea received her MLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has served on the 2017 YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee, was the 2018 YALSA GGNT Chair, is an SLJ and Multiversity Comics reviewer, has participated as an SDCC panelist (2017) and moderator (2017-8), and is dedicated to advocacy for youth services management, graphic novels for youth and teens, and diversity and inclusion in the field at large.
David S. Serchay
David S. Serchay is a librarian in the Broward County Library (FL) Library System, where his responsibilities include selecting graphic novels. He is the author of The Librarian’s Guide to Graphic Novels for Children and ‘Tweens, The Librarian’s Guide to Graphic Novels for Adults, and the upcoming The Librarian’s Guide to Comics and co-author of Graphic Novels: A Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, 2nd Edition. He has also contributed to various reference books on graphic novels, including The Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels, Comics Through Time, Icons of the American Comic Book, and multiple volumes of The Critical Survey of Graphic Novels. He has spoken on the topic of graphic novels and libraries at ALA conferences and the San Diego Comic-Con as well as in libraries around Florida. He has been a reader of comics since childhood and lives in South Florida with his wife and twin daughters.
Stacey Shapiro is a teen services librarian in Tenafly, NJ. She has a long-standing interest in comics and graphic novels, and has spoken about it at the New Jersey Library Association Conference. She has been building a Young Adult graphic novel collection at her library. She also regularly attends comic cons in order to find new talent and read her favorites.
Rebecca B. Vargha
Rebecca B. Vargha is Librarian, School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has held that position since 2001 and is also an adjunct faculty member at SILS. Prior to her tenure at SILS, Rebecca Vargha held several positions at large corporations and organizations in North Carolina. These include Senior Research Specialist in Information Research at Nortel Networks, Research and Information Analyst and Library Coordinator at SAS Institute, and Associate Librarian at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park.
Gail de Vos, Leigh Anne Focareta, Francisca Goldsmith, Thomas Maluck, John Meier, Michael Pawuk, Carla Riemer, Rebecca B. Vargha and Linda Ward-Callaghan