The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Image
The Bulletin
of the Center for Children's Books

The Big Picture, a regular Bulletin feature both on-line and off, does not appear in August. See the archive for selections from previous months.

Yes, it's August, the month without a print issue and therefore our chance to hold forth on whatever matter takes our fancy in the Big Picture space on the website.

But let's look at that "our." Fond as we are of the majesty of the editorial "we" around here, the first-person plural more often reflects the fact that it takes several people to keep the Rube Goldbergian Bulletin machine humming and producing from month to month. Most of you will be familiar with the reviewing contributors from their own words here on the website and in print, but you may not realize how significant are the office contributions from people, some of whose words you may never see.

The Bulletin has been privileged, over the years, to have a succession of devoted and gifted library school students working here as graduate assistants, and our current such assistant, Natalie Hoyle, has already worked her way into legend. You probably don't know Natalie, and that's a shame, because she'd brighten up your life immeasurably, even if it's already dazzling. Her enthusiasm is boundless: she's so thrilled by being knee-deep in children's books that we need to make sure she doesn't sneak in full-time work for part-time pay. Throughout all the hard work of processing, shelving, and generally babysitting the thousands upon thousands of books and galleys as well as the often-demanding and cranky editor, she remains sunny and indomitable. There's plenty of smarts to go with that cheer, however, and her thoughtful attention to literature and to young people is going to make her a splendid youth-services librarian.

There's somewhat of a Hotel California, "you can never leave" quality to the Bulletin, since many people return to work here in a professional capacity after laboring here as graduate students. Jeannette Hulick is one such recidivist who, much to our benefit, agreed not only to return as a reviewer (where some of you will have seen her writing) but also as a feature writer for this very website and as an editorial assistant, keeping the print Bulletin comprehensible. Working with Jeannette is sort of like working with Clark Kent when you know he's really Superman. The superhero reference isn't just for artistry--this sweet, perceptive, and collegial librarian would, in her student days, adopt the persona of the superhero Wonder GA. Beneath that demure exterior also beats the heart of a pirate and one of the most devoted amateur puppeteers you're likely to meet, who has joined with other Bulletin associates for some tremendously successful performances. Her gifts for showmanship and craftsmanship mean that everything she makes, from her Halloween costumes to her birthday cakes, are works of art (we really should have placed a photo of the pirate-ship cake on the website). She brings that attention to detail to her editorial assistance, deftly and tactfully tidying things up, correcting errors, and basically making us all more presentable.

The third member of the Bulletin's current office troika is Jen DeBaillie, whose official title is Electronic Publications Specialist. This is largely because the University is unlikely to ever approve a position entitled Everything in Existence Specialist. If the Bulletin were Gilligan's Island, Jen would be the Professor, unflappably resolving all crises with the aid of knowledge and completely unsuitable materials. She has seen us through not one but two complete moves of the office and the entire Center book collection, the first one when she was still a student worker (she's another one of those recidivists) and the last one just last summer; these moves have required not only the patience of a saint and the strength of an ox, but also the inventiveness of--well, something folkloric that's really inventive, as well as the planning skills of an architect. Her considerable skills now allow the Bulletin to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of electronic subscriptions while investigating expanded ways to make our electronic features useful--in addition to providing occasional editorial assistance and features. Evidently juggling with chainsaws wasn't enough of a challenge.

So now you know who's behind some of those other names on our masthead, without whom we could never, ever bring you the website you're now reading and the Bulletin we hope you enjoy. Thanks, ladies.

--Deborah Stevenson, Editor

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This page was last updated on August 1, 2002.