Meet The Judges

The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Judges 2019


Alison Brumwell

Chair of CKG 2019 Judges

I am a freelance reader development and education consultant based in Leeds, and work part-time at Kirklees College, Huddersfield. Prior to becoming a librarian, I worked in the Canadian publishing industry and a keen interest in indigenous writers developed from this experience.

Previous roles since re-locating to the UK include Librarian and Bookstart/Early Years Co-ordinator with Leeds Library and Information Service, Librarian at Parklands’ Girls High School, Librarian at Kirklees’ schools library service and Artistic Director of Morley Literature Festival.

I am also a regular reviewer of children’s and YA books, a passionate advocate for reading and a committed volunteer with Africa Educational Trust for the past seven years. I am proud to have been associated with CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals since 2004, both as a group shadowing leader and representing Yorkshire and the Humber region as a judge in 2011-2014. Chairing the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway 2019 judging panel is a huge professional honour.


Emma Bateson

North West CKG 2019 Judge

I have worked for Bolton Library & Museum Service since 2008, beginning as a Library Assistant before moving to Library Manager and then to my current role in the Libraries & Learning team. I work with children and young people of all ages across both the public library and museum service and the Schools Library Service, with under-fives and young adults being particular specialisms. My day-to-day work includes lots of storytelling, school visits and family events; as well as working with our young volunteers, coordinating our Bookstart deliveries and activities, and running a fortnightly Arty Babies group.

I feel really lucky to do a job that has such variety, makes a real difference to young readers and is also brilliant fun.

I have been on the YLG North West committee since 2015 and am really excited to be our representative for the Carnegie and Greenaway awards – it really is a career dream come true!

I have two young children and reading aloud to them is one of my favourite things in the world to do. My own favourite books as a child were Tom’s Midnight Garden and The Magic Faraway Tree – I always wanted to try one of Silky’s pop cakes and Moon-Face was my first literary crush!


Chris Bertenshaw

East Midlands CKG 2019 Judge

I have been working for Derbyshire Libraries since 2010, first as a Library Assistant at Bolsover Library, then Assistant in Charge at Bakewell Library, and have always loved encouraging children to read. I am currently a Children's/Community Learning & Information Librarian, and have recently finished a three-year secondment helping people with all manner of digital issues through lbiraries. I joined the YLG East Midlands committee in 2015, and am always looking to volunteer for any other opportunities that might further my knowledge of the library world.

During 2017 my family read 1,000 picture books to raise awareness of reading, which was fantastic fun. In my spare time I love spending time with my family, aspire to be an author of picture books through to adult novels, make amateur films with friends, compose and records music, love acting on stage, blog, play computer games, practice Kyokushin Karate, and never sleep so I can accomplish all of this.


Elizabeth Chapman

Yorkshire & Humber CKG 2019 Judge

I have been a voracious reader since childhood, but fell into library work almost by accident when I began working as a Library Assistant for Cambridgeshire Libraries in 2003. I quickly discovered that I loved public library work, particularly the parts of the job that involved working with children and young people. I went on to complete my MA in Librarianship at the University of Sheffield, where I specialised in public libraries and youth librarianship. Since then I have worked as a librarian in the London Borough of Enfield and am currently employed as a children’s worker for Sheffield Libraries.

I have a particular interest in issues of diversity and inclusion in libraries and in literature for children and young people. My PhD research, also carried out at the University of Sheffield, focused on the provision of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer) fiction for children and young people in public libraries.

In total, I have been working directly with children and young people for six years, running babytimes, storytimes, reading groups and class visits, as well as visiting schools to promote the library service, local book awards and Carnegie shadowing. One of the most rewarding parts of my current job is working with young people from Sheffield’s Roma Slovak community. I juggle my library role with working as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Education, Childhood and Social Inclusion at Sheffield Hallam University, and as a freelance translator.


Zoey Dixon

CKG 2019 Judge

I started in Lambeth Libraries when I was 16, and despite being adamant that I did not like children (I was young) discovered that I loved working with them. Once I finished my first degree I was lucky enough to get a role as Children’s and Young People’s Librarian, working in four of the town centre libraries at various times over ten years. This is where I cemented my love for children’s literature. I am a firm believer in the power of books to make the world a better place, and I have seen directly the impact that giving a book to a child that represents them can have.

I served on the book selection panels for The Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge for five years and for Book Trust’s Letterbox Club. I have worked with publishers, authors and illustrators (established and local) to deliver book launches in partnership with schools and ran Code Clubs in our libraries. I was instrumental in making Lambeth the first authority to transform all 10 libraries into Fun Palaces in 2015, a fantastic community initiative that has lots of inter-generational STEAM activities; the kids from Code Club taught the adults and made me a character in a game they created!

Although I am now a library manager for four community hub libraries, I continue to deliver frontline services to children and teens, such as class visits, baby rhyme times, and the Summer Reading Challenge (I wouldn’t want to miss out on seeing the children’s excited and proud faces as they accept their medals and certificates).

I am very excited to be a judge for the Kate Greenaway and Carnegie Medals as it gives me the opportunity to share my passion, elevate the best voices in children’s literature and read some fantastic books!


Jessica Dunnicliff

West Midlands CKG 2019 Judge

As an avid reader and library user from a very early age, I love that my career has enabled me to encourage children to read for pleasure.

I started my library career in 1997 doing my Sixth Form work experience at my local public library, I was offered a Saturday assistant job straight afterwards and have been working in libraries ever since. I became a qualified Librarian in 2005 and I am currently an Area Librarian for Warwickshire Library and Information Service.

Previously, I worked as a secondary school librarian and ran Carnegie shadowing groups for six years (meeting Patrick Ness was a definite highlight!). I have been on the West Midland YLG committee for several years. I am thrilled to now be part of the judging process!


Maura Farrelly

Northern Ireland CKG 2019 Judge

I grew up in the worlds created by Lorna Hill, Arthur Ransome, and Noel Streatfeild. Summer holidays were spent in libraries, or recreating the adventures I read with my brothers; climbing sand dunes to escape smugglers, building theatres (I’ll never forget the look on my poor mum’s face when she saw the curtain we’d strung up across the living room).

Joining the library profession meant not having to leave those worlds completely behind. I have been a librarian now for almost 30 years and I love it! I have worked mainly in education: in several schools, for the Schools Library Service, and in Academic libraries and have always loved meeting readers of all ages.

After 13 years in Queen’s University, where I worked for the Arts & Humanities team and Special Collections, I was delighted and excited to be appointed as College Librarian for Victoria College, Belfast last year. I am responsible for libraries on the Junior and Senior sites, and am also in the enviable position of having a Prep department to look after. With a nursery school also on site, I work with children from the age of 3 right up to 18. This gives me plenty of opportunity to indulge in my love of picture books as well as children’s and teen fiction.

Having closely followed the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway awards for many years, I am so proud to represent Northern Ireland on the judging panel. So far it has been an incredible experience and I can’t wait for a second year of reading brilliant books and many exciting hours spent talking about them.


Angela Foster

North East CKG 2019 Judge

I consider myself lucky in that I was brought up surrounded by books and libraries. My parents were always reading and early childhood memories include bedtime stories, regular visits to the local public library and summer holidays filled with reading. At secondary school, I became a pupil library helper and was a regular visitor. But it was not until my final year at university when I decided on a career in librarianship.

After spending a year as a Library Trainee at the Bodleian Library in Oxford I was hooked and knew his was the career path I wanted to follow. In 2006, I graduated from Northumbria University with my MA in Library and Information Studies. My first job was as school librarian for a secondary school in Middlesbrough. Here I found a passion for children’s literature and wanting to share the best of childrens’ and young adult books with students. A move to a secondary school in Durham allowed me to continue putting books into the hands of students.

The past year has been a whirlwind of activity with getting involved with the North East regional group of YLG, getting married and after 12 years of being a school librarian I am also embarking on a new adventure and moving on to being the Children and Young Person’s Librarian for Stockton-on-Tees. I am very much looking forward to the adventures of being the North East judge for the Carnegie and Greenaway Medal.


Carol Hales

South East CKG 2019 Judge

I have been working in public libraries for more than 30 years in a variety of roles, but those that I have enjoyed most and found most rewarding have centred on working with children and young people, sharing my enthusiasm for children’s books and reading.

I have always loved reading children’s books – from my own childhood favourites, The Moomins and anything by K M Peyton, through the many books that I read to my children as they grew up, and now the great wealth of current children’s fiction. My family is always surprised if they find me reading an adult book!

For the past 5 years, I have been organising and managing the Surrey Libraries’ Children’s Book Award, and I have seen first-hand how great books, author visits and creative opportunities can ignite a love of reading in children. I also co-ordinate the library-based Chatterbooks reading groups across Surrey and, for 3 years, organised the Surrey Libraries’ Children’s Book Festival.

When my children were young, I worked in their primary school library – a job that was challenging but also hugely enjoyable. One of the very best aspects was watching children enthusiastically recommending books to one another.

My current job is not a specialist children and young people’s role, but I maintain my awareness and knowledge of children’s books through active participation in the South East YLG Committee, as Treasurer for 3 years and currently as Chair. I also take every opportunity to attend conferences, training and other events related to children’s books and reading.


Jenny Jones

South West CKG 2019 Judge

Reading is my not-so-secret superpower. My parents taught me to read at a very young age, surrounded me with books, read with me, to me and in front of me. They also took me to public libraries when my reading habit became too voracious to keep up with.

Later, I read my way into Keble College, Oxford where I studied English - of course! My first library job was in a public library in a deprived part of Bristol. I ran the Summer Reading Challenge, as well as holiday activities for children and realised librarianship was my destiny. I then worked in the University of Bristol’s Graduate School of Education Library, while studying for an MSc at Aberystwyth. At the same time, I voluntarily ran the library at my sons’ school.

In 2012 I became a School Librarian at Clifton College Preparatory School: to have a job surrounded with young people, books and visiting children’s authors is a kind of heaven! I worked at first with 8-13 year olds and then designed, built and developed a library for the 2-8 year olds. It’s my mission to share the love of reading and I get to do this every day.

Somehow I also find the time to volunteer as a leader in Girl Guiding, and have done for the last 24 years. I recently co-ran an ‘unconference’ about encouraging reading for pleasure as part of my role with the South West YLG committee.

I’m hugely excited to have been chosen as a judge. When I asked my family if they minded me devoting all my spare time over the next two years to reading children’s literature, the response was reassuring. “You already do,” they said.


Ruth Keys

Eastern CKG 2019 Judge

I have loved books since I was very little and one of my fondest memories is receiving a hardback copy of The Magic Faraway Tree from my parents.

After leaving school I worked at my local library in Ellesmere Port before moving on to a research library in Capenhurst. I have worked in various roles over the years, working in early years and primary schools in London and the Cambridge area, until 6 years ago when I became the Librarian of Linton Village College.

My passion for reading, and encouraging students to read for pleasure, found a home at LVC. During my time at LVC, I have been involved with the organising committee for the Linton Children’s Book Festival, to help children of all ages to engage with books and participating authors. For the last few years we have had a CKG shadowing group at LVC to get students directly involved, and it has been great to see their engagement and enthusiasm. My other passion is illustration, and I shared this with the students by hosting an illustration club on a weekly basis.

I have two dogs, several grown up children and a patient and lovely husband who is very supportive of my reading and fascination with books. I am absolutely thrilled to be a CKG judge and I am so looking forward to it.


Emerson Milford Dickson

London CKG 2019 Judge

I am a career librarian in my late thirties, American by birth, and hold a MSc in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. Following several years working as a reference librarian and archivist in Boston, I returned to my hometown in Georgia to originate the post of Young Adult Librarian at my local library, where I was responsible for collection development as well as planning and delivering a wide range of activities for young people aged 11 to 18.

Love tossed a spanner in the works, and I emigrated to north-east England in 2006, marrying my husband, Chris, the following year. Soon after, I was hired by Stockton Borough Libraries, where I quickly became involved in a number of initiatives aimed at young people, including Stockton Children’s Book of the Year and the Northern Children’s Book Festival. Following government cuts, the much-beloved branch library I managed was shuttered in early 2014; encouraged by friends and colleagues, I decided to try my hand at school librarianship, and accepted my current role at Forest School in NE London in June of that year.

2018 marks my eighteenth year in libraries, and twelfth working directly with children and young people to encourage a love of reading for pleasure. My work and educational experience have equipped me to become a Carnegie Greenaway judge – to read widely, and broadly, with a critical eye, and with an appetite for excellence – and I am delighted to have been chosen to join the panel for 2019/20. My guiding professional philosophy is that anyone who walks into my library should be able to find a book in which they can recognise themselves; I hope to use my experience as a CKG judge to help ensure that my pupils and teachers continue to have access to a diverse range of quality literature.


Janet Noble

CKG 2019 Judge

The Bible was the only book we had in our house when I was growing up. However, my parents always read newspapers and liked to discuss national and international news events. They made me curious about the world and gave me a thirst for knowledge that led me straight to my local public library – indeed, I’ve never left!

I have 1 husband (so far), 2 cats, 3 children and I have spent 23 years promoting a love of books and reading as a children’s librarian in London. My heritage is Working Class Black British, and my favourite childhood book is The Family from One End Street by Eve Garnett – which was written in 1937! I believe that practitioners from all aspects of the children’s book industry need to be more pro-active in breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes to ensure that every child can access and enjoy great books that are representative of our diverse society. I want to see more books about the kind of child I was, and still meet, in schools and libraries across the capital every day.

In April 2007, I became a qualified librarian and I have been a committee member of CILIP’s Youth Libraries Group, London, since 2017.

I currently work as the librarian at Vicarage Primary School in Newham, East London.

I am thrilled (and terrified) to be a Carnegie Greenaway judge and I look forward to working with my fellow panel members to promote brilliant and inclusive children’s books.


Lisa Penman

Scotland CKG 2019 Judge

I started working as a library assistant 10 years ago when I got my first job in this profession based at Duloch Library in Dunfermline. In this role I was able to gain lots of experience working with children and young people. I ran Bookbug sessions and junior and teen reading groups, worked with visiting school groups and conducted storytime and craft sessions within the library. I love this job so much that I am still in this post on a part time basis!

The other part of the week I work in the Service Development Team for Young People, within this team I cover 17 schools and 5 libraries within my area. In this role I visit all of my schools on a regular basis. Conducting class visits to the local library and get to work on many exciting projects with the schools to promote reading, such as our Big Book Brains Quiz, our Primary 7 Book Awards, and tablet taster sessions among many others. I am also a Bookbug trainer. I don’t think there could be a better job for me really.

I am also a mum of twin boys who are aged 8, I love to go swimming and absolutely adore cats (and reading).


Anne Thomas

Wales CKG 2019 Judge

I have worked in public libraries for over 20 years, involved with children generally but for the last few years my job has involved supporting the Senior Manager for Literacy and Learning in Conwy, based in Colwyn Bay and Llandudno libraries. This has included all aspects of library work with children, including Book Start, Summer Reading Challenge, story times and author visits. I also help with stock selection and ordering for ages 0-18 and adult learning materials for the Conwy libraries.

After a refurbishment in 2008 I did some reading and reviewing for Which Book and had a short involvement as part of the team planning and reading titles for the North East Wales Book Quiz, which was great fun. I have been the librarian at Llandudno Library since 2012, managing staff, building and customers.

Children's books have always been important to me and the need for good quality children's fiction is as important as ever and so I am delighted to be taking part in the judging panel representing Wales and am very much looking forward to the experience.