Member Spotlight - Joe Marcantonio

October 25, 2021

It's Monday, so its time for another ILA Member Spotlight! This member spotlight features Joe Marcantonio, Teen Services Manager at the Schaumburg Township District Library. We asked Joe to tell us a little bit about himself and to answer a few professional and amusing questions. Continue reading to find out more about Joe. 

A little bit about Joe

My Grandma was a reader and she made me a reader, though she probably shouldn’t have let me borrow her copy of Flowers in the Attic when I was in 5th grade. She would have made a great Teen Librarian. When I became a librarian she was so proud because that was her dream job.

Being adopted myself, I am a big advocate for adoption and have two adopted children, Luca and Luna. We spent years preparing for Luca’s arrival, then one day during the pandemic we got a call from the adoption agency that Luca had a biological sibling up for adoption and would we be interested in adopting her. I spend all of my free time these days trying to keep up with the two of them.


How did you get into libraries?

I started as a 14-year-old shelver at the Winfield Public Library and left there for Border’s (RIP) when I turned 16. After college (while working as a camp counselor) I knew I wanted to work with kids/teens but didn’t want to work in a classroom. Since I already knew the Dewey Decimal System it seemed like a waste to not utilize that knowledge so I got my LTA certificate and got into a library.

Best advice you've received since starting your career in libraries?

You should join iRead, that committee provides lunch.

Any advice to newcomers working in libraries?

You should join iRead, that committee provides lunch.

When and why did you become a member of ILA?

My first adult library job (YA Library Assistant) provided ILA membership as a perk. The first thing I did was attend an informational/interest meeting for a brand new committee being formed called the Young Adult Services Forum.

What is the one accomplishment you are most proud of as a former manager of the ILA Young Adult Services Forum?

Helping to create and select the first YASF Board.

Hardcover, paperback, e-reader, or all three?

I have to go paperback for a personal read because it’s light and portable. I love audiobooks too but have never gotten into e-readers.

Favorite author?

How can you ask a librarian this? A ten way tie between: Ursula K LeGuin, Tolkien, Asimov, Vonnegut, Murakami, Kim Stanley Robinson, Walter Dean Myers, David Sedaris, Steven King, and Mary Roach.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what five books would you bring with you to pass the time until being rescued?

    • Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
    • The Survival Medicine Handbook: THE essential guide for when medical help is NOT on the way
    • How to Eat in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Foraging, Trapping, Fishing, and Finding Sustenance in the Wild
    • A Field Guide to Clean Drinking Water 
    • The Books of Earthsea: Complete Illustrated Edition

Cat or Dog?


Favorite film, podcast, or television show?

Another too tough question to narrow down, instead here’s my greatest library movies (scenes) list:

      • Party Girl (1995)
      • Whisper of the Heart (1995)
      • The Breakfast Club (1985)
      • The Conan the Librarian sketch from UHF (1989)
      • The NYPL scene in Ghostbusters (1984) - "You're right. No human being would stack books like this."

One person you would like to meet, dead or alive, and why?

Mr. Rogers. As a kid he was my hero and probably the reason I’ve always worked with the youth.

iREAD Summer Reading Programs

Since 1981, iREAD provides high quality, low-cost resources and products that enable local library staff to motivate children, young adults, and adults to read.

Visit the iREAD website »