Member Spotlight - Ann Baillie

Youth Services Forum (YSF)

April 24, 2023

This week's member spotlight is on Ann Baillie. Ann is the manager of the ILA Youth Services Forum. We asked Ann to tell us a little about herself and answer a few professional and amusing questions. Continue reading to find out more about Ann

A little background on Ann

I am the Youth Services Assistant Manager at the Alsip-Merrionette Park Public Library. I spend most of my time ordering books, working on our department’s diversity audit, and (my personal favorite) doing programs with our patrons. I am also the current manager of the ILA Youth Services Forum. I earned my MLIS from the School of Information Science at the University of Urbana-Champaign. In my spare time, I love to read books, watch classic movies, and try out new recipes.

How did you get your start in libraries?

I got my start in libraries by attending youth programs when I was a kid. My librarian, Ms. Mary, asked me if I could volunteer when I was in 5th grade. I realized that summer that I wanted to be a professional librarian. I’ve never looked back!

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

Always be willing to try something new. What your patrons are interested in is constantly changing, so be willing to change with them. By being willing to discover new things with your patrons, you will show them that you value them.

Any advice to newcomers working in libraries?

Always remember that we do everything we do for the patrons. My cubicle is filled with pictures patrons have colored for me over the years, and thank you notes they have sent me. It’s a great visual reminder that when we keep our patrons at the center of everything we do, we really can make a difference.

When and why did you become a member of ILA?

I joined ILA in 2017 when I was a student at the School of Information Science at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I knew I wanted to join ILA so I could learn from my fellow librarians and keep up with issues impacting libraries across Illinois.

How has being a member of ILA helped you professionally? 

Being a member of ILA has helped my professionally by helping me meeting other librarians through the Youth Services Forum. The Forum is a group of youth librarians from across the state, and together we meet up to learn from one another about how we can improve youth librarianship. The Forum has also helped me to push myself by encouraging me to present at the ILA Annual Conference.

What is your proudest professional achievement to date?

In 2022, I presented at the ILA Annual Conference. I was part of the panel “The Diversity of Auditing: Collections and Beyond” which discussed how five different Illinois libraries ran diversity audits. It was great to get to learn from my fellow panelists and to show others what we had learned during our diversity audit.

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

I love hardcovers! I like how well they hold up. I also love paperbacks, especially when it comes to cozy mysteries.

Favorite author?

There are so many great authors! For adult books, I especially love Edith Wharton and William Shakespeare. For children’s books, I love Jason Reynolds, Brian Selznick, and Nikki Grimes

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

I would bring Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds, Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, The Royal Rabbits of London by Santa Montefiore, and How to Get Away with Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce.

Cat or Dog?

Dog! I had a west highland terrier named Happy growing up.

Favorite film, podcast, or television show?

For movies, I love so many! I just watched The Fabelmans, which was amazing. I like the podcast Rolling Stone Music Now. On TV, I like The Equalizer starring Queen Latifah. It’s so exciting!

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

I would like to meet Grace Kelly! I think it’s so cool how she was one of the first actresses to go outside the studio system and arrange her own photoshoot for a magazine. She spent a lot of time standing up to the studio system, which is really cool.

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