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AISL Summer Institute 2019: About our presenters

June 26-27, St. Louis, MO


Jennifer Jones--moderator for student and vendor panel; leader, Diversity in the Library

Jennifer Jones is the Director of the Counseling & Wellness Department at John Burroughs. She serves as co-sponsor for the student groups, Spectrum (our LGBTQI ally group) and the African American Affinity group. Jennifer has a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Northwestern University, a master's degree in social work from Washington University, and completed an advanced clinical social work fellowship at Yale University. Jennifer is the parent of a 2018 JBS grad and in her free time enjoys family time, jigsaw puzzles, gardening and reading YA realism, fantasy and science fiction.

Jennifer Kinney--leader, Diversity in the Library

Jennifer Kinney teaches 8th grade French, 10th grade diversity, and high school dance at John Burroughs School.  She has held many roles within the department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  She currently teaches and coordinates the 10th grade course, sponsors the middle school diversity club, and serves as a cultural competency coach for faculty at Burroughs. Jennifer holds bachelor’s degrees in French and Spanish language and culture from Texas Christian University, and a master’s in French Literature from Saint Louis University. She completed some of her undergraduate work at the American University Center of Provence in Aix-en-Provence, France, where her passion for studying cultural analysis and competency began. When not teaching or keeping up with the latest in DEI work, Jennifer enjoys listening to podcasts, training for long-distance triathlons, and spending time with her family and running friends. 

Kate Grantham--co-facilitator for high school diversity audit

Kate Grantham is the Audiovisual, Reference and Periodicals Librarian at John Burroughs School, a position she has held for seven years. She has a Bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Missouri and a Masters degree in library science from the University of Illinois. Kate is a co-sponsor of Student Congress, organizes club sponsor training, and is a member of the Safety Committee. The parent of three vivacious readers, Kate spends her time outside of school volunteering as a Girl Scout troop leader and with the children's choir and youth group at her church. She longs for the day when she can craft from sunrise to sunset.

Jennifer Millikan--co-facilitator for high school diversity audit

Jennifer Millikan is the Director of Library Services at St. Joseph’s Academy in St. Louis. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences Education from Fontbonne University, a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Loyola University Chicago, and a Master’s degree in Information Science and Learning Technologies from University of Missouri Columbia. She serves on the Diversity Committee at SJA and has worked closely with the Diversity Coordinator and the Diversity Outreach Coordinator. Jennifer is the current President of the Missouri Association of School Librarians and just presented on diversity and serving all of the students in the library at MASL’s spring conference.

Katie Archambault--facilitator for middle school diversity audit

Katie Archambault is the founding librarian for the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy in Chattanooga, Tennessee. CGLA as 350 student in grades 6-12. She has a Bachelor's degree in history and a Masters degree in information science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Katie is the past president of AISL and has served on the board for many years now. In her free time, she enjoys chauffeuring her three children to their various after school activities and cheering loudly so as to encourage and embarrass them. Her happy place is on the family's oversized couch, snuggling with her two 50 pound lap dogs, with a good book and a glass of wine in hand. Her dream is to one day open a bookstore/cafe that serves tea in the am, wine in the pm, with lots of live music, programming, and a continuous stream of adoptable animals on hand to love on and find good homes. 

Marybeth Huff--co-facilitator for elementary school diversity audit

Marybeth Huff started her teaching career in Japan where she taught English to elementary and middle school students. Upon her return to the United States, Marybeth continued teaching in the School District of Clayton before she joined the faculty at City Academy in 2007 as a first grade teacher. She taught third grade for two years, and now is in her eighth year as City Academy’s Librarian and Media Director. Marybeth has a bachelor's degree in political science, an elementary education certification and a master's degree in elementary education with an emphasis in reading from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis. Marybeth is a member of the American Library Association, Missouri Association of School Librarians and the Association of Independent School Librarians.

Martha Altvater--co-facilitator for elementary school diversity audit

Martha Altvater has taught middle school social studies/language arts for thirty-six years. She taught thirteen years at CDS/MICDS and later at De La Salle Middle School in the Ville neighborhood of North St. Louis.  Martha currently works in the City Academy library. Martha has a bachelor's degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina. When not reading, Martha and her husband, Chris, travel visiting their son in Charleston, SC and their cabin on Washington Island, Wisconsin. Martha volunteers as a mentor in the  St. Louis International Mentoring Program, established to help international women connect to St. Louis in a meaningful way.

Shane Mullen--Left Bank Books

As Shane writes about himself on the Left Bank web site:  (link HERE for some of his picks!)

I love to read fiction of almost all varieties but lean more towards mystery and epic historical fiction (really anything with a good story that might make me cry or laugh). I also read narrative non-fiction like memoir with a social justice theme, micro-histories, and true crime. I will pick up any book that strikes me at the moment. 

I am the staff wrangler, author wrangler (event host), assistant cat wrangler, book whisperer, reading group coordinator, and Friend's program coordinator among other things.

Julius B. Anthony--St. Louis Black Authors of Children's Literature 

Jeffrey Blair--owner and founder, Eye See Me Bookstore



 EyeSeeMe African American Children's Bookstore

EyeSeeMe Bookstore carries thousands of African American and Multi-Cultural Children's Books at their store on 7827 Olive Blvd, in University City and through their website. They spend countless hours researching all the major publishers and distributors including Random House, JustUs Books, Scholastic, & Capstone, looking for the very best books that will further their mission. Their books range from Baby/Toddler to High School, most of which meet Core Curriculum Standards. 
Eyeseeme offers parents and teachers a unique and diverse product line that fosters educational excellence and promotes educational family fun.

St. Louis Black Authors of Children's Literature is the "...only literacy based nonprofit within the [St. Louis] region that focuses solely on Black children's literature as a strategy for improving reading proficiencies...." From the web site:

Third grade reading success is the educational marker that determines a child’s progress in school and in life (Annie E. Case Foundation 2014).
In 2017, approximately 70% of all Black third graders in metropolitan St. Louis failed the state mandated Reading assessment compared to 40% of ALL third graders throughout Missouri (MO DESE 2017).

Left Bank Books opened in 1969 by a group of graduate students at Washington University who wanted to create a place where one could find all kinds of literature. We are the oldest and largest independently-owned full-line bookstore in St. Louis, and we offer a full-line of new and used books, gifts, cards, magazines, toys and services. We've grown and changed throughout our 50 years, but our mission still remains the same – to spark public conversation by curating an intelligent, relevant, culturally diverse selection of books.  

We see ourselves as a cultural institution as well as a retail business.  In that spirit, we produce over 300 events per year, most of which are free and open to the public. These range from large events with dignitaries such as Hillary Clinton and Jimmy Carter to local poets in the River Styx Reading Series. We host seven book clubs of our own (including Gay Men's Reading GroupLesbian Reading GroupGreat Novels of the 22nd CenturyNovel IdeasRead the ResistanceReader BewareShakespeare Festival Readsand Writers Read as well as "Pop Up" reading groups that move through one author or theme and disband once finished) and sell books to many, many other private book groups. We also offer a weekly story time.  We partner with three library systems, many churches, public and private schools and other community institutions to bring this type of programming to our city, and work with them to encourage literacy.

Student panelists