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National YLG Committee Members
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 Past Winners of the YLG Award

Jake Hope - Chair

Jake Hope is a reading development and children's book consultant.  He was the Reading and Learning Development Manager for Lancashire Libraries, one of the largest library authorities in the UK.  Jake has judged nearly every major children's book award in the UK and has chaired numerous promotional selection panels.  Alongside delivering training and public speaking on books and reading, Jake is an active reviewer and a passionate advocate for libraries books and reading.  Jake is currently the chair of the Youth Libraries Group, the Chair of the Working Party for the prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal and is working on a book about visual literacy for Facet publishing.

Tricia Adams - Past Chair

As a professional librarian with more years’ experience than I care to mention – I have worked in several sectors including government libraries and as a self-employed information specialist but have come back to my favourite – of working with children, in various guises, for the last 20+ years. This has included a spell as a primary school librarian, before moving back to public libraries in my home county of Northamptonshire, where I have been Head of Children’s and Young People’s Public Library Services and the manager of the Schools’ Library Service – Learning Resources for Education.

I have been Director of the School Library Association since 2008. I have had the honour to be Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards judging panel and YLG during 2008 and 2017.

Alison Brumwell - Chair Elect and CKG Chair of Judges

I have nearly fifteen years experience as a children's specialist and am currently employed at Kirklees College, alongside which I freelance as a reader development and literacy consultant. I am an active member of YLG (Yorkshire and the Humber,) and currently serve as national representative. I am also 2019 Chair of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals judging panel and have been a volunteer with Africa Educational Trust since 2011.

Sue Polchow - National Secretary

I have worked to enthuse young people about the pleasures of books and enjoyment of reading for many years. Firstly as a school librarian and then as a Schools Library Service adviser and then SLS manager. I currently work as an advisory librarian for a library and educational software company. I chaired East Midlands YLG and was that region's CKG judge which was a memorable and enriching experience. I became the East Midlands representative on the National Committee and then took on the roles of Website Manager and also National Secretary. If any YLG regional group secretaries need any advice or support please do get in touch as always happy to help.

Helen Thompson - National Treasurer & North East Representative

After nearly 30 years experience of working with children and young people in public libraries (a lamentable proportion of that time being spent in management roles) I have now achieved my dream job of working in a school library. Based in the North East, I am the NE rep on national as well as treasurer. I have been proud to serve as a judge for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards (twice!), and as chair of judges (once). Other previous roles include chair of national YLG, and editor of the newsletter & YLR. I contribute book reviews to The School Librarian, and am a member of School Libraries Group and the School Library Association. I am always available to offer advice and support to regional treasurers, so please do not hesitate to contact me.

Amy McKay - CILIP CKG Co-ordinator

I have been a school librarian in Northamptonshire for 15 years and truly believe I have the best job in the world. One of my proudest moments was being named School Librarian of the Year 2016-17. YLG has been a huge support and source of inspiration since I joined my regional committee in 2009. I am currently the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway National Coordinator and am always happy to answer any CKG related questions.

Joy Court - Conference Manager & CILIP CKG Working Party Chair

I am Reviews Editor for The School Librarian journal, author of Read to Succeed: strategies to engage children and young people in reading for pleasure (2011) and Reading By Right: successful strategies to ensure every child can read to succeed (2017) FACET and several of the SLA Riveting Reads booklists. I am YLG Conference Manager and currently Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. Previously I managed Coventry SLS but now concentrate on books and libraries as a freelance consultant. I am a trustee and member of the National Council of the United Kingdom Literacy Association & on the selection panel for the UKLA Book Awards. I am also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and The English Association and an Honorary Fellow of CILIP but I’m proudest of all of my Honorary Life Membership of YLG!

Julia Hale - Conference Secretary and South West Representative

School Libraries Advisor

I trained as a primary teacher but have been a children’s librarian for over twenty years, working in a variety of roles in public libraries from Surestart literacy worker to Young People’s Services Manager. I am currently Schools Libraries Advisor for Plymouth’s Schools Library Service. Throughout my career YLG has run as a golden thread, a supportive network of likeminded professionals dedicated to finding the right books to put into children’s hands. I joined London committee when I was a library assistant studying for by MA in librarianship and am currently National Rep for the South West Group and National Conference Secretary.


Vacancy - Exhibition Manager


Elizabeth McDonald - Membership Manager & South East Representative

Reader Development Officer - Young People and Families.

Ferelith Hordon - Youth Libraries Review Editor

Ferelith was a Children's Librarian with Wandsworth for almost the whole of her career. She was - and still is - an active member of CILIP YLG and has served as Chair of both YLG London and of the National Committee. She has been a CILIP Carnegie-Greenaway judge and has chaired the judging committee for those awards. Though now retired she remains active in the children's book world and in YLG, editing both the monthly on-line newsletter and Youth Library Review. She is co-editor of Books for Keeps, the online review magazine for children's literature, and also editor of IBBYLink, the online journal of IBBY UK.

For Youth Libraries Review & YLG e-newsletter enquiries email

Christopher Bertenshaw - Website Manager & East Midlands Representative

Chris is currently working as both a Children's and Community Learning & Information Librarian in Derbyshire. He began his career as a Library Assistant at Bolsover Library, before being made Assistant in Charge of Bakewell Library. He qualified as a Library in 2015, taking on the role as a Digital Assistant throughout libraries in Derbyshire, before taking up his current roles in 2018. He is a passionate advocate for the importance of reading for pleasure, espcially for children, and is proud to play an active role in the YLG, with a two-year role as regional judge for the Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals in 2018/19 a particular highlight. He adores his wife and three young boys, would love to become a published author, and is starting to wonder whether he has left his professional footballing and snowboarding careers too late at the age of 33. 

Lizzie Ryder - North West Representative

I’ve worked in School Libraries for 13 years and have been enthusiastically involved in promoting the CKG Awards with many school shadowing groups throughout that time. I’ve been a committee member of YLG North West since 2010 during which time I was incredibly lucky to serve as the region’s CKG judge and then latterly as Chair. I look forward to new bookish adventures as part of YLG National Committee!

Tanja Jennings - Northern Ireland Representative

From an early age I’ve loved reading because of its immersive and transcendent power. This enjoyment of literature led to my current vocation as a School Librarian in Wellington College Belfast. Along the way I gained the qualifications of a Joint Honours BA in English & History, an NVQ in Journalism, an MA in English [Irish Writing], an MSc in Information & Library Studies and a PG Dip in Children's Literature. I am the co-ordinator for the Northern Ireland heat of the Kids' Lit Quiz. I also review books for The School Librarian, the Book Bag and Reading Zone. I've had the honour of representing Northern Ireland as a judge on the panel for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards during 2016 and 2017 and being involved in the annual CKG twitter takeover which was an exciting and uplifting experience.

Jennifer Horan - Scotland Representative

I have worked as a school librarian in authorities across Scotland since qualifying as a librarian in 2012, but have recently returned to student life as I work to complete a PhD in Children’s Literature at University of Glasgow. I joined YLG Scotland five years ago and have been fortunate enough to hold many exciting committee posts including CKG rep 2016/17 and Chair of the committee, which I currently do. When not reading, I can usually be found at the theatre or climbing Scottish hills.

Ellen Krajewski - Eastern Representative

Librarian at the Hemel Hempstead School

Alexandra Ball - Wales Representative

I have worked for Caerphilly Library Service for 18 years as a Community Librarian in sunny South Wales. I became a member of YLG Wales about 10 years ago to get more involved in children’s books. During that time I have been Vice Chair, Chair and am currently Secretary as well as being National rep. It has been a wonderful 10 years and I have met some great people and learned so much. I have just been asked to be an English language judge for the Tir na n-Og awards by the Welsh Books Council so I am excited to be part of that process.

Isobel Powell - West Midlands Representative

I came to librarianship through a slightly convoluted route having originally studied science, medicine and then a degree in psychology. But my love of reading has always been there from early childhood so after I completed my MSc in Information and Library science in 2001 I went to work as a librarian for the NHS. After a few years of doing this I decided that what I was really interested in was children’s literature, so I left the NHS and became a school librarian. This then led me to work for the Coventry School Library Service initially as the advisory librarian before becoming the head of the Service 5 years ago. I am currently the Chair of the West Midlands YLG group and was previously the CKG judge for the West Midlands (2015-2016). I am also a book reviewer for the School Librarian and an active member of the West Midlands ASCEL committee and the SLSUK working party. Outside of work I am a mum to 2 daughters and enjoy Amigurumi 3D crochet creating unusual animals.

Ben Lawrence - Yorkshire and the Humber Representative

I manage Calderdale’s Public Children’s Library Service, a job I find incredibly rewarding sharing my passions for music and literature with the families in and around Halifax, West Yorkshire. I am an Early Childhood methodology tutor for the British Kodály Academy and regularly present at conferences and deliver training on using songs and rhymes for Children Centre and Early Years staff as well as Children’s Library professionals. In 2014 I was invited to speak about the power of sharing songs, rhymes and stories at an MP’s reception at the Houses of Parliament. More recently, I've recorded songs and rhymes for the charity Booktrust, for their National Bookstart Week celebrations and, with my colleague Shelley Bullas, co-authored the chapter Music and Rhyme Time Sessions for the Early Years in the book Library Services from Birth to Five: Delivering the Best Start, edited by Carolynn Rankin and Avril Brock. I LOVE playing viola, and can be found playing regularly for Espressivo Chorus and the Fields Ensemble.

Caroline Fielding - London Representative

I've been working in libraries since 2004, but joined the YLG London committee when I moved from public libraries to school libraries in 2009. I chose YLG committee rather than SLG (I have been a member of both SIGs since 2004) because I am passionate about engaging CYP with reading and wanted to be involved in the CKG awards - one of the best things I've ever done was being a CKG judge. I have been Chair of YLG London for some years, and currently work part time as Librarian in a special needs academy in South London and full time as a Mum!

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