Bob Graziano, Chair (2011-2013)
After earning his MLS at Dominican University, Bob started his career as the corporate archivist for Deere & Company in Moline, Illinois. Having lived in New York, Chicago, and Toronto, he learned he just wasn’t cut out to live in a small city. He returned to Chicago and taught English for 9 years at an alternative school for dropouts and youths placed there through the court system.
He became the librarian and worked with this disenfranchised population for the next 25 years, eventually serving as librarian for the high school located within the Cook County Jail. After retiring as an educator, he took a position as librarian with the Chicago Public Library system. He is currently the acting head of the Humanities Department at Woodson Regional Library.
Bob has volunteered with a number of agencies within the LGBT community including Stop AIDS Chicago, Vital Bridges, the Howard Brown Health Center, Chicago House, and IML. In addition, he loves to travel and spends as much time as he can with his partner in Fort Lauderdale. As an avid reader, he has been a member of a number of books clubs over the years and has always enjoyed the discussion of works and sharing his and others enthusiasm for a variety of different genres of literature.
Kelly McElroy, Chair-Elect (2012-2014)
Kelly McElroy has been the Undergraduate Services Librarian at the University of Iowa since 2011. Besides OTR, she is involved with the zine libraries interest group, and serves as co-chair of the Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize Committee.
Danielle Pollock, Immediate Past Chair (2011-2014)
An avid reader of LGBT fiction, Danielle has been active in the American Library Association, where she has served on the Stonewall Book Awards Committee, the Special Libraries Association, and the Missouri Library Association. She recently relocated to the high desert, and picked up a hobby reviewing books for the local science fiction club. As a member of the Over the Rainbow project, she’s looking forward to finding some great LGBT books and sharing them with the community.Danielle received her B.A. in English/Creative Writing from the University of Houston, and her Master’s in Library Science from the University of Missouri. She’s spent a lifetime working with books and information, first in bookstores, then in public, academic, and special libraries, in roughly that order.
Dave Combe (2013-2015)
After thirty years on the reference side, Dave Combe has just (March 2013) moved to the administrative office of the Ventura County Library (California) with new responsibilities for developing training programs for staff at eleven libraries. With the goal of assisting all staff in providing excellent customer service by improved knowledge and skills in using library electronic resources, ILS, OPAC, and other staff resources and equipment, Dave will be creating training manuals, handouts, PowerPoint presentations, videos, instructional manuals, as well as and maintenance of blogs, discussion groups and other online tools for dissemination of information and exercises to enhance staff training. Dave will also be developing and implementing evaluation techniques to gauge the efficacy of all training. Needless to say, he’ll be looking at what other libraries are doing, and borrowing and adapting liberally to our local situations. Dave is a member of ALA, PLA, the GLBT Roundtable, as well as the Library History and Government Documents Round Tables. He is also a member of the Reference and User Services and the Young Adult Library Services Associations. Dave was a juror for the Stonewall Book Awards in 2011 and 2012, and is entering his first year as a juror on the Over The Rainbow Committee.
Anna Fidgeon (2013-2015)
Originally from Washington State, Anna cannot remember a time when she did not love books. She received her B.A. in Women Studies from the University of Washington, where she began her library work as a student assistant. Unable to imagine herself working anywhere but a library, Anna pursued her MIS from The University of Texas at Austin, and during that time, she discovered her love for information literacy instruction in her Graduate Assistant position at the University of Texas Libraries. Anna is in her first professional librarian position as a Digital Learning Initiatives Librarian at California State University, Northridge, where she continues to help students discover library resources in the classroom and at the reference desk as well as through the digital learning objects she creates for the Library website and social media. In addition to the GLBTRT, Anna is a member of ALA, ACRL and CARL and is very excited to be currently surrounded by the piles of books she gets to review as an Over the Rainbow juror.
Jessica Jones (2013-2015)
Jessica Jones is the Library Director at Northern New Mexico College, a rural campus in the Espanola Valley that serves an active and supportive GLBTQ community. She grew up in the arts community of Houston, Texas and was inspired by the friendship and acceptance there to remain involved with the GLBTQ community long after her formative years. She went on to complete BAs in American Studies and History from the University of Texas at San Antonio and received her MSI from the University of Michigan in 2009. Jessica has since been living in Santa Fe with her husband and cat and is thrilled to be a part of this committee with the privilege of reviewing so many excellent GLBTQ titles.
Louis Muñoz (2013-2015)
Louis grew up in 3 countries – the U.S., Puerto Rico, and New Jersey – but currently makes his home in Brooklyn, NY. His lifelong love of books began in childhood, aided and abetted by great neighborhood librarians and RIF. This has led to his new career as a bilingual Reference Librarian in the Multilingual Center/Languages and Literature Division of the Brooklyn Public Library, focusing on library services to immigrants and their families. (Louis has also been both a linguist-interrogator in the Army and a kindergarten teacher, among other things.)
In his not-quite-seven years as a librarian, Louis has served as Secretary, Vice-President, and President of ALA-REFORMA’s Northeast Chapter, and is currently the Secretary for REFORMA National and on the ALA Diversity Council. Louis has also been active in NYLA’s Ethnic Studies Roundtable and other professional organizations. Louis is very excited in his newest role as a juror on the Over The Rainbow Books Committee, and looks forward to sharing his love of reading and discovery with others.
Robert Ridinger (2012-2014)
Having been addicted to books for as long as he can remember, Rob has been involved with researching and writing on LGBT history since his return to the United States in 1980. following three years of service in the Kingdom of Lesotho as a Peace Corps Volunteer librarian . He received a double B.A. in anthropology and German from the University of Pittsburgh in 1972 and an MLS from that institution’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science in 1973., and an MA in anthropology from Case Western Reserve University in 1976. Coming to Northern Illinois University in 1981 as the subject specialist for anthropology, sociology , geography and area studies 90 which at that time included the African American, Latino and Women’s Studies programs ) , he took as his tenure project the creation of an index to the first fifteen years of The Advocate, and gave a program on this work at the GLBT Round Table program at the ALA summer conference in 1985. Since then, he has chaired two sections of ACRL, worked on numerous GLBTRT committees , and served two terms on the jury for the Stonewall Awards., and climbed the academic ladder to full professor. His experience on Stonewall led to an interest in works that fell outside the its range and when an opportunity to join the Over the Rainbow Project came up, it was too good to resist. Since 2001 he has been a board member of the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago and continues to contribute to the expanding pool of historical writing on leather/levi culture. His interests in literature lie in poetry, fiction ( especially science and speculative fiction and fantasy ) and historical and political writing. He believes that even academics can and do appreciate the diverse mainstreams of LGBT writing.
Nel Ward (2010-2014)
Nel’s fascination with book selection began when, as an English teacher in the Phoenix Union High School District (AZ), she started a young readers’ book center. When she received her doctorate from Arizona State University and transformed into a high school librarian, she joined ALA, participating on such committees as Best Books for Young Adults, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, Quick Picks, and the Michael L. Printz Award. Involvement with the Feminist Task Force (SRRT) led her to co-found the Amelia Bloomer Project; its success encouraged then encouraged her to co-found Rainbow Books Committee.
After her retirement from education to the Oregon Coast, she and her long-time partner, Sue, have owned a bookstore and two different B&Bs. Currently her time is spent on reading books for GLBTRT Over the Rainbow, writing newsletters for the local chapter of PFLAG and NOW, editing books, and working with a small publishing company that focuses on materials about sexual assault. And she still coordinates a book center with books for young readers.
Nel is currently the editor of the GLBTRT Newsletter.