Arla Jones, Committee Chair
Arla (a.k.a. “Farmla” in Farmtown), grew up in rural Kansas. She completed her B.A. in English at the University of Kansas, and her M.A. in Librarianship and Information Management at the University of Denver.
After working in public and school libraries in New York City for ten years, Arla and her partner Kimberley moved to the blue dot of Lawrence, Kansas. Arla is currently the head librarian at Lawrence High school, where she is also the faculty sponsor of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). This year she also launched the Lawrence Area GSA for all junior high and high school students in the county who do not have a GSA in their own school.
Book-wise, Arla has served on the William Allen White Book Award Committee, Newbery Medal Committee, the Stonewall Book Awards Committee, The Rainbow Project and currently chairs the Over the Rainbow project. Last winter she contributed a chapter on school libraries to a new book coming out in the fall, which will be entitled Serving LGBTIQ Library and Archives Users: Essays on Outreach, Service, Collections and Access. Locally, she started Rainbow Bookworms, an LGBT book discussion group for adults. Arla takes every opportunity to do presentations on LGBTIQ books to anyone who will listen!
Jane Cothron stopped working in chain bookstores to get her degree in library science from the University of Missouri in 1990. Since that time, she has become a cataloger–the elect of librarians–and become a member of ALA. She has served on the Stonewall Book Awards Committee, worked on the Amelia Bloomer Project beginning with the inaugural list, and helped propose and create The Rainbow Project. Jane is looking forward to finding a few good books to recommend for adult readers of GLBT books for the first Over The Rainbow list. Adults, after all, should be able to expect equal support from librarians in finding something to good read. Why should children have all the fun?
Cecil Hixon received his B.S. from the University of West Alabama and the M.S.L.S. from Atlanta University. He has worked at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library and The New York Public Library. At the New York Public Library he was the Adult Programming Specialist and coordinated to the booklist committee for a number of years. He has been active in ALA for the past twenty-five years; founding The Literary Awards of The Black Caucus of The American Library Association and serving as chair of the Stonewall Book Awards Committee,. He is an avid reader of fiction and biographies and loves sharing wonderful reading experiences with others.
Brent Husher is the Library Instruction Coordinator at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and the Chair of the Missouri Association of College & Research Libraries, a chapter of the Association of College & Research Libraries and a division of the Missouri Library Association. Brent also works with Gay Reads Book Club where members discuss books for, by, or about the LGBTQ community. The book club is open to anyone and everyone interested. This includes UMKC students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the community.
Jesse is from various places on the East Coast and is now enjoying living in Oakland, CA. She has a B.A. in Comparative Literature with concentrations in Art and Film Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and recently received her MLIS from Simmons College in 2009.
Librarianship is Jesse’s second career. The first was as a rape crisis and domestic violence counselor, educator, and advocate. Her work in this field led to major frustration with the lack of information and education available to vulnerable populations. This, and her desire to combine more outside interests into her work, led to the decision to enter the Library Science field.
As a fledgling librarian/archivist, Jesse has had numerous jobs in archives, a film study library, a non-profit research firm, and at the moment at the University of California where she is a records specialist. Currently she is on the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table (GLBTRT), External Relations Committee, writes reviews for the GLBRT Newsletter, and volunteers for whatever LGBTQ event looks interesting to her in the Bay Area. She is an avid reader of lesbian detective novels, among other things. She sees OTR as a good way to provide an informed resource to many different people with many different interests.
Danielle Pollock 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.
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.
Larry Romans leads the Outloud Gay Men’s Book Group in Nashville, Tennessee. For the group he provides the options from which the members choose the monthly selection. He’s an avid reader of gay fiction, including gay mysteries and – gasp – gay romances. He’s found that it’s difficult to find reliable ways to evaluate GLBT books and thinks that other people like him will benefit from having an annual list to help GLBT readers find good starting point for their reading.
Larry is finishing a term on the ALA Executive Board and has been an ALA Councilor for a number of years. He is a member of Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table (GLBTRT), Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT), and Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT). He contributes to the Freedom to Read Foundation and to the ALA Spectrum Scholarships. He hopes you do, too.
Nel Ward’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 The Rainbow Project.
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.