18 WINTER 2019 | WWW.SHAKER.LIFE
Q&A With Lizzie Gall:
A Notable Reader
By Margaret Simon
Lizzie Gall, a member of the American Library Association Notable Books Council,
is a graduate of Shaker Heights High School, class of 2003. She received a
bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Rochester in 2007, and her
Master of Library and Information Science from Syracuse University in 2011. She
worked with the Grand Rapids Public Library for six years and is now an assistant
director of Library Experience at Jefferson County Public Library in Colorado.
We asked her about the formidable charge of selecting the notable books of
I remember you and your brother volunteering at Friends of the Shaker Library book
sales when you were Mercer students. What actually led you to your profession?
I have always found libraries to be a magical place, and have so many fond memories
from the Shaker Library. It was influential in my life growing up, but I wasn’t led to
librarianship until I was an adult. Sari Feldman, executive director at Cuyahoga County
Public Library, encouraged me to consider librarianship after I returned from teaching
English in China after college, and I am grateful she did. I love working in a field where I
get to serve my community, and pay forward the impact Shaker Library had on me.
What and who informed your reading as a student in Shaker?
This question gives me a chance to think about all the people who guided me in reading.
I am a voracious reader, and can thank my teachers and librarians for helping me find great
books while I was a student. At Shaker Library, Kathy Engelhart got me started during
story hour, then Susan Scheps fostered my love of reading by sending me home with a
stack of great stories to get lost in after each visit. I have vivid memories of listening to my
kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Breland, read to our class and can still picture the bookshelf
with the Anne of Green Gables series in Mrs. Powers’ second grade classroom.
At Woodbury, Mary Strouse pointed me in the right direction. Of course, my parents
played a huge role in informing my reading and really rose to the challenge of having a
child always in search of a new book.
@ Shaker Library
I love books
that draw you in
to the point you
can’t put them down and are challenged by the ideas.