Meet our Staff

staff picture

Nyama Y. Reed, Library Director

Hello, I’m Nyama the Library Director. I joined the Whitefish Bay Public Library team in 2014, after 3 years at the Weyenberg Library of Mequon-Thiensville as a manager and 7 years at Flint Public Library as a reference librarian. I love working on spreadsheets of the budget and library statistics. Seriously, I do. It’s my bliss! When not at work, I do my best to keep my son busy and happy, including reading Elephant and Piggie books together. When left to my own reading time, I enjoy biographies, non-fiction, Grisham-esque page turners, and heart-string-tugging book-club books.

n.reed@wfblibrary.org

staff picture

Jennifer Williams, Circulation Supervisor

I am the Head of Circulation and have been working at the library since 1996.My career at the library started after previous positions in the fields of Social work and Law. I still do some consulting work in Ethics. Since I was young, I’ve always said, my most valuable card in my wallet has been my Library card!! I love to read non-fiction, especially memoirs but also enjoy the writing of Ann Patchett, Anne Lamont and Alice Hoffman. A huge perk in working at the library is the exposure to all the new great authors. Outside of work, spending time with any of my 3 children, husband and family is the best, especially if it’s at our condo in Florida!

j.williams@wfblibrary.org

book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Speaks to race, choice fear and hope. A novel based on the true story of a labor and delivery nurse who was prohibited from caring for a newborn based on her race.

See this book on the catalog

The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan

Good read in this time of talk of global warming . Speaks to the past and how history can always reap itself. This is a narrative of the dust bowl during the depression, with the seeds of environmental disaster.

See this book on the catalog

The Commoner by John Burnam Schwartz

This novel is a “Princess Diana” set in an earlier time and a far different location. It is modeled on the current empress of Japan. It tells the story of entering the hermetically sealed world from that of a commoner , and being forced to surrender and even suppress her own identity.

See this book on the catalog
staff picture

Scott Lenski, Community & Adult Services Librarian

I’ve been at the Whitefish Bay Public Library since 2012. I plan most of the adult programming, update the website and do the library’s social media. I love to read a little bit of everything, from literary fiction to mystery, and sci-fi to nonfiction books about science. Some of my favorite authors are John Irving, Dennis Lehane, Tana French, Meg Wolitzer, and John Scalzi.

s.lenski@wfblibrary.org

book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

The Interestings is the story of six teenagers who meet at an arts summer camp. We follow these teenagers to middle age, as each must deal with their successes (or lack thereof). This book examines what happens to our dreams when we grow up. Wolitzer’s style reminded me of John Irving. I cherished every single page of this book and look forward to reading some of her other work.

See this book on the catalog

A Widow for One Year by John Irving

This is John Irving at his best as he chronicles the life of writer Ruth Cole. Tragedy strikes the Cole family before Ruth’s birth and this leaves her mother and father broken and shattered. As Irving often does in his novels we follow the main character throughout most of her life. There is a particularly riveting scene that has been stuck in my head since first reading this gem.

See this book on the catalog

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Tart’s first novel follows a group of highly intelligent and eccentric college students as they plunge into a world of drinking, drugs, and darkness. An accidental murder is at the heart of this book which is part literary fiction and part psychological thriller. The prose is absolutely wonderful and you’ll want to savor every word.

See this book on the catalog

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Ignatius J. Reilly is a bumbling 30 year old who still lives at home with his mom. He is scribing his life story on giant writing pads that he keeps hidden under his bed. A car accident by his drunk mother sends him looking for a job, and then he finds himself in some pretty ridiculous situations. In real life Ignatius would drive me crazy, but as a literary character he is hilariously memorable, so much so that I named by dog after him.

See this book on the catalog

His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman is a trilogy of books that follows Lyra Belacqua as she navigates a world with many similarities but also some differences from our own. In Lyra’s world every person has a daemon, an animal that is a representation of a person’s inner being. This special connection is at risk as children are being taken and experimented on. Pullman is a master world builder and he is in the process of expanding on the original books with a second related trilogy called The Book of Dust.

See this book on the catalog
staff picture

Katie Kiekhaefer, Head of Youth Services

I’ve been the Head of Youth Services at the Whitefish Bay Public Library since 2013, but I've been passionate about youth services since a summer spent working at my hometown library with my childhood librarians after college. My favorite aspects of being a youth services librarian are connecting with kids and their families and caregivers, advocating for each child’s reading interests, and creating fun, educational, and innovative programming for all ages. While most of my time is spent reading children’s and young adult literature, I also try to sneak some adult non-fiction, and if I'm not reading, I love listening to music and watching sports.

k.kiekhaefer@wfblibrary.org

book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

A hilarious, pun-filled adventure that still feels as fresh and relevant as it did upon being published in 1961.

See this book on the catalog

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

This time-traveling sci-fi book travels from 2057 to Victorian England to World War II and medieval Britain. With wit, adventure, and a fair amount of romance, Connie Willis has created a perfect sci-fi Victorian comedy of manners, of all the things.

See this book on the catalog

Bomb: the Race to Build-and Steal-the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin

A non-fiction book for elementary schoolers, this book combines science, espionage, and international politics to tell the story behind the atomic bomb.

See this book on the catalog

Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson

This young adult book is a fascinating look at the importance of the arts, the resiliency of the Russian people, the lengths humans will go to in order to survive, the unfathomable corruption of the Russian government, and the role the arts play in government propaganda.

See this book on the catalog

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

A love letter to roller derby and a spot-on look at how complicated middle school friends can be, all perfectly portrayed in graphic novel format.

See this book on the catalog
staff picture

Allison Fantetti, Teen Services and Technology Library

I joined the Whitefish Bay Public Library in 2017. I have worked all around the Milwaukee area over the last five years including Brown Deer, Oak Creek, and New Berlin. Previous to that I worked my way up from page to intern in LaGrange IL, a suburb of Chicago. I’m excited to be working with all ages at WFB but focusing on Teens. Most of the reading I do is spent in young adult fiction but sometimes I venture into adult non-fiction. In my free time I can be found listening to podcasts or catching up on TV.

a.fantetti@wfblibrary.org

book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

From the Printz award winning author of Noggin, Whaley creates another great story. This hilarious novel dives into deep issues like agoraphobia, anxiety disorders while keeping an empathetic tone readers can relate with.

See this book on the catalog

True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan

Another read with humor while tackling serious issues. James seems to have it all going for him; popular, all-star athlete, funny, sort of boyfriend to Theresa. But when James is at his desk he writes letters telling the truth, never intending to send them. When the letters get sent James is forced to confront his truths.

See this book on the catalog

The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

A modern version of the novel Speak this story is told in four parts, freshman year, sophomore year, junior year, and senior year, the reader move's through Eden's high school experience after her sexual assault seeing how one incident can completely change a person.

See this book on the catalog

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

This heartwarming story will appeal to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider or struggled in school. Ally has learned to adapt, and thinks she has everyone fooled until a new teacher arrives. He can see that she's struggling, and helps her learn to understand her dyslexia.

See this book on the catalog

Schizo by Nic Sheff

This is a quick read even though it covers the heavy issue of mental illness. Miles is an unreliable narrator but takes the reader on a trip of what it is like to live with schizophrenia.

See this book on the catalog
staff picture

Valerie Morris, Youth Services Librarian

I have been at the Whitefish Bay Public Library since March of 2012. Starting my position at this library was a dream come true and my first since finishing my master’s degree in library science in 2001. My joy is in doing storytime and planning arts and science programs for kids. I, of course, enjoy reading as much as my time allows, mostly historical, fantasy/sci-fi, realistic, and classic fiction. Occasionally, I actually get to read a grownup book however most of my reading is children’s and young adult books. When not reading, I enjoy travelling and exploring with my family.

v.morris@wfblibrary.org

book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The first installment in the Diviner series, The Diviners does not disappoint. The historical setting of 1926 New York City, the diverse cast of well-developed characters and the paranormal, combine to keep the reader engaged. Follow this book with Lairs of Dreams and Before the Devil Breaks You to continue the series.

See this book on the catalog

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor is a master of world building and the myths that go with it. In this fantasy, the reader is transported to the lost city of Weep where blue-skinned gods control the city from their citadel floating above. It is a fast, fascinating read and the perfect beginning to a new series.

See this book on the catalog

Salt to the Sea by Ruth Sepetys

It is at the end of WWII, the Germans are losing and the Russians are advancing westward. Thousands of refugees are fleeing and seeking escape on the German ship Wilhelm Gustloff. The story is told from the point of view of four refugees of four differing homelands who must unite for survival on the journey to the coast. This is the tragic story of history’s most tragic (and little known) ship sinking in which 9,400 civilians died in the Baltic Sea. A gripping tale that you will not be able to put down!

See this book on the catalog

Listen to the Moon by Michael Morpurgo

I love historical fiction and this rich, multi-layered story does not disappoint! This book offers the historical setting of WWI and the sinking of the Lusitania but also mystery, friendship, community, and survival.

See this book on the catalog

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

This is the story of the author’s childhood told in verse. Woodson tells of her experiences as an African American child growing up in the dual worlds of the Jim Crow South and New York City in the 60’s and 70’s. Brown Girl Dreaming is a beautifully written journey of identity as well as an inspiring life for children and adults.

See this book on the catalog
staff picture

Ina Margulis, Adult Services Librarian

I joined WFB Library in 1999 and worked in a variety of positions since then. Now I work mainly on the Adult Reference Deskand one of my favorite activities is ordering for the Adult DVD collection and AudioBooks. I also enjoy reading fiction and being a grandma. Some of my favorite authors are Michael Chabon, Tana French, and Elena Ferrante. Always a pleasure to see you in our Library!

i.margulis@wfblibrary.org

book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail

Out of Egypt by Andre Aciman

It is a beautiful written memoir, written as homage to the city where he grew up (Alexandria, Egypt-a melting pot of tolerance, vibrancy and sophistication) and his colorful family (Greek Jewish family at the turn of 20th century who moves to Egypt). Deliciously nostalgic and heart-warming. Very enjoyable armchair trip in time and space.

See this book on the catalog

Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante

It is the story of a 50 years old friendship between two girls that grew up together in the same poor neighborhood in Naples after WWII , one bookish and intelligent –Elena, and the other rebellious and street smart- Lila. They ended up in different places as adults, yet stay very close at heart all through their life. Through the four novels we follow them, and their friends and families, and watch how their dreams grow and dash when reality confronted them and took them in different directions. I thought it was a treasure.

See this book on the catalog

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The book takes place in Nigeria, the US and the UK. The protagonist takes on race, immigration, emigration, interracial relationship, feminism, what it means to leave home and then go back, all wrapped up in a complicated love story. The people described are real and flawed and her honesty is striking and vibrant, all together a great experience.

See this book on the catalog

The Lake House by Kate Morton

Two different story lines decades apart, taking place in Cornwall, UK. The book is very descriptive and atmospheric. It has suspense, family tragedy, secrets and at the end they all connect and make sense. Overall an enjoyable experience.

See this book on the catalog

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

The book is a psychological, atmospheric drama that later becomes a melodramatic crime story taking place in the 1920s in London. Very detailed, great sense of the period and strong characters . I enjoyed it a lot.

See this book on the catalog

Sharon Nagel, Library Intern - Patron Services

I am new to the Whitefish Bay Public Library, having started as an intern in April of 2018. I am beginning work on my Masters in Library and Information Studies at UWM in September. I am a lifelong reader, and most recently, worked as a Bookseller at an independent bookstore in Milwaukee for 10 years.

s.nagel@wfblibrary.org

book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail
book jacket thumbnail

Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy

An act of mercy that takes place on a field in France during World War II is the nucleus of this book. All the other characters and events are connected in a gorgeous tapestry that is slowly and masterfully revealed to the reader. This novel is based on a true story and is a lovely illustration that separateness is indeed an illusion, and that we are all connected.

See this book on the catalog

Hunger by Roxane Gay

Right from the beginning, Roxane Gay lets us know that this is not a weight-loss success story, but a memoir so deeply personal that it was extremely difficult for her to write. Parts of it are also incredibly difficult to read. Every woman that breathes has issues with her body, food, and her weight, no matter what her size. Gay holds nothing back as she tells of the sexual assault that changed her forever when she was 12 years old. She concealed the trauma from her family and dealt with it the only way she knew how, by eating until her body was no longer desirable to men, but a fortress in which she could hide and protect herself from the world. She candidly explains how it feels to be at once so large and so invisible, as she moves through a world that is less than kind when it comes to judging women’s bodies.

See this book on the catalog

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Elena Richardson lives a well-planned life in Shaker Heights, Ohio. She has a successful husband, a respected career, a large house, and four beautiful children. She believes that she is so blessed because she has always followed the rules. When Mia and her daughter Pearl come to town, her beliefs are shaken a little. Mia is a single mom, an artist who gets by on part-time minimum wage jobs. Mia rents a house from Elena and eventually becomes the Richardson’s housekeeper and cook. Pearl becomes involved with the Richardson kids on various levels. When friends of the Richardsons try to adopt a Chinese-American baby, there is a custody battle with the baby’s birth mother that divides the town. This is a beautifully written novel that explores the meaning of motherhood, privilege, and the things that make up a contented and safe existence.

See this book on the catalog

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a retelling of Pride and Prejudice must be cleverly written and wickedly funny. Curtis Sittenfeld has accomplished that with her fantastic new novel. The Bennet sisters have been transported to modern day Cincinnati. Jane is a yoga instructor, Liz, a writer for a women’s magazine, Lydia and Kitty do nothing but work out, and Mary spends most of her time in her room. The two older sisters live in New York, but have come home to check on Mr. Bennet, who is recovering from a heart attack. The storyline is one that will be familiar to most Austen readers, but with some extremely funny twists. I thoroughly enjoyed Eligible from start to finish.

See this book on the catalog

Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson

Pete Snow is a social worker in Montana in 1980. He spends his days looking out for troubled kids, until the day that his own daughter goes missing. This is an exquisitely written first novel, and I look forward to reading more from Smith Henderson.

See this book on the catalog

Part Time Staff of the Whitefish Bay Public Library


Anders, Assistant Librarian – Team member since 2016
Heidi, Circulation Assistant – Team member since 2012
Jeanne, Circulation Assistant – Team member since 2000
Jeffrey, Circulation Shelver – Team member since 2012
Kathy, Circulation Assistant – Team member since 2012
Kerry, Circulation Assistant – Team member since 2004
Kristin, Circulation Assistant – Team member since 2015
Laura, Circulation Assistant – Team member since 2014
Nancy, Circulation Assistant – Team member since 2003
Renee, Circulation Assistant – Team member since 2014
Robin, Circulation Assistant – Team member since 2016