Our Team | Qualified Librarians & Library Design Experts - Peters
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Meet the team

Our team have a variety of interests and experiences, but they share a love of books and are all passionate advocates of reading for pleasure.

Give any of us a call today and see how we can help support your school or library.

 

Our reviewers

Week in, week out, our team catalogue and review all mainstream UK children's publications. They provide unbiased reviews and ratings based on their career experience working in libraries, school libraries, and classrooms. The team are unafraid to identify the duds, but much prefer to discover unexpected gems and exciting new authors.

Great titles are identified as Recommended Reads and the very best are nominated as Books of the Week.

Dawn Franklin

School Curriculum Advisor

Dawn has spent 30 years teaching children from Nursery to Year 6 (and still has most of her hair!!)

She joined Peters in 2017 after retiring from teaching. She enjoys reading and reviewing children’s books (she can usually find something positive in every book) and passing on her love of reading to her growing family of grandchildren.

Deborah Bradley

Children's Librarian

Debbie trained as a photographer before joining Peters. She has worked in our showroom, as a bibliographic librarian, and now as part of our team of selectors and reviewers.

Deb enjoys graphic novels and dystopian fiction.

Diane Gill

Professional Services Manager

A chartered librarian with over 30 years of experience, Diane has been with Peters for over 20 years and manages the Librarian and Bibliographic team.

Diane particularly likes science-fiction and fantasy, especially anything by Terry Pratchett.

Emma McElwee

Children's Librarian

Emma joined Peters in 2016. She previously worked in Swindon Libraries as Lead Librarian for the Children and Young People's team.

 

Helen Rosser

Librarian - Adult Stock Developer

Helen has experience selecting adult stock as part of her work in public libraries, as well as working in academic libraries at the University of Birmingham. Prior to this she also worked in non-fiction publishing.

She strongly believes in the benefits of reading for pleasure for wellbeing, and enjoys thrillers, literary fiction and whatever happens to be the blockbuster hit of the moment.

Katie Merrick

Children's Librarian

Katie has several years’ experience in public libraries, running toddler rhyme time and teenage reading groups, and has also worked as a secondary school librarian.

An avid reader of anything and everything, she particularly enjoys historical teen fiction, junior fiction about ponies, and picture books about dogs!

Laura Hayward

Children's Librarian

Laura deals mostly with supplier selections for libraries and secondary schools. She brings knowledge of academic and adult stock from her previous post at Birmingham University and a graduate traineeship at The Oxford Union Society Library.

Lucy Forrester

Children's Librarian

Lucy worked as a children’s librarian in Warwickshire public libraries before joining Peters over ten years ago. She is the company’s comics and manga specialist, and was an assistant organiser for the Birmingham Comic Con for several years. Now she often gives talks to librarians and teachers on how to use this format most effectively. 

As well as being on the judging panels for the Information Book Award and Excelsior Award, she has spoken at YLG conferences and SLA events. 

Lucy McConnell

Reading for Pleasure Advisor

Lucy has spent her life surrounded by books. An avid reader from a young age, she had Saturday jobs in the local library then completed a degree in English Literature before working for Nielsen providing bibliographic data to Amazon and Waterstones. Now she helps to select books for schools, including overseeing and advising on class sets. 

Melanie Crawford

Operations Manager

Mel trained as a librarian before joining Dillons as a buyer. She has been with Peters for longer than anyone remembers, with only a brief break to raise two daughters and get first-hand experience of the importance of getting great books into schools.

Mel is an avid reader of literary fiction and gruesome crime novels – and is also the team's most passionate advocate of poetry.  

Michaela Owen

Children's Librarian

Michaela previously worked at Camden and Hackney libraries and has over 20 years’ experience including several years at Camden SLS.  In between, she taught Fine Art at the London College of Fashion for 8 years. 

Michaela loves illustration, printmaking, and nature. She also really loves how books can develop and educate young minds.

Natalie Wise

Reading for Pleasure Advisor

Natalie joined Peters after working with Upper KS2 and KS3 children as a school librarian. Prior to this, she completed an MSc in Information and Library Management and worked at the University of Birmingham’s library for over 10 years.

As part of our review team, Natalie has access to the full breadth of the children’s book market and reads everything from picture books to older teen fiction. In her downtime, she enjoys reading mysteries and light popular fiction.

Stephanie Horton

Reading for Pleasure Advisor

Stephanie joined the Peters team in 2020 after working as a secondary school librarian and science teaching assistant. Her areas of expertise are KS3 and Accelerated Reader books, and she is a firm advocate for the importance of access to books for everyone.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading horror, crime, mystery and thriller titles.

Zeena Ark

School Curriculum Advisor

Zeena was a junior school teacher for 34 years before joining Peters. She has also tried a variety of other jobs including nannying, ICT, financial consultancy, and even managing a diet clinic on Harley Street, but teaching was the only thing to give her real job satisfaction.

She joined the Peters team in early 2019 and is having lots of fun reading picture books!

Key staff

 

Claire Bowles
Claire Bowles

Sales & Marketing Director

Starting her career in the charity sector before joining Peters in 2014, Claire is passionate about the impact reading for pleasure can have on the lives of children and young people.

She now works closely with schools and partners such as National Literacy Trust, The Reading Agency, EmpathyLab and others who share the same mission: to help give all children the opportunity to develop a love of reading. She also heads up Peters’ giving back project, which supports charities and community initiatives. 

Helena Thornton
Helena Thornton

Senior Interior Designer

Helena graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in (BA Hons) Interior Design, where her university project was chosen as finalist in the Society of British and International Designs (SBID)’s student competition.

With a creative flair and an interest in design, colour and style trends, Helena also has a passion for photography and graphics. She is very excited to be working in children’s library design, creating interiors to inspire young readers.

Isha Kainth
Isha Kainth

Furniture Manager

From checking designs to liaising with our furniture suppliers and managing our library installations, Isha oversees our projects from start to finish to ensure exemplary customer service. 

Growing up in an Indian household where English wasn't her first language has made Isha determined to help children to succeed at school. She enjoys reading to her daughter every evening, especially books about unicorns and fairies. 

Jacqui Kaylor
Jacqui Kaylor

Customer Services Co-ordinator

Jacqui leads our customer service team. She has over 20 years’ experience in library and school supply.

She has, to her surprise and increasing dismay, an unparalleled knowledge of the complexities of servicing and EDI...

Jessica McCoy
Jessica McCoy

Interior Design Manager

Since graduating with a first class BA Hons in Fashion with professional enhancement, Jess has worked in a number of creative design roles with experience in accessories and arts and crafts. 

Jess is passionate about design, and seeks to create comfortable, efficient learning environments where children can feel relaxed, excited and ambitious about reading.

Jude Evans
Jude Evans

Head of Buying

Jude worked in high street retail for 20 years before joining Peters. She leads our buying team and manages our showroom. She loves to read a funny children’s book or relax with a good chick lit novel.

Kulbinder Gill
Kulbinder Gill

Production Co-ordinator

Kulbinder (Kulb) has been with the company for over 30 years. She is responsible for making sure that customers receive their orders on time, and particularly enjoys providing support to her team and working with international schools.

After spending all week surrounded by books, she likes to go on walks and spend time with her family.

Ray Dyer
Ray Dyer

Managing Director

Ray has been supplying books to schools and libraries for over 30 years. He joined Peters in 1995 and has been Managing Director since 2011. His aim is to create a working environment where people feel valued and supported, and are able to be creative and try out new ideas. 

He is an avid fan of Carl Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard and most non-fiction, a typical boy reader! His favourite children’s book is Burglar Bill.

William Scott
William Scott

EDI Specialist

William, or 'Scott' as he is better known, has over 40 continuous years of library supply experience, having started with Woolstons and Blunts in Nottingham in 1975, and then working in the IT team at Bertrams Library Services.

What he doesn't know about EDI the rest of us can't teach him.

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