Mary Brigid Barrett
President and Executive Director

Mary Brigid Barrett is President and Executive Director of the NCBLA. Mary Brigid is a children’s book author and illustrator; a professional educator; and the founder, president, and executive director of The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance. She has taught children’s book writing and illustration, as well as professional practices for illustrators, at The Rhode Island School of Design. She is a guest lecturer at area colleges and universities and conducts writing and illustration workshops for children and adults.

Her most recent books are: All Fall Down and Pat-A-Cake illustrated by LeUyen Pham, published by Candlewick Press; and Shoebox Sam illustrated by Frank Morrison, published by HarperCollins/Zondervan. Both All Fall Down and Pat-A-Cake were named by the esteemed education institution Bank Street College to its Best Children’s Books of the Year list.

Read Mary Brigid Barrett’s full bio.

Geri Zabela Eddins
Assistant Director, Program Director

Geri Zabela Eddins is Assistant Director and Program Director of the NCBLA. Geri is a voracious reader who has indulged a lifelong passion for the written word in her education, work, and volunteer experiences. She is thrilled to be actively engaged in promoting literacy through her communications, website, and project and event planning tasks for the NCBLA. Geri’s additional career experience includes over twenty five years as a technical writer and editor in the computer software industry. Her volunteer experience includes working with children in classrooms, tutoring ESL students at the town library, and chairing the local cultural council in her hometown. Geri holds both a BA and MA in English. She lives in Massachusetts.


Annisha Jeffries
Literature/Diversity Consultant for Empowering Young Writers

Annisha Jeffries is a highly experienced Youth Services Department manager at the Cleveland Public Library. She leads monthly professional advancement meetings and shares knowledge with the library’s youth services staff. Jeffries holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Cleveland State University and an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. She has received the prestigious 2000 American Library Association Spectrum Scholarship and has served on various selection committees, including the 2018 Caldecott Committee, and was the Chair of the 2021 Caldecott Committee. She is currently the Chair of the Norman A. Sugarman Children’s Biography Award.

Catherine Deutsch
Bibliography Assistant for Empowering Young Writers

Catherine was an English major at Indiana University, having always loved reading and writing. She worked as a baker and pastry chef in Boston and Cambridge for a decade, before returning to her true love of reading and promoting literacy. In 2021 she began the Library Media graduate program at Salem State University, which she is currently completing while working as a paraprofessional with high school students in Revere, MA.

Elizabeth Rock

Elizabeth Rock (1956-2022) was an editorial illustrator and freelance designer. She is almost entirely unknown for her unique body of work, a collection which veered between impenetrable allegorical representations of vague concepts and miniscule, illegible drawings done most commonly on cocktail napkins, paper placemats, and the small, torn-off corners of things. Learn more about her work at

Christopher Eddins
Graphic Designer

Graphic designer Christopher Eddins offered creative advice and assistance regarding various visual elements for this website, including the Great Reads photographs.

Kahn, Litwin, Renza & Co. Ltd

The NCBLA’s Accountant

951 North Main Street
Providence, RI 02904
Tel: 401-274-2001

Additional Acknowledgements

The final content of this website owes a tremendous debt to the keen eyes and unending patience of volunteer editors Helen Kampion, Renée Critcher Lyons, and Marilyn Ludolph, all of whom worked tirelessly to ensure the content is up to date, no typos remained lurking in our text, and all links directed to their intended destinations. Thank you!