ALIA Children's and Youth Services

ALIA Children's and Youth Services promotes library services to children and youth, highlighting children's literature and fostering professional development of members. It co-ordinates the national ALIA awards for children's librarians, promotes children's librarianship within the profession, and encourages networking and communication between members.

The ALIA Children's and Youth Services are the administrators for the Nancy Booker Honour Lecture, Marjorie Cotton and The Bess Thomas awards.






Nancy Booker Lecture

2020 : Reading Our Kids 

ALIA CYS hosted the 2020 Nancy Booker Honour Lecture, with Coralie Kouvelas, Peter Carnavas and Helena Fox on 14 October 2020.

During the free webinar event, participants and speakers reflected on the ways that children's literature can inspire good mental health, a topic which was very relevant for 2020.

One of the speakers, Peter Carnavas highlighted several books and articles:

If you missed the event, you can view a recording HERE.

2018: Will Kostakis

The ALIA Children's and Youth Services Group proudly presented the Nancy Booker Lecture 2018!
In 2018 we were joined by YA author Will Kostakis, who spoke on Inclusivity and Diversity in YA Lit.
If you missed the lecture, don't worry, you can view the recording here!












Our first Chat will be held on Thursday 13 February 2020 at 9pm AEDT and will run for approximately an hour. As the 14th of February is Library Lovers Day, and the theme for this year is 'Uncover Something New', we decided to ask two panelists to join us in sharing how they took different approaches in showing the love for their libraries and literature.

Find out more HERE.


ALIA CYS supports:



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Past Issues

June/July 2021 Scoop

April/May 2021 Scoop

February/March 2021 Scoop

December/January 2020/21 Scoop

November 2020 Scoop

October 2020 Scoop

September 2020 Scoop

August 2020 Scoop

July 2020 Scoop

June 2020 Scoop

May 2020 Scoop

April 2020 Scoop

March 2020 Scoop


The CYS Team


Nicola McGeown
Group Convenor

Mylee Joseph

NSW Team Member

Eileen Louden
VIC Team Member

 Michelle Craik

QLD Team Member

Helen Tomazin

WA Team Member

Petrina Osborne

TAS Team Member


Claire Stuckey

NSW Team Member

Beth Barrass

VIC Team Member

Gabby Cundy

NSW Team Member

Kirsti Graham

VIC Team Member

Rachael Drummond

WA Team Member

Nicola McGeown - Group Convenor

Nicola McGeown is an enthusiastic member of the Brisbane City Council Libraries team. Her passions include Children’s / YA literacy, programs and advocacy.  She can often be found with a Picture Book in one hand and a cuppa tea in the other!

She runs the 'Picture Book' book club with two other awesome Picture Book enthusiasts. This club was formed to celebrate the awesomeness of Picture Books. They run a twitter chat each month and can be found on Twitter and Instagram @picturebookbc.

She is the convenor of the ALIA Children’s and Youth Services Group and the proud recipient of the 2017 Queensland Library Achiever of the Year Award. This was awarded for her dedication to promoting and advocating for children’s literacy.

Say hello to Nicola on twitter at @Ms_NicolaMarie and @mybookburrow. 


Eileen Louden – VIC team member

Eileen began her library adventures in New Zealand, working as a library assistant in public libraries. After moving back to her native Australia, she worked for several years as a library technician in schools, before moving back into public libraries, freshly armed with her Masters of Information Studies, as a Youth Services Librarian.

After several years of singing far too loud at storytimes and inciting panic into her co-workers every time she planned a school holiday event, Eileen decided to do something completely different, and became the ALIA Victoria State Manager. 

She has recently given up the ALIA role for another, and now as a full-time Mum she gets to enjoy storytimes from the other side. 

Follow her on Twitter @EileenLouden


Claire Stuckey - NSW team member

Claire has been children’s librarian for over 15 years. She shares her passion for quality Australian Children’s literature as an executive committee member of the International Board of Books on young People ( IBBY) Australia and through the Children’s Book Council Australia in New South Wales. Recently elected to the libraries for Children and Young Adult Section committee she liaises with children’s librarians across the world including the School librarians’ section. Attending conferences in Europe since 2009 she has delivered papers at four international conferences on topics including depression, difference and indigenous environments.  

Claire co-ordinated & presented the Australian World Through Picture Books List for The International Federation of Library Associations and initiated the popular travelling Jeans Genies project adopted by many international libraries as a Sister Library project. Working proactively Claire developed and presented many children’s early childhood literacy, holiday and YA library programs. Claire sits on the selection committee for the charity Books in Homes supporting literacy development in disadvantaged areas. Since 2010 she has continued a strong relationship with Nishikasai-Library Library in Tokyo delivering both children’s and adult English programs.


Beth Barrass - VIC team member

Beth Barrass has a background in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s Degree in Information Management. Though her early career was in academic libraries, she found her passion working in school libraires. She currently works in the Melbourne Girls’ College library where she aims to connect every child with the right book, and tries to recruit everyone into her book club. When she’s not at work Beth can usually be found gushing over YA books online and playing D&D with her friends.

You can follow Beth on Twitter at @BethRRose

Gabrielle Cundy - NSW team member

Situated in Western Sydney, NSW, Gabby has worked as a library technician for the past several years. Working within a school environment, she has developed a love of Children’s and YA literature, reading as many books as she can to and from work each week. As the library is where she sees herself, she has decided to complete her Bachelor of Information Studies (Librarianship), then follow on by completing a Masters in Children’s literature.

Her passion for books has steadily grown over the years and can always be found with a book close by. No matter the format; paperback, eBook or audiobook, she is always reading more than one book at a time. A goal each year is to read over 100 books, with a majority of those being new release YA novels. Some of her favourite YA authors include; Jenn Bennett, Sebastian de Castell & Stephanie Garber, and Middle grade writers; Jessica Townsend, Rain Telgemeier and Rick Riordan.

Helping children and teenagers find a book that they fall in love with is what she wants to do for the rest of her career. Making connections through books and instilling the love of literature so they become lifelong readers brings no greater feeling…even better than the feeling that the first coffee of the day brings!

Connect with Gabby on Twitter: @GabzzC  Find her on Linkedin: Gabby Cundy


Kirsti Graham - VIC team member

Kirsti wanted to be a librarian when she grew up, then decided during high school that archaeology was a much better idea. (It was not.) After a detour into museum curation, she realised that maybe her childhood self was onto something and completed a Masters of Information Management. She's worked in school libraries since 2013 and has been a librarian at Loreto Mandeville Hall Toorak since 2016.

She reads about 425 books a year and is still mildly irritated that no one would sponsor her in primary school readathons as a result.


Rachael Drummond – WA team member

Rachael is a YPS librarian at a small public library in South West WA and has worked in this field for over 15 years, in various roles. In her current position of Librarian:Youth and Children, Rachael develops programs for those under 18 years old which include a book club, baby rhyme time, storytime, toddler tales, reading rewards cards, school holiday activities and more.  Rachael graduated from Curtin University with a BA Librarianship and Corporate Information Management in 2013 and had previously completed the Diploma of Library Services from Central TAFE WA in 2002. Rachael aspires  to assist young people to find the right book at the right time and enjoys facilitating programs that encourage a love of reading. When not in the library, Rachael likes to ride her horses, play ukulele, kayak and of course, read good books.


Helen Tomazin – WA team member

My name is Helen Tomazin and I am the Library Technician at Good Shepherd Catholic School Lockridge. I have been at this school for over 20 years, firstly as a Teacher Assistant, then Library Officer and now Library Technician since 2012. I am the Treasurer for WASLA (WA School Library Association) and I love all aspects of working in a school library. The students are the best and therefore I have a passion for Children's Literature and Reading. One of my favourite Authors is Gavin McCormack who has written some beautiful Picture books on Kindness, Friendship, Empathy and Inclusion. I especially love the way he writes books as he always includes a moral message. My second passion is cooking, I am always looking out for different desserts to make and I love sharing recipes.


Michelle Craik - QLD Team member

Michelle became an accidental Librarian after volunteering at her son's school library in 2006.  One day, she turned up to volunteer when the Librarian told her to send her resume to the Principal because she was leaving - Michelle got the job!  So started the best career ever, developing a love of all things libraries.  Michelle has worked in school libraries for 13 years in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, completing her Diploma of Library Services with TAFE Queensland and then graduating with a Bachelor of Librarianship and Corporate Information Management from Curtin University in 2015.  Over the years, Michelle has developed a keen interest in children's literature, reading everything she could to recommend books to students and teachers.  Michelle believes that picture books are a work of art and encourages a love of picture books to all children.  Most recently, Michelle has started writing book reviews on Instagram, you can follow @craikbookshake or for library related posts follow @MichelleCraik on Twitter


Mylee Joseph – NSW team member

Mylee has been associated with ALIA CYS since her first professional role as a children’s librarian. These days she works with all of the public libraries in NSW as part of the Public Library Services team at the State Library of NSW. Follow her on Twitter: @myleejoseph or track her down on LinkedIn:


Petrina Osborne - TAS team member

Petrina is a systems librarian at Libraries Tasmania. A rewarding part of the role involves supporting a diverse range of staff in public schools and libraries. Petrina’s love of children’s literature led to a Honours degree in Australian YA fiction, and a children’s literature collection review as a Masters research project. Her PhD shifted focus to mid-twentieth century Australian middlebrow writing, but her passion for children’s and YA literature and library services remains.


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