About Our Staff

Rose Vespa is the Executive Director of the CCBC and previously was Director of Library Services for the Mississauga Library System. Rose graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours English and History) and a Master of Library and Information Services. In 2018 Rose completed her Master of Public Administration from the University of Liverpool.



Shannon Barnes is the CCBC’s Program Coordinator and joined the Book Centre team 16 years ago as an intern. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a BA (Honours) in English and Psychology and received a certificate in Book and Magazine Publishing from Centennial College. She’s the person who makes our events happen, from TD Canadian Children’s Book Week to our Awards night. She has worked with over 200 Canadian children’s book authors and illustrators, and has assisted in the coordination of over 400 national TD Canadian Children’s Book Week tours. Shannon is the mother of two young readers: Molly (age 4) and Nathan (age 8).



Meghan Howe is the CCBC’s Library Coordinator and is a bit of a “Jane of all Trades” at the CCBC: in the 15 years she’s worked for the CCBC she’s done parts of every position here. Meghan went to the University of Toronto and has a BSc (Honours) in Biology and Sociology. She joined the CCBC team in 2003 after graduating and has been here ever since! Meghan handles our collections, awards, the TD Grade One Book Giveaway Program and Best Books for Kids & Teens. She loves baking, cross stitching and spending summers at her cottage. She has a lovebird named Lucky and her favourite book for kids is Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress.



Emma Hunter is the CCBC’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator. She manages our social media, website, newsletter, book banks, marketing initiatives and our overall online presence. Emma majored in History (Honours) at Laurentian University and received a certificate in Publishing from Ryerson University. She has previously interned and worked at Book*hug Press, HarperCollins Canada and Harlequin. She loves children’s books, her cat Penny Lane, graphic novels, the X-Files, book design and exploring Toronto. Her favourite Canadian children’s books are The Gypsy Princess, Sidewalk Flowers, Anne of Green Gables and This One Summer. You can find her online on Instagram and Twitter.



Sandra O’Brien has been the editor of Canadian Children’s Book News since April of 2016. She has worked in many different positions at the CCBC since 2009. Sandra studied at the University of Waterloo, received her Bachelor of Education from University of Toronto and her Master of Education in Creative Arts specializing in children’s literature from the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. Sandra’s love for children’s literature began when she was a teacher and continued to grow as she raised her children. Her favourite book to read aloud is The Witches by Roald Dahl, she loves to do the voice of the Grand High Witch, and she can still quote some of the lines from Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman.