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.



Meghan Howe is the CCBC’s Library Coordinator and is a bit of a “Jane of all Trades” at the CCBC: in the 17 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. 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 Virginia, WolfSidewalk Flowers, Anne of Green Gables and This One Summer. You can find her online on Instagram and Twitter.


Amanda Halfpenny is the Events and Program Coordinator for the CCBC. Amanda graduated with a BA in Literature from Université Laval and then launched her career at a small but mighty independent bookstore in Quebec City. She then completed her Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University and has worked in three different provinces in public libraries, in school libraries and as a professor at the School of English and Liberal Studies at Seneca College. Amanda has read Moira’s Birthday by Robert Munsch over 100 times (to herself and aloud to children) and insists that it remains just as funny every time.


Shannon Barnes is the the editor of Canadian Children’s Book News. Shannon joined the Book Centre team 18 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 Canadian Children’s Book Week tours. Shannon is the mother of two young readers: Molly (age 6) and Nathan (age 9).