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. Amanda brings several years of experience in school libraries, bookselling and public libraries. She received her Bachelor of Arts in French Literature from Laval University and a Master of Library Science from McGill University. Amanda’s experience also includes the role of Library and Educational Sales and Marketing Representative at La Maison Anglaise Bookstore in Quebec City. As a school librarian in Toronto, she arranged virtual author visits at her schools for the Forest of Reading. Prior to the CCBC, she was an instructor at Seneca College in the English and Liberal Studies program.


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).