Youth Services Consultant, New Jersey State Library
Bonnie Kunzel is the Youth Services Consultant for the New Jersey State Library. A graduate of Rutgers University, she loves to read and talk about books and presents several Best Books programs around the state of New Jersey each year. This includes presentations during the Spring Conference for the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) and the Fall Conference for the New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL).
Active in NJLA, she is a member of the Young Adult Section, a founding member of the Garden State Teen Book Award Committee, and a past member of the NJLA Executive Board. She is a member of the organizing committee for the annual Youth Services Forum, a statewide program on issues of interest to children’s and young adult librarians that is co-sponsored by the State Library, NJASL and NJLA. She is also a regular book discussion leader for New York Public Library’s annual BookFest program and has done presentations on the national level for PLA and ALA.
On the national level, she is a Past-President of YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association, a Division of the American Library Association). In addition, she was a member of the YALSA committee that revised the Science Fiction Genre list, served a three-year term on ALA’s prestigious Best Books for Young Adults committee, and was a member of the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee that recognized Gary Paulsen for his contribution to young adult literature. She was re-elected to serve a fourth three-year term as an ALA Councilor-at-Large and is a past chair and member of the Alex Committee, charged with selecting the best Adult Books for Young Adults published each year. She was the science fiction and fantasy discussion leader at YALSA’s Popular Materials pre-conference at ALA several summers ago. She is a member of the 2005 Printz Committee (selecting the Teen Newbery Award).
In addition, she is a regular reviewer for the journal VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates), again specializing in the areas of science fiction and fantasy, and she is a Science Fiction and Fantasy editor for NoveList, an on-line reader’s advisory service. She is the co-author, with her friend and colleague Suzanne Manczuk, of First Contact: A Reader’s Selection of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Scarecrow Press, 2001. In 2002 her second reader’s advisory book, Strictly Science Fiction, co-authored with another friend and colleague, Diana Tixier Herald, was published by Libraries Unlimited. This is a new title in their popular Genreflecting series. Other publications include a chapter on science fiction: “To Boldly Go…Science Fiction (A Personal Odyssey)” in Mosaics of Meaning: Enhancing the Intellectual Life of Young Adults through Story, edited by Kay E. Vandergrift and published by Scarecrow Press in 1996 and several articles in SLJ (School Library Journal): “Exploring Future Worlds: Science Fiction Titles for Teens,” School Library Journal, May, 1998, “The Call of the Wild: YAs Running with the Wolves,” School Library Journal, Aug. 1995, and "Hooray for Harry," School Library Journal, February, 2005 (The wealth of fantasy publishing in the wake of the Harry Potter phenomenon.). Bonnie Kunzel is currently working as co-editor with Bernice Cullinan and Deborah Wooten on The Continuum Encyclopedia of Young Adult Literature, a one-volume encyclopedia that will cover the major authors, issues and history of young adult literature. She is also currently working with Diana Tixier Herald on the second edition of Fluent in Fantasy for Libraries Unlimited. In 2006 she published The Teen-Centered Book Club: Readers into Leaders. (Libraries Unlimited Professional Guides for Young Adult Librarians Series. ) with Constance Hardesty for Libraries Unlimited. She's currently working with Diana Tixier Herald on a new edition of Fluent in Fantasy for Libraries Unlimited. Next on the agenda is a work on popular fantasy author Tamora Pierce with co-author Susan Fichtelberg.
She was also selected Librarian of the Year by the New Jersey Library Association, the second youth services librarian to receive this prestigious award, and the first young adult librarian to do so. She was recently elected to the Newbery Committee for 2008.
And last but not least, she provided annotated booklists for the six countries highlighted in her husband, George Kunzel’s cookbook: A Taste of Latino Cultures: A Bilingual, Educational Cookbook. It provides cultural details and recipes for six Latin American countries that send Spanish-speaking immigrants to the U.S. They are doing a program together at this fall’s NJASL conference.