December 21, 2014

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New Year, New Faces: Newcomers Join SLJ Staff | Editorial

SLJ1401w Editorial New Year, New Faces: Newcomers Join SLJ Staff  | Editorial

From left: Sarah Bayliss, Shelley Diaz,
Mahnaz Dar, and Kiera Parrott.

As 2014 arrives, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to our newest members of the team, poised to serve you, dear readers, even more effectively than before. SLJ has always taken pride in its talented staff and that feeling just keeps getting stronger.

Kiera Parrott joined us in October 2013 from her position as head of children’s services at Darien (CT) Library to take over SLJ’s reviews after Trev Jones retired. She’s hit the ground running. “We are moving toward a reviews department that is more responsive to our users and connected to the broader library and publishing world,” she notes. “This ‘new’ department has a truly exciting balance of experience and energy.”

Now that staff has several members newly named to key roles. Shelley M. Diaz may well be familiar to you. She began at SLJ as assistant editor, book reviews and was promoted to associate editor, news and features. About to complete her MLIS at Queens College, Diaz is now senior editor in the reviews department, replacing longtime editor Marlene Charnizon, who retired in December. “Shelley ‘gets’ libraries and librarians,” says Parrott. “That perspective is such an integral part of what we do and where we want to go.”

Mahnaz Dar rejoins SLJ as associate editor, reviews. Originally hired as an editorial assistant in 2012, she had a brief and intense stint working with reviews as associate editor at our sister publication Library Journal (LJ). In October 2012, she received an MLIS from Pratt Institute and a teaching certificate. Among her new responsibilities will be the Series Made Simple supplement. She replaces Chelsey Philpot, who heads to Boston to teach journalism at Boston University.

In what we sometimes call “the front of the book”—the features and news department—we welcome Sarah Bayliss to the team as associate editor, news and features. I first met Bayliss in Caroline Ward’s children’s literature course at Pratt and found out she was a journalist (with credits that include the New York Times). Beyond pursuing MLIS coursework at Pratt, she has worked in the school libraries at the Riverdale (NY) Country School and at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn. She has freelanced on a number of projects for SLJ and LJ, including Movers & Shakers and the Library by Design supplement. Working closely with SLJ executive editor Kathy Ishizuka, she has written and edited features and news and coordinated special projects, including the recent Ebook Market Directory.

Bayliss, Dar, Diaz, and Parrott complement the other SLJ editors—including Luann Toth, Daryl Grabarek, Karyn M. Peterson, Kent Turner, and Amanda Mastrull—to create a nimble crew. This team hums.

Last year saw a lot of change for School Library Journal. Ends up, some change is good.
Happy New Year!

Rebecca sig600x WebEditorial New Year, New Faces: Newcomers Join SLJ Staff  | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Rebecca T. Miller About Rebecca T. Miller

Rebecca T. Miller ( is Editorial Director, Library Journal and School Library Journal.



  1. Susan Marston says:

    I’ve seen how talented and hard-working these four women are–a great team, indeed. Congrats on your new roles!

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