SLJ's Kathy Ishizuka Named One of Folio:'s 2019 Top Women in Media

Executive editor honored in the "Change-maker" category.

School Library Journal's executive editor Kathy Ishizuka has been named one of Folio:'s 2019 Top Women in Media. Ishizuka was honored in the Change-makers category for "women who’ve successfully altered the course of their brands or the industry for the better."

“We at SLJ have long known that Kathy is a change-maker, and we’re thrilled to see her recognized in this way," said SLJ's editor-in-chief Rebecca T. Miller. "Every day she makes what we publish, print and digital, stronger, and she consistently innovates, brings new knowledge into the organization, and creates pathways to ever better best practices. Best of all, she is passionate about the work, and it shows in her commitment to quality at every level.”

Since being named SLJ's executive editor in 2013, Ishizuka has directed news and feature content for the award-winning publication, managing editorial across print/Web, as well as special projects, partnerships, and social media for the brand. 

In addition, Ishizuka manages SLJ’s blog network, and has added several bloggers to the brand roster: “Teen Librarian Toolbox,” “100 Scope Notes,” and “The Classroom Bookshelf,” as well as The Yarn podcast. Representing leading voices in children’s literature and librarianship, the blogs (currently a lineup of seven) has provided reviews, news, and opinion to complement SLJ’s own editorial content. They include Elizabeth Bird’s “A Fuse #8 Production.” Widely considered an industry must-read, Fuse #8 received a 2016 Eddie Digital Award as best blog in the B-to-B category government/public sector/education.

Ishizuka has introduced new columns, most recently "Stellar Panels," which focuses on graphic novels. She also initiated the School Librarian of the Year award and has taken point on the brand's social media engagement, having launched @sljournal in 2007.

To further the conversation around diverse representation in children’s books and the library and publishing industries, Ishizuka set about creating an editorial package of feature stories, profiles, and opinion columns on the topic. The 2014 Diversity Issue was the result, the first dedicated theme issue in the magazine’s then 60-year history. 

Several years later, it was time to gauge the state of diverse books in libraries. Working with inhouse researcher Laura Girmscheid and SLJ editors, Ishizuka led the creation of a national survey. The results revealed how librarians acquire, share, and promote diverse books for children and teens. Created by the SLJ team, including editors Kiera Parrott, Sarah Bayliss, and Kara Yorio, and creative director Mark Tuchman, the dedicated survey coverage spanned a feature package and page including related reporting, resources, and ongoing coverage of the topic. 

Ishizuka has spearheaded a number of partnerships for SLJ, most recently with Scholastic Book Fairs around events in 2019. She and SLJ helped create a diverse books kit for booksellers, librarians, and teachers with the nonprofit organization We Need Diverse Books, and she has worked closely with other content partners, including Facing History & Ourselves, Univision, and PEN America.

Ishizuka was previously Executive Editor of Technology & Digital Projects, a role in which she managed SLJ's technology coverage and organized an app review advisory board. 

A member of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), Ishizuka is a graduate of AAJA’s Executive Leadership Program. She has served on the board of trustees of the Freedom to Read Foundation (two terms); the board of directors of the Young Adult Library Services Association; and the board of the National Forum on Libraries & Teens.

Ishizuka joins a list that crosses mediums and job categories and includes Alison Beard, senior editor of the Harvard Business Review; Joy Profet, chief operating officer at Essence; Dina Nathanson, senior vice president of human resources at the Meredith Corporation; Raina Kelley, managing editor of The Undefeated at ESPN; Mia Libby, chief revenue officer at The Daily Beast, among others.

“All honorees of the Folio: Top Women in Media Awards bring something new and exciting to the table, but each shares the same key characteristics of smarts and exuberance,” Danielle Sikes, Folio:'s associate publisher said in a statement announcing the honorees.

Read the full press release below:


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