Marilyn Ward (mjw)

photoMarilyn Ward grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Lake Michigan, surrounded by books.  Her father was a math professor and her mother was a first grade teacher.

She is Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Children’s Literature at Carthage College, where she teaches courses in Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Social Studies Methods, and Creative Arts.

When she is not reading or teaching about books, she is a ballet dancer, globetrotter, and dollhouse aficionado.

Caitlin Cook (cc)

Caitlin Cook graduated from Carthage College in 2014 with two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Elementary Education and one in Cross Categorical Special Education.  She has worked closely with Marilyn Ward for over two years, especially in the venture of finding outstanding international books to use for instruction.  Currently, Caitlin is employed with School District of Waukesha (Waukesha, WI) as a special education teacher.




Emma Abler (ema)

Emma Abler (1)

Emma Abler is a student at  Carthage College pursuing a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a minor in English. She worked with Carthage College Education Professor Ward during the summer of 2015 on a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) project titled “Analysis of Omnilibros Data”. Emma has a blog documenting her SURE experience.

During the summer of 2016, Emma  worked at Women and Children’s Horizons as a Children’s Advocacy Intern. Emma believes that every child needs to feel that his or her voice is being heard in stories. After graduating from Carthage, Emma wishes to share her passion of reading  with others as a teacher.

 Amanda Ostrem (amo)

12645028_1071178169583633_7692023949598264054_nAmanda Ostrem is a student at Carthage College studying Primary Education with a focus on math and STEM. She worked with Carthage College Professor Marilyn Ward on a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) project for the summer of 2016. Amanda researched to create a content analysis of omnilibros.

Amanda is a world traveler who has always loved reading. She enjoys reading about different countries and cultures because a good book can take a reader to any place in the world.


Jaclyn Stassen (js)


Jaclyn Stassen is studying elementary education, special education, and math at Carthage College. She comes from a family of readers. Her home in Mount Prospect, Illinois is full of book shelves with books of all shapes and sizes. She grew up wanting to become a teacher because of Ida, the main character in Avi’s The Secret School. In high school, she competed in FCCLA’s regional and state competitions for Children’s Literature- winning Most Outstanding at the state competition 2 out of her 3 years. Jaclyn spends her summers teaching tennis lessons and is known for spending time between classes reading a good book. Other than reading and tennis, she loves puppies and cheering on the Chicago Cubs.


Erlan Wheeler (ew)

ewheelerErlan Wheeler is a Carthage College computer science professor and free-range mathematician who handles the technological plumbing of OmniLibros, a name which he is very proud of having coined.  He might even write an annotation or two for a book about Japan or alien babies or some other topic that interests him.  He has a blog.



Mia Morton (mm)


Mia Morton is a student at Carthage College studying history and secondary education. She works as a research assistant and an administrative aid to Marilyn Ward in the Carthage Education Department. She has always had a special place in her heart for the books of Tomi Ungerer, Tomie DePaola, Maurice Sendak, and James Stevenson and is an avid fan of beautifully illustrated books in general.

In high school she was president of Library Council and can usually be caught in the library studying. When she isn’t in the library she’s on stage performing improv comedy or writing funny sketch ideas.