Board Member Bios

Amy Chow, President
Amy Chow (she/her) is a librarian at The Brearley School serving kindergarten through twelfth grade students. Amy was born in Taiwan and grew up in Canada. She has a Bachelor of Music from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and obtained her M.L.I.S. from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has been a young adult and children’s librarian at The Toronto Public Library and The New York Public Library. Her interests include dragons, camping and, of course, books. When she’s not reading fantasy novels, she enjoys playing with her dog and two guinea pigs. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, NY. 

Ayana Mbaye, Co-Vice President
Ayana Mbaye is a 6-12th grade librarian at Professional Children’s School. She obtained her MLIS with a specialization in school librarianship from Pratt Institute. She began her library career at the NYPL for the Performing Arts library at the age of 17. Since then, she has worked in an academic library and various independent schools in NYC. She has even taken her librarianship skills abroad to teach students and collaborate with educators in the Samburu region of Kenya. She loves the Wizarding World, wildlife, visiting museums, traveling and her 12 year old mainecoon Brooke.

Ragan O’Malley, Co-Vice President
Ragan O’Malley has been Head Librarian at Saint Ann’s School longer than she cares to admit. The likely reason for her long tenure is that it’s the perfect job–spending her days surrounded by children and books in a school with no grades is hard to beat. She first obtained a Masters in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University and then followed up with a MLIS from Pratt Institute. She is the mother of three grown children (the last time she served on the board of HVLA she had three young children). She is an avid reader and crafter and has been known to do both at the same time (yay audiobooks!).

Elaine Levia, Secretary
Elaine Levia is a High School Librarian and House Advisor at The Dalton School. A native Californian, Elaine majored in Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz and completed her MSLIS at UCLA. While interning at the Windward School, she became enamored with ~*the teens*~ in all their joyful, determined glory and decided to pursue a career in progressive education. Out of the stacks and classroom, Elaine enjoys biking, baking, Pilates, and keeps up a sporadic writing practice. She’s getting into hiking and backpacking, and will most likely take a memoir, chapbook, and novel out with her wherever she ventures.

Gwen Kaplan, Membership & Financial Coordinator
Gwen Kaplan is a Lower Division Librarian at the Horace Mann School. As an undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania, she was interested in so many different topics that she realized the library was the place to be! Since completing her MSLIS and School Library Certification at Drexel University, she has served as a librarian at Abington Friends School and Saint David’s School. She loves it when children ask “why?” and she is usually reading at least a couple of nonfiction books and mystery novels. A graduate school repeat offender, she is currently indulging her curiosity by working on a M.A. in American History, which means she has deep empathy for every student up against a deadline. In between parenting, teaching, and studying, she uses a time turner to make opportunities for quilting and baking.

Mallory Weber, Communications Coordinator
Mallory Weber is a Lower School Librarian at Packer Collegiate Institute.  She has a BA in Sociology & Philosophy from Smith College and an MLIS from CUNY Queens College.  She is also a Summer Immersion Program Instructor for Girls Who Code, a member of the NEIT organizing committee, and a reviewer for School Library Journal.  In her free time she really enjoys NYT crossword puzzles, playing basketball, running, biking, and hanging out with her cat.

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