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Meet the team

Our team have a variety of interests and experiences, but they share a love of books and are all passionate advocates of reading for pleasure.

Give any of us a call today and see how we can help support your school or library.

 

Our reviewers

Week in, week out, our team catalogue and review all mainstream UK children's publications. They provide unbiased reviews and ratings based on their career experience working in libraries, school libraries, and classrooms. The team are unafraid to identify the duds, but much prefer to discover unexpected gems and exciting new authors.

Great titles are identified as Recommended Reads and the very best are nominated as Books of the Week.

Catherine MacKenzie

Children's Librarian

Catherine worked in public libraries for several years before joining Peters. She worked with teenagers as well as the under 5s, running reading groups and rhyme times and selecting stock. She has also led a bilingual playgroup and worked with students in Austrian secondary schools.

Dawn Franklin

Curriculum Specialist

Dawn has spent 30 years teaching children from Nursery to Year 6 (and still has most of her hair!!)

She joined Peters in 2017 after retiring from teaching. She enjoys reading and reviewing children’s books (she can usually find something positive in every book) and passing on her love of reading to her growing family of grandchildren.

Deborah Bradley

Bibliographic Librarian

Debbie trained as a photographer before becoming the in-house expert on Dewey, UKSLC, BIC codes, and even Sears Subject Headings. No one is quite sure how it happened, but everyone is profoundly grateful it's not them!

Deb enjoys graphic novels and dystopian fiction.

Diane Gill

Professional Services Manager

A chartered librarian with over 30 years of experience, Diane has been with Peters for over 20 years and manages the Librarian and Bibliographic team.

Diane particularly likes science-fiction and fantasy, especially anything by Terry Pratchett.

Hannah Middleton

Children's Librarian

Hannah has 20 years' experience in the book industry, having worked in both libraries and publishing, as well as managing the children’s department in an independent bookshop.

Hannah is an avid reader and especially enjoys gritty teen fiction and quirky coming of age stories.

Katie Merrick

Children's Librarian

Katie has several years’ experience in public libraries, running toddler rhyme time and teenage reading groups, and has also worked as a secondary school librarian.

An avid reader of anything and everything, she particularly enjoys historical teen fiction, junior fiction about ponies, and picture books about dogs!

Laura Hayward

Children's Librarian

Laura deals mostly with supplier selections for libraries and secondary schools. She brings knowledge of academic and adult stock from her previous post at Birmingham University and a graduate traineeship at The Oxford Union Society Library.

Leanne Jephcott

Curriculum Specialist

Leanne worked as a Primary School teacher for 10 years, teaching children in Reception up to Year 6.

She has a degree in English and Education and is passionate about the educational value of books for children of all ages.

Lucy Forrester

Children's Librarian

Lucy worked as a children’s librarian in Warwickshire public libraries before joining Peters over ten years ago.

She is the company’s comics and manga specialist, and often gives talks to librarians and teachers on how to use this format most effectively.

Lucy McConnell

Schools Team Co-ordinator

Lucy has spent her life surrounded by books. An avid reader from a young age: Saturday jobs in the local library; a degree in English Literature; working for Nielsen providing bibliographic data to Amazon and Waterstones. And now helping to select books for schools here at Peters.

Melanie Crawford

Schools Team Manager

Mel trained as a librarian before joining Dillons as a buyer. She has been with Peters for longer than anyone remembers, with only a brief break to raise two daughters and get first-hand experience of the importance of getting great books into schools.

Mel is an avid reader of literary fiction and gruesome crime novels – and is also the team's most passionate advocate of poetry.  

Zeena Ark

Curriculum Specialist

Zeena was a junior school teacher for 34 years before joining Peters. She has also tried a variety of other jobs including nannying, ICT, financial consultancy, and even managing a diet clinic on Harley Street, but teaching was the only thing to give her real job satisfaction.

She joined the Peters team in early 2019 and is having lots of fun reading picture books!

Key staff

 

Claire Bowles
Claire Bowles

Head of Sales & Marketing

Claire joined Peters in 2014 to head up the marketing team, having previously worked for the charities PDSA and Royal Voluntary Service.

Claire’s daughter Poppy shares her love of reading, and the two of them can very often be found with their heads in a picture book.

Emma McElwee
Emma McElwee

Library Account Manager

Emma joined Peters in 2016. She previously worked in Swindon Libraries as Lead Librarian for the Children and Young People's team.

Now, she enjoys driving around the UK, meeting our customers, providing support and hearing about their library services.

Jessica McCoy
Jessica McCoy

Senior Library Designer

Since graduating with a first class BA Hons in Fashion with professional enhancement, Jess has worked in a number of creative design roles with experience in accessories and arts and crafts. 

Jess is passionate about design, and seeks to create comfortable, efficient learning environments where children can feel relaxed, excited and ambitious about reading.

Jude Evans
Jude Evans

Showroom and Buying Manager

Jude worked in high street retail for 20 years before joining Peters. She leads our buying team and manages our showroom. She loves to read a funny children’s book or relax with a good chick lit novel.

Kulbinder Gill
Kulbinder Gill

Production Co-ordinator

Kulb joined Peters in 1986 and now manages our team of servicing staff.

Her colleagues are not entirely sure why she has chosen to stay with us for so long, but are eternally grateful nonetheless.

Oonagh Towse
Oonagh Towse

Educational Relationship Manager

Oonagh has over twenty years’ experience of working with schools in the UK, and before joining Peters in 2015 she worked for a national public sector procurement organisation.

A lifelong lover of books and reading, Oonagh’s interests outside of work range from travel to cooking. Her role is to provide advice and support for schools and help them get the right books into the hands of readers.

Paul Cunningham
Paul Cunningham

Library Account Manager

Paul joined Peters in 2015, having been a customer most of the previous 25 years while working in School Library Services, most recently as Manager of Suffolk Schools Library Service.

Ray Dyer
Ray Dyer

Managing Director

Ray has been supplying books to schools and libraries for over 30 years. He joined Peters in 1995 and has been Managing Director since 2011.

He is an avid fan of Carl Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard and most non-fiction, a typical boy reader! His favourite children’s book is Burglar Bill.

Terry Smith
Terry Smith

Artist In Residence

Terry works in our showroom and is responsible for all of the portraits on this page.

Most people are still speaking to him.

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