Tessa Michaelson Schmidt was recently named the next director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), a library of UW–Madison’s School of Education.
Schmidt will start in this role July 25, and will provide leadership and vision for the CCBC and its team of librarians, which are known for: promoting increased diversity of children’s and young adult literature by keeping statistics on published materials; providing intellectual freedom services to school and public libraries; and providing outreach to the teachers, librarians, and students across Wisconsin regarding recommended books. She assumes the role of director during a time when schools and libraries are facing enormous challenges, and Schmidt’s range of experience, dynamic leadership, and fierce advocacy for equitable access to diverse, high-quality books, will play a critical role.
“I am ecstatic that Tessa will be the new CCBC director,” says Anna Lewis, chair of the director search committee and interim chief information officer for the School of Education. “We are truly fortunate to have Tessa back in the School of Education as part of its leadership. Her decade of experience as the Youth and Special Services Consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, combined with her passion for children’s and young adult literature, and her creative approach to problem solving, uniquely positions her to lead the CCBC into the future.”
Schmidt’s varied experiences as a former School of Education student, a classroom teacher, a school librarian, a public librarian, and an administrator — each one representing one of the CCBC’s key stakeholder groups — give her an insider’s understanding of the needs of the CCBC’s constituents. Her experience as a CCBC librarian, an administrator, and most recently as the assistant state superintendent for the Division for Libraries and Technology within the Department of Public Instruction, has prepared her for the leadership role she will take.
“I am thrilled to join an organization as vital and beloved as the CCBC,” says Schmidt “It is an honor to be selected as the next leader of the institution that has given me purpose as an educator and librarian. I look forward to working with the CCBC staff and stakeholders in the months ahead.”
K.T. Horning will be retiring in July after a long and distinguished career with the CCBC. She began working at the CCBC as an undergraduate volunteer in 1979, and under the mentorship of CCBC Director Emerita Ginny Moore Kruse, Horning began working as a CCBC librarian in 1982. Horning has served as the center’s director for the past 20 years.