A Rockstar Librarian
With the kid-friendliest name in children’s literature, a children’s book of her own, and
a seat on the Newberry Prize Committee, Betsy Bird is bona fide kidlit glitterati.Her
School Library Journal blog—named “Fuse #8” after a defunct part she claims turned her
car into that possessed girl from The Exorcist—draws 80,000 readers per month. Fuse
#8 chronicles children’s publishing news and offers copiously detailed reviews; you’ll
also find some punchy commentary, which earned the attention of publishing industry
heavy-hitters, and landed her a Forbes profile.
A Librarian and an Author
The author of Giant Dance Party, for which Goosebumps series illustrator Brandon
Dorman provided vibrant illustrations, Betsy regularly contributes reviews to Kirkus
Review and The New York Times, has twice served on The New York Times Best
Illustrated Books Committee, and was editorial advisor to Scholastic Book Clubs.
Betsy also authored Children’s Literary Gems: Choosing and Using Them in Your Library
Career; and co-wrote Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, a compilation
of little-known mysteries and anecdotes of legendary children’s books, which includes
illustrious authors Laura Ingalls Wilder, Judy Blume, and Charles Dickens, among others.
A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, a funny-sounding town she swears is real, Betsy is the
daughter of award-winning poet Susan Blackwell Ramsey, an avid knitter who taught
Betsy to distinguish between gossip and walking (spinning) wheels. She obtained her
BFA in photography and BA in English from the Quaker Earlham College, where the
dubious motto is "Fight, fight, inner light, kill Quakers kill!" Her Master of Library and
Information Science came from College of St. Catherine in St.Paul, MN.
Betsy currently serves as Youth Materials Specialist for the New York Public Library
system, and resides in NYC with husband Matt, their three-year-old daughter, and one-