April 19, 2018

Neal Wyatt | Movers & Shakers 2005

A Head Full of Stories


Neal Wyatt decided to be a librarian when she learned that some librarians did nothing but buy books and match them up with eager readers. She’d been doing that all along, but it hadn’t occurred to her she could get paid for it.

As collection management librarian, Wyatt selects nonfiction, creates booklists, and trains librarians in readers’ advisory. Whenever she meets an expert, she asks them for the must-reads in their field, then checks if her library has them.

Wyatt wants to get all librarians excited about readers’ advisory, so she ranges far beyond her own library. She spreads her gospel to aspiring librarians at the Catholic University of America.

She writes reviews for professional journals (including Library Journal) and has served on Book list‘s advisory board, the Notable Books Council, and the Collection Development and Evaluation Section of the American Library Association’s Reference and User Services Association. That’s why Gwen Arthur, university librarian, Clark University Libraries, Worcester, MA, says, “I don’t know anyone who is currently doing more than Neal to promote readers’ advisory programs.”

Latest recommendation? Alice Munro’s Runaway: Stories (Knopf, 2004). “They’re elegant, sensitive, and exceptionally well drawn,” says Wyatt.



Current Position Collection Management Senior Librarian, Chesterfield County Public Library, VA, and Adjunct Professor, Catholic University of America School of Library and Information Science, Washington, DC

Degree MSLS, Catholic University of America, 1991

Honors The Intellectual Freedom Award from the Virginia Library Association, citing her as a “quiet and persistent leader we need everywhere to express and act upon our profession’s values”