Sharron McElmeel

Sharron L. McElmeel

3000 N Center Point Rd -- Cedar Rapids, IA 52411-9548

personal/professional website:


University of Iowa--Iowa City, Iowa
Master of Arts, Library Science
Post-graduate work in administration, reading, and library science.

University of Northern Iowa--Cedar Falls, Iowa
Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education and Mathematics K-8

Maquoketa Valley High School—Delhi, Iowa
General diploma


College Level Instructor
  • University of Wisconsin - Stout.  Young Adult Literature in the Reading Program (2005- present)
  • University of Wisconsin - Stout.  Teaching Children's Literature in the Classroom (2004- present)
  • University of Northern Iowa, adjunct instructor. Children's literature. (2003)
  • Mount Mercy College, instructor. Children's literature, Educational technology, and Young Adult Literature. (1988- 2005 )
  • Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Instructor of professional development courses, and courses carrying graduate credit through Marycrest College, Verturbo University, Drake College. (1976- 2005)

Literacy Consultant

Educator -- elementary classroom teacher and Library Media Specialist (1963-1998)

  • Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Community Schools. Experience included classroom teaching in self-contained elementary classrooms, block schedules, and as a library media specialists in elementary and secondary schools.
    • Major role in District's/Area Education Agency's staff development program
    • Developed two year thematic correlation charts for district's reading series, to be used in multiaged classrooms
    • Leadership role in establishing methodology, on building level, for reading instruction -- significant gains shown
    • Software technical support
    • Regularly collaborated with planning teams to develop long and short term goals/objectives for instructional uni
Literacy Activities
  • Chair and charter member of the Iowa Wild Rose Award Selection Committee. (2009)

  • Documentation Project -- Zerzanek Collection of Children's Book Art, Cedar Rapids Public Library, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Documentation includes photographing over 900 pieces of original art, researching artists/writers involved with individual items, and preparing each photograph for publication on website, catalog, and so forth. (2002-2006)

  • Project Director for  "Building a Community of Readers"  A Grant Wood Area Education Agency initiative (Linn and Johnson Counties, Iowa) that attracted over 10,000 participants.  2001; 2002.

  • Previous Promotions/activities
    • Plan/promote special literacy events within the community in cooperation with building-level activities
    • Evening of the Stars (authors/illustrators) attracted audience of 80-100 attendees and a dozen Iowa authors/illustrators, and guest presenters, at the Cedar Rapids Public Library.
    • Elementary/Middle School Reading Conference - involving 420 students and 24 teachers from 13 area schools
    • Chair of charter planning committee for annual book/author conference attracting 300-450 participants each year (conference existed for over twenty years from 1977- ; General advisor emeritus.
    • Author residency involving area education agency and 5-10 area schools
Technology Support/Involvement
  • Experienced Macintosh user; some familiarity with PC/Windows based computers
  • Provided software technical support; hardware support (1992-1998)
  • Teach technology courses to undergraduates and professional peers
    • Word Processing: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Works
    • Utilizing the Internet for information: search engines, evaluating sources, and so forth
    • Graphics
    • email
    • World Wide Web: HTML Coding, Netscape


  • The Best Teen Reads (8th ed.). Salt Lake City: Learning Commons Press, 2013.
  • Columnist for Library Sparks, "In the Spotlight" published by Highsmith (2006-2013)
  • Young Adult Literature and Multimedia:  A Quick Guide.  Co-authored with Betty Wrenn-Estes and David Loertscher.  (Hi Willow Research & Publishing, 2013; 8th edition, revision)
  • Best Teen Reads (Hi Willow Research and Publishing, 2005, 2007, and 2010 editions)
  • Picture That! From Mendel to Normandy: Picture Books and Ideas, Curriculum and Connections—for T'weens and Teens (Teacher Ideas Press/Libraries Unlimited, 2009)
  • Series Editor: The Author and You (A series published by Libraries Unlimited)  Jacqueline Briggs Martin (2005); Jim Aylesworth (2005), Mary Casanova (2006), Jane Kurtz (2007), Deborah Hopkinson (2007), and others.
  • Authors in the Pantry:  Recipes, Stories, and More.  (Libraries Unlimited, 2007)
  • Young Adult Literature and Multimedia:  A Quick Guide.  Co-authored with Mary Ann Harlan and David Loertscher.  (Hi Willow Research & Publishing, 2006, 2008, 2009, Revised editions )
  • Young Adult Literature and Multimedia:  A Quick Guide.  Co-authored with Mary Ann Harlan and David Loertscher.  (Hi Willow Research & Publishing, 2005)
  • Authors in the Kitchen:  Recipes, Stories, and More.  (Libraries Unlimited, 2005)
  • Best Teen Reads: 2005  (Hi Willow Research and Publishing, 2005)
  • Children's Authors and Illustrators Too Good to Miss (Libraries Unlimited, 2004)
  • More than twenty published reference/resource titles for educators -- most recent include: Character Education: A Book Guide for Teachers, Librarians, and Parents, 100 Most Popular Children's Book Authors, 100 Most Popular Picture Book Authors/Illustrators; Internet for Schools (with Carol Mann Simpson); and Research Strategies for Moving Beyond Reporting. Publishers include: Linworth Publishers, Libraries Unlimited/Teacher Ideas Press, and Hi Willow Research and Publishing.
    Published Book List

  • Columnist for School Library Media Activities Monthly (SLMAM) "The Book Bag" (2005-2007); "Author Central" (2007-2008)
  • Regular contributor to professional journals including, Library Talk, Book Report, Technology Connection (1995-2002),  Library Media Connection and other professional journals. (1988-current)
  • Developed model for Internet for Schools Workshop used nationally by Education Enrichment, Inc. (Norman, OK) to teach educators about the Internet and the World Wide Web (1998)
  • Reviewer children's books, Kirkus Reviews (2002 - current)
  • Associate Reviews Editor Library Talk (1999-2002)
  • Editor "Cool Stuff on the Web" column for Library Talkand Book Report (Linworth Publishing), national periodicals with a readership of 30,000+ (1995-2001)
  • Advisory/editorial committee for Reading Journal, International Reading Association, for volumes 47 and 48. (1992-93)
  • Book (and technology) reviewer for School Library Journal (1976-1999)
  • Contributor and co-editor Iowa Reading Journal(1985-1997)
  • Contributing editor See Magazine, an arts magazine once published in the Midwest (1980-82)
  • Editor and publisher of resource books on authors for the Iowa Reading Association and an independent publisher. (1987-95) 
Free-Lance Photographer
  • Photographs have appeared in a dozen published books released by Libraries Unlimited, Teacher Ideas Press, Linworth Publishing; many periodical articles; and in a volume in the Houghton Mifflin Reading Series (on-line version).
  • Photographs are published on the WWW on the websites including those sites featuring:  Carol Gorman, Jacqueline Briggs Martin Jim Aylesworth,  Houghton Mifflin Reading site, Sheet Metal Local 263, and other sites.
  • Photographically documented approximately 900 pieces of original children's book art owned by the Cedar Rapids Public Library (Iowa), now housed at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. Nationally recognized author and speaker in the area of literature based instruction and technology (Selected Presentations)
Keynote/featured speaker at national/regional reading/curriculum conferences (selected)
  • Authors Speak: Common Core Standards and an Author's Role. Illinois Reading Association. Springfield, Illinois. March 2013. Co-presenters: Dori Butler, Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Michelle Edwards.

  • American Association of School Librarians (National Conference - Minneapolis, MN) October 2011
  • Alabama (Birmingham) Kindergarten conference SDE (2009)
  • Maryland (Towson) Kindergarten Conference SDE (2009)
  • Luncheon Speaker: Iowa Reading Association - Des Moines  (2009)
  • Indiana (Indianapolis) 1st grade conference SDE (2009)
  • Pennsylvania School Library Association (2009)
  • International Reading Association in Minneapolis (2009)
  • Kindergarten Conference, SDE, New Orleans, LA (2008)
  • American Library Association Conference (AASL sponsored forum - Research - Fueling the Authors' Fire),  Anaheim, California, (June 2008)
  • Missouri Association of School Librarians -- workshop (Author Visits: What are we teaching?; and luncheon keynote  (April 2008)
  • American Association of School Librarians (National Conference - Reno Nevada) October 2007
  • Encyclo-media Conference sponsored by the Oklahoma State Department of Education - Oklahoma City, OK (August, 2007)
  • Kindergarten Conference, SDE, Wichita, Kansas (2007)
  • First Grade Conference, SDE, Wichita, Kansas (2007)
  • Second Grade Conference, SDE, Schaumburg, IL (2007)
  • Virginia Educational Media Association, Hampton, VA. (2006)
  • Pennsylvania School Librarians Assocation - Hershey, PA (2006)
  • First Grade Conference for Indiana Teachers   (Staff Development for Educators™) Indianapolis, IN.  (April 25, 2006)
  • Iowa Reading Association --Keynote:  Read-Succeed: A Quest Worth Taking - Des Moines, IA (April 6, 2006)
  • "Take Care of Yourself Retreat" Cedar Rapids, IA Building a Family of Readers: 10 ways to accomplish the single most important goal you can have to develop healthy, happy, successful citizens.  (April 1, 2006)
  • Lee County Reading Association, Keokuk, IA "Building a Community of Readers"  (March 16, 2006
  • NCTE -- 2005 Annual Convention, November 17-22, 2005, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Panel:  The Importance of Research in the Creation of Fiction and Nonfiction: An Author's View (with Carol Gorman, Patrick O'Brien, Jacqueline Briggs Martin, and Diane Stanley)
  • American Association of School Librarians - Whetting the Reader's Appetite (concurrent session) - Pittsburgh, PA  (October 2005)
  • Encyclo-media Conference sponsored by the Oklahoma State Department of Education - Tulsa, OK (2005)
  • American Association of School Librarians - The ABCs of a Literate Classroom Environment (day long workshop) - Pittsburgh, PA (October 2005)
  • What's New in Books for Young Adults - 2005 (for Institute of Educational Development - IED) Buffalo, NY (May 2005)
  • What's New in Books for Young Adults - 2005 (IED) Baltimore, MD (May 2005)
  • What's New in Books for Young Adults - 2005 (IED) Reno, NV (May 2005)
  • What's New in Books for Young Adults - 2005 (IED) Portland, OR  (May 2005)
  • Pennsylvania School Librarians Assocation - Hershey, PA (2005)
  • Wisconsin Educational Media Association - Green Bay, WI (2005)
  • What's New in Books for Young Adults - 2005 (for Institute of Educational Development - IED) Orlando, FL (Dec. 2004)
  • What's New in Books for Young Adults - 2005 (IED) Jackson, MI (Dec. 2004)
  • What's New in Books for Young Adults - 2005 (IED) Pittsburgh, PA (Nov. 2004)
  • What's New in Books for Young Adults - 2005 (IED) State College, PA (Nov. 2004)
  • Pennsylvania School Librarians Assocation - Hershey, PA (2004)
  • Wisconsin Educational Media Association - Madison, WI (2004)
  • American Association of School Librarians Conference - Kansas City, KS (2003)
  • Virginia School Library Media Association Conference - Richmond, Virginia (2003)
  • Czech-Slovak Museum, - Cedar Rapids, IA "The Three Golden Keys, Kolace, and the Month Brothers: The Czech-Slovak Culture in Family Literature." Included the work of Czech native Peter Sis (whose work was currently on exhibit at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art) and his children's books about Prague and Czech hero Jan Welzl; Nan Nelson's book A Day with Anka, the place of kolaches and plum scones in Czech tales; a trip to Moravia; and folk tales from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  • Tennessee State Media Association Conference - Buchanan, TN
  • International Reading Association - Atlanta, GA
  • International Reading Association - Indianapolis, IN
  • Iowa Educational Media Association - Council Bluffs, IA
  • American Association of School Librarians Conference - Indianapolis, IN
  • Kansas State Reading Association Conference - Hays, KS
  • Core Knowledge Curriculum Conference - Williamsburg, VA
  • Encyclo-media Conference sponsored by the Oklahoma State Department of Education - Oklahoma City, OK
  • Multi-Cultural Reading and Thinking Project, Arkansas Department of Education - Little Rock, AK
  • International Reading Association Conference -- Toronto, Canada; Indianapolis, IN
  • Colorado State Reading Conference - Denver, Colorado
  • and other conferences/sites throughout the Midwest and the United States


Selected sites --


  • Review CD ROMS, videos and other media for Technology Connection, a section of Library Talk and Book Report; School Library Journal; and Science Books & Films;
  • Hosted a network interactive research activity as "Bookwoman" for Scholastic Network. Activity involved over 200 classrooms nationwide, generating research clues, e-mailing, and mentoring student researchers (1997-1999).
  • KidsConnect; Volunteer (1997-99) -- an online service sponsored by the American Association of School Libraries, a service designed to respond to young learners questions for research help.
  • Virtual Desk Reference; Volunteer (1999-2002) -- an online reference service hosted by the University of Syracruse, a service designed to respond to questions for research help
  • The Readin Volunteer (1999-2002)-- an online program to promote literacy and reading.


  • Research/interviewer, Frank N. Magid Associates
  • Book Review and commentaries aired on KCCK-fm, a national public radio affiliate (five years)
  • Wrote and obtained grants for development of web page, sponsorship of reading conference, sponsorship of author residency and author days; receipt of various grants including $10,000 grants (two years) from Iowa Humanities.


  • Security Associate (on call)- Per-Mar Security, Cedar Rapids location.
  • Owner Green Frog Gifts - -- an IOWA company (est. 2004)
  • US Mail Star Route - delivery/driver
  • Restaurant manager -- VIP Lounge Marion, Iowa  (1980s)
  • Small business owner/bookkeeper S&M manufacturing; McElmeel Construction (1970s)
  • Candidate for State House of Representatives (1998); School board (2005)
  • Campaign manager for state house campaign; local city council election


  • National Education Association (life member), Iowa State Education Association, Cedar Rapids Area Education Association
  • International Reading Association, Iowa Reading Association, Cedar Rapids Area Reading Association (President local council, 1986-87; Secretary State council, 1987-88; President local council, 2001-2002)
  • Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, member
  • American Library Association
    • AASL - Association for American University Presses (AAUP) Book Selection Committee (2010-2012)
    • AASL - Publications Committee (2008-2010)
    • AASL - Research Grant Award Subcommittee (2008)
    • ALSC - Caldecott Award Selection Committee (2007)
    • AASL - Program Committee for Pittsburgh Conference (2005)
    • AASL - School Age Programs and Service Committee (2003)
    • AASL - Publications Committee (1994-2001)
    • ALSC - School Librarian's Workshop Scholarship Award Subcommittee (1999-2000)



  • Co-Chair Theme Basket Committee for Mercy Medical Center Auxilary's Spring (2008) Style Show
  • Active promoter of reading activities in the community
  • Member of the Linn County Plumbers Board of Appeals (1994-present; current appointment to December,  2012)
    Vice-Chair (2000- present); representative to Metro Area board (1999-present)
  • Member of the Metro Area Plumbers Board of Examiners and Appeals (1998-present)
    Chair, 2000, 2002.
  • Member literary club (Foldpak)
  • Member Cedar Rapids Museum of Art


    Available upon request

Updated: January 1, 2013
©1998-2013 Sharron L. McElmeel