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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fare Thee Well, Fantastic Boss of Mine!

That man you would see in the video above is John Peters, my boss of the past four years.  He is perhaps THE most knowledgeable person I know in the field of children’s literature.  Yesterday was John’s last day, as he officially retired from working at New York Public Library.  During his time (he began in 1980) he served on everything from the Caldecott committee (Black & White) to the Newbery (A View from Saturday). I am pleased to see that he will serve yet again as part of the 2012 Caldecott committee.

Good luck, John!  And please visit often.  I’m gearing up for facing what I approximate to be about fifteen years’ worth of people walking in saying, “John’s gone?  GONE??” with horror in their eyes.

We will all miss him very very much.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. John will never, we hope, stop telling stories or writing reviews, so his sweet and strong voice will be heard for a long time to come.

  2. Betsy, we had one of the most awesome crews of kids’ librarians under his oversight for a few years at Donnell! I’ll never be able to tell everyone how much I learned from John in that short time. The NYPL is definitely losing a treasure!

  3. Yes, we look forward to seeing the Informancer in new and other roles, but I can imagine how hard it must be for those of you who worked under him. Good luck to you all in these challenging times for NYC libraries!

  4. Karen Gray Ruelle says:

    I’m one of those people who would come in and say “John’s gone?” with horror in my eyes. I’ve been a fan of his since he was at the Epiphany Branch. I don’t know who enjoyed his storytimes more, my daughter or me. And he was so very helpful when I was first starting out as an author. Wow, I’ll really miss him! and I wish him all the best in whatever he decides to do next. (I sure hope it involves some sort of storytelling, though.)

  5. Wow! John Peters storytelling was so amazing. I met John many years ago at the Epiphany Library, after filling in for him for a picture book hour while he was on vacation. I was to tell stories in the big room on the top floor of the library, and when I arrived, there were 100 nannies and with young children all waiting for John. The echo, as the room continued to fill was “Where’s John?!!!” I couldn’t wait to meet the man that inspired all these women to come toting strollers with babies 45 minutes early to wait for a story!

    John is an incredible resource! A fountain of folktale knowledge. So many times I would mention a snippet of a plot, or a certain nebulous character in a folktale I was looking for, and like a Library Jeopardy Master, he would say, “Do you mean….?” And he would find the book, the story and the source in moment!

    You will be missed John by the children, families, librarians and your fellow storytellers in NYC!