River Forest Public Library River Forest Public Library

Our responsive and knowledgeable staff always strives to provide a high level of service and satisfaction. We are here to help you find the information you need and the services and resources you want. Need a recommendation? Can’t find something? Not sure how to download something? Ask us! That’s what we’re here for.

Click on photos to learn more about the individual.


Emily Compton


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Katie Cangelosi

Operations Manager

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Francisca Arnold

Marketing and PR Specialist

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The Library welcomed Emily as the new Director in January 2021. Emily earned a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Dominican University and has worked with library patrons of all ages in many different settings for 20 years. Most recently, she was the Assistant Director and Head of Adult Services at Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District. Emily’s favorite writer is Colson Whitehead, whose writing she loves for its capacity to be lyrical, profound, and funny.

As Operations Manager, Katie works closely with the Director, sharing responsibility for library administration, finances, and facilities, as well as overseeing the Materials Services Department. She joined the Library in June of 2021. Katie comes to River Forest with over 8 years of experience in customer and library service. She has a Master of Library and Information Services from University of Alabama and a BA in Business Management from Northeastern Illinois University.  Katie enjoys reading all kinds of genres, including graphic novels, horror, romance, and sci fi. She loves to connect with people especially about books and library programs.

In addition to creating our tri-annual Bookplate newsletter, Fran is responsible for our in-house communications, signage, flyers, social media, eNewsletter and press releases. Fran attended the University of Virginia and earned a BA in Latin American Studies and Spanish before earning her MBA in Marketing from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to joining our RFPL team in 2013, Fran was Director of Marketing for a commercial real estate firm and a marketing consultant. Her favorite genre? Historical fiction.

Adult and Teen Services

Shannon Gruber

Adult and Teen Services Manager

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Brian Wolowitz

Adult and Teen Services Librarian

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Dorothy Houlihan

Adult Librarian

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Brittany Burns

Adult and Teen Services Associate



Maria Maia

Adult and Teen Services Associate



Shannon joined the Library in December, 2019. She manages the adult collections and programs, offer readers advisory, and collaborates with the Township to create special program opportunities for our senior population.  Shannon has a BS in Fashion Merchandising and her MLIS from Dominican University. She has worked in libraries for the past 10 years.

Biographies, celebrity memoirs, anything set in France, travel writing, historical fiction, literary fiction, and humor, are all genres that Shannon enjoys.

Brian Wolowitz joined us as our new Adult and Teen Services Librarian in January 2022.  Brian will be coordinating adult programming, and managing the fiction, mystery, Lucky Day, and large print collections. You will most often find Brian at the upstairs service desk. Please join us in welcoming Brian to the Library.

Brian has been working in libraries for almost 10 years. He has a BA in English from DePaul University and a Masters in Library Services from Dominican University.

An avid reader, Brian especially enjoys literary fiction that is witty and humorous. He is also a frequent moviegoer and can often be found at the city’s arthouse film venues like the Music Box and the Gene Siskel Film Center. Ask him for a movie recommendation!

Dorothy enjoys suggesting books, audiobooks, and film titles to our patrons. She herself is a fan of mysteries, thrillers, family sagas, coming-of-age stories, and biographies of individuals who have overcome challenges. Dorothy is also a digital library guru! She is always ready to help patrons download eBooks, audiobooks, movies, music and more from our vast digital collection. Dorothy attended Cornell University before earning her Master of Library Services at the School of Information Library Science at Rutgers University.  She has been with RFPL since 2005.

Brittany joined the Library in May 2019. She received a BA in History  from Northern Illinois University and then went on to Dominican University, where she received her MLIS degree. In her spare time, Brittany enjoys bike riding, collecting coins, reading, travel, and attending yoga classes. Her favorite genres are fantasy and history.


Maria joined the Library in July 2019. She’s a native Oak Parker and graduate of DePaul University where she received her BA in Theatre Management.  She is currently a prospective grad student for Library and Information Science at University of Illinois. She enjoys spending time with her husband and dog Oscar. She is currently teaching herself to cook and is always on the look out for new dairy free and vegetarian recipes! She loves the ability to connect the community.


Children's Services

Melaina Maraldi

Children's Services Manager

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Dannie Moore

Assistant Children’s Services Manager



Anne Kowalski

Children's Services Associate



Kate Marsh

Children's Services Associate



Madison Wagner

Children's Services Associate



Melaina joined River Forest Public Library in March, 2022 and has nearly 10 years of library experience, most recently at Highland Park Public Library where she was a children’s librarian. She holds a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State University, as well as a BA in English from Kalamazoo College. In her role as Manager of Children’s Services, Melaina will oversee the children’s department, collections, and programming.

In her spare time, Melaina enjoys cooking, thrifting, traveling (especially to visit her daughter who is studying in Paris), hiking, and of course, reading. One of her favorite books of all time is Anne of Green Gables. She is also a huge fan of mysteries, and appreciates books for all age groups.

Dannie joined the library in July 2019 as a Children’s Services Associate. She adores kids of all ages and particularly enjoys working with children under the age of 5. She attended Dominican University, where she earned both her BA and MLIS degrees. Dannie considers herself a story time guru and leads Mother Goose Cafe story times. She manages the picture book, board book, and leveled reader collections. Some of her favorite books include anything by Jan Thomas, Rosie Revere, Engineer, by Andrea Beatty, and Llama Llama’s entire series by Anna Dewdney. When she’s not at the library, Dannie can be found hiking with her two dogs, Zoe and Tonks.

Anne joined the library in December 2019 as a Youth Services Associate. She’s working towards her MLIS from Dominican University, and previously attended DePaul where she earned her undergraduate degree in English. She loves children of all ages and manages the series collection in the children’s department. Anne’s favorite themes for books include nature and outer space, and she has a special place in her heart for Adventure Time (both the show and the graphic novelization). She likes cartoons, cats, and pop music, and can be found cross stitching when not at work or doing homework.

Kate joined the Youth Services team in November 2019.

Madison joined the library in May 2021 as a Youth Services Associate. During her three years as an early childhood educator, Madison discovered her favorite picture books are those that promote social emotional growth. Her favorite authors include Andrea Beaty, Jon Agee, and Tom Percival. In Madison’s spare time, she enjoys exploring nature, cooking, and listening to music.

Materials Services

Victoria Muraiti

Materials Services Manager

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Lisa Engoren

Materials Services Assistant/Technical Services

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Abigail Atwood

Materials Services Assistant



Vincenzo Cerasuolo

Materials Services Assistant



Barbara Croom

Materials Services Assistant



Cathy Kruse

Materials Services Assistant



Valerie Pazos

Materials Services Assistant



Cathy Rutman

Materials Services Assistant



Susie Young

Materials Services Assistant



Victoria is responsible for managing circulation operations on a daily basis, handling magazine and newspaper subscriptions, and overseeing the use of the meeting room. Victoria has been with RFPL since 2006, when she started as a page, and held several positions after that. Victoria has a BA in Physical Education from DePaul and loves to exercise when she has spare time. Victoria’s favorite genres are psychological thrillers and post-apocalyptic books.

Lisa wears many hats at the Library. You will often see her at the circulation desk welcoming and helping patrons. In technical services, she is responsible for processing all of our new materials. Lisa’s efforts bring you the latest and greatest in books, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks. In addition to enjoying classic films and musicals, Lisa likes reading books that champion the human spirit. Some of her favorites include The Book Thief, The Folded Earth, and Madame Bovary. She is also “:crazy in love” with Hamilton, both the music and the bestseller that is about the making of the musical.

Abigail joined the Library in January 2022. She previously worked as a curatorial intern at the Elmhurst Art Museum, as an Assistant Collections Manager at the Roselle History Manager, and as a library assistant at Forest Park.  Her favorite books are Jane Eyre and Uprooted by Naomi Novak. She loves any atmospheric book regardless of genre.

Vince joined the Library in February 2022. He has worked as a circulation assistant and student supervisor at the Rebecca Crown Library and also works at  Villa Park Public Library.

Barb has been with the library since 2011 and is responsible for returning our library materials to the shelves.  Her organizational skills help us to keep our shelves neat and tidy. Looking for a great movie recommendation? Ask Barb! She’s a movie buff.

Cathy joined the Library in April 2021. She has a B.A. in Communications from Loyola University Chicago and loves to cook, bake, bike, do yoga, and of course read. Ever since she was a young girl, she has considered the library her “happy place.” She believes libraries play a crucial role in providing access to a space that is welcoming and open to all members of the community.

Cathy joined the Library in April 2018. She brings her love of organization to her work by keeping library materials organized and neat. After having lived in Maryland, Colorado, Germany, Massachusetts, and California, she moved to River Forest 20 years ago. She has a background in marketing. In her free time, Cathy loves to spend time with her family, travel, paint, take photographs, garden, read and see live music.

Susie has worked at the Library for over 20 years and has been part of the River Forest community since 1977. She assists patrons with obtaining library cards, checking out materials and learning more about library programs and services. Her tenure and experience greatly enrich our staff and enhance our service to the community.