A Poet Librarian

me in woods

My name is Melissa Eleftherion Carr. I work as a Branch Librarian with Mendocino County Libraries – creating, developing and implementing programming & services for teens and adults. Like a lot of librarians, I wear many hats – reference, reader’s advisory, collection development, outreach, publicity, marketing, project management, circulation, food service… whatever it takes. It’s the best job in the world.

I’m also a poet. My work has been collected in various forms and fragments including journals, anthologies, a full-length collection, and eight chapbooks: huminsect (dancing girl press, 2013), prism maps (dusie kollektiv), Pigtail Duty (dancing girl press, 2015), the leaves the leaves (poems-for-all, 2018), abalone (poems-for-all, 2018), green glass asterisms (poems-for-all, 2018) little ditch (above/ground press, 2018) & trauma suture (forthcoming from above/ground press, 2020). My poems have been published in over eighty journals and anthologies, including Entropy, Flag+VoidLunch Ticket, Pith, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, & Vector Press.

My first full-length collection, field guide to autobiography, has a new home & was recently published by The Operating System. The book explores the inter-relatedness of various species through accreted fragments toward autobiography. How does a person begin to enumerate the many fragments & fractals that comprise a life? field guide to autobiography is an attempt at memoir through the lens of various animals & minerals including katydids, wrens, abalone shells, and apple trees.

The Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange is a community-curated archive I created and developed for poets to convene, correspond, and collaborate via the currency of the poetry community: chapbooks. This cooperative model has facilitated the compilation of a diverse and innovative collection of poetry chapbooks for public access. We began by inviting a select group of core contributors, and have grown our collection in just a few months to comprise 30+ chapbooks freely available on the web. A paper chronicling the project was recently published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship (JERL). You can also read more about the chapbook exchange here and here. Contact me at melissa dot eleftherion dot gmail dot com if you’d like to contribute a chapbook to our collection, or gain special access to the collection as a researcher.

I earned an MFA in Poetry at Mills College, and a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree from San Jose State University. My specialties and interests include improving user experiences, creating engaging learning spaces for teens, supporting emerging technologies, incorporating transmedia literacies, and encouraging collaborative learning. My love for public libraries started early, and I continue my advocacy by promoting lifelong learning and reading the heck out of everything.

With an educational and professional background in both visual and language arts, I’m interested in designing YA programming and services to incorporate and reflect myriad media literacies including gaming, poetry, music, prose, film, video, painting, and photography to promote interest in reading. I believe these creative and collaborative media will be instrumental in building supportive peer-to-peer learning communities for teens as well as foster lifelong learning skills. I am also excited to discover new ways to implement emerging technologies to best serve teen library needs. I think libraries should pair the best features of analog and digital programs, services, and collections to build efficient and fun library spaces.

2 thoughts on “A Poet Librarian

  1. Bhumi Bhutani

    Hi Melissa

    I got your info from Albany library. I am looking for a storyteller as entertainment for a 7 year olds bdays from 3-4pm tomorrow here at Raksha Care Homes, an assisted living community located in Albany. The librarian said you would be a great person to contact for this. We realize this is last minute but if you can make it would be greatly appreciated!

    Bhumi Bhutani


    1. mellielib Post author

      Hi Bhumi,

      Thank you so much for your note. Unfortunately, I will be working tomorrow and am unable to perform story-time at the assisted living facility you mentioned. I wish I could! I hope you are able to locate someone to help.

      Thanks and all the best,



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