By Taylor Forrest
Staff reporter

Alicia Lillich, reference librarian, enjoys playing with her son, baking and watching Netflix when she isn't working or spending her time leading the Kansas Notable Books Selection Committee.

Alicia Lillich, reference librarian, enjoys playing with her son, baking and watching Netflix when she isn’t working or spending her time leading the Kansas Notable Books Selection Committee. (Taylor Forrest/Moundbuilder photographer)

She reads in her secluded office surrounded by paintings of cats and photographs of her one-year-old son. As she finishes the book she is reading, she immediately picks up another. One book down, 74 more to go.

Alicia Lillich, reference librarian, has a full plate. While juggling the responsibilities of mother, wife and librarian, she has also taken on the role of chairing the Kansas Notable Books Selection Committee.

Eight professionals consider 75 to 100 books written about Kansas or by Kansas authors during a five month period. The committee sifts through these books until they award the top 15 the distinction of being a Kansas Notable Book.

Cindy Roupe, legislative public librarian, coordinates the group. “My job consists mainly of collecting titles of eligible books and gathering input from other authors, librarians and committee members,” said Roupe.

Roupe also selects the chairperson. “I asked Alicia to chair the committee this year because it was her second year and she had not only experience, but a powerful enthusiasm that she channeled into the organization,” said Roupe.

Marjorie Snyder, technical services librarian, said Lillich’s role as chairperson brings a unique rarity to the library. “Alicia is so knowledgeable. She is exposed to so much regional information, and while she enjoys this responsibility, it is like an assignment and it makes her that much more valuable.”

Lillich reads a lot of the nominated books, along with managing and scheduling meetings. “While I put so much effort into this committee, it has also given back to me by breaking my previous stereotypes of Kansas. Kansas has such a rich history that I never would have known about if I hadn’t applied to this committee,” said Lillich.

While the committee is an enormous task, it does not overshadow the rest of Lillich’s life. “In the free time that I have, I play with my son, bake and watch Netflix. You might even catch me reading ‘Galapagos’ by Kurt Vonnegut for the hundredth time.”

For a full list of the notable books, visit https://kslib.info/notablebooks. 

Taylor Forrest is a freshman majoring in communication. You may email her at taylor.forrest@sckans.edu.