Sheila Allen Avelin, Owner
Sheila opened Big Blue Marble in 2005, the same year she gave birth to her daughter Zivia - while it has turned out okay in the long run, she suggests that others perhaps don't try to do both things at the same time. Many years before opening Big Blue Marble, Sheila worked at Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, DC and she brushed up on her bookstore skills at Rainbow Bookstore in Madison after she decided to open her own store. She also has a past life as a teacher at Friends Select School and in Penn's freshman English program, where she taught while working on (but not completing) her PhD in English literature. Sheila reads widely and keeps a close eye on the interests of our customers, always considering books to bring into the store that will move, delight, and inform this community of readers.
Jennifer Woodfin, Manager
Jennifer Woodfin is our general manager and has been at the store since it opened. Her wife is Jennifer Sheffield and they have a six year old named Micah who loves books. Ask her about young adult books - both the SF&F and the realistic YA, also chapter books and nonfiction for kids, science books and science fiction. Ask Micah for advice on picture books, board books, early readers, kids comic books and the superhero section. This is Jennifer's third and longest bookstore job.
Elliott batTzedek, Outreach Coordinator
Elliott started at Big Blue Marble in 2011, working Sundays in the summer, and stayed on to become the Outreach/Events Coordinator. She's always been an avid but erratic reader, so her recommendations cross all genres and ages. She worked for 15 years in early childhood literacy so can ALWAYS lead you to a great kids' book that is just the right match. Elliott is also a poet and translator. She runs our Poetry is Not a Luxury Book Club, and keeps our poetry section stocked with a diverse selection of the best contemporary poets.
Mariga Temple-West, Bookseller
Mariga has been at Big Blue Marble since 2013. A musician and writer herself, she loves fiction that is beautifully written and rich with historic detail. Ask Mariga if you want a read that will pull you utterly into another world, another place, another time. She's also a realtor with Weichert Realtors, so you can also ask her help moving into another home!
Sarah Sawyers-Lovett, Bookseller
Sarah started at Big Blue Marble in 2014. Now she runs the Wednesday morning story time, and pitches in for store projects. A writer, blogger, and pod caster, Sarah's book Retrospect: A Tazewell's Favorite Eccentric Zine Anthology is on our shelf, and we are big fans of her Book Jawn podcast.
Marta rose, Events Assistant
Marta was the Outreach Coordinator at Big Blue Marble five years ago, and then passed the job onto the events mastermind, Elliott batTzedek. Now Marta is back as Elliott's assistant, which is a far better arrangement all around! Marta has an MFA in fiction from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and she is writing a novel set in the Germantown and Kensington neighborhoods of Philadelphia. She is also a student at the Philadelphia School of Massage and Bodywork, and a sometimes adjunct in the First Year Writing Program at Temple University. Marta loves all kinds of fiction, poetry, and any sort of weird, multi-media genre-bending experiments! She loves teaching and plans to offer some classes at Big Blue Marble soon!