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Meet Our Staff

Your Friendly Neighborhood Booksellers

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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.

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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!

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Eric Bell, Bookseller

Eric Bell is a writer of middle grade books. His two novels, Alan Cole Is Not a Coward and Alan Cole Doesn't Dance, are about a gay seventh grade boy and his struggles with coming out, bullies, crushes, and self-acceptance. (You can buy them in the store!) When he's not at Big Blue Marble or writing, Eric can also be found teaching writing classes and workshops around the Philadelphia area. He also performs in local improv group LCR Improv. Eric is happy to talk books to anyone; his main area of specialization is (of course) children's books.

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sawyer Lovett, Bookseller

Sawyer started at Big Blue Marble in 2014. Now he fills in shifts from time and time and is an off-site event sales wizard. A writer, blogger, and pod caster,Sawyer's book Retrospect: A Tazewell's Favorite Eccentric Zine Anthology is on our shelf, and we're all waiting for his next book to come out.