Andy Ryan - Chief Executive
Andy Ryan is founder and chief executive of Cityread. Prior to establishing Cityread, Andy was responsible for marketing and office management at London Libraries from 2005 to 2010, before which she worked in events in Interdisciplinary Arts at Arts Council England. In 2010 Andy established Stellar Libraries CIC, a creative agency for libraries, from which the Cityread charity has grown. Cityread London 2014 won a CILIP Impact award for marketing excellence, and Stellar Libraries was awarded Social Enterprise of the year in the Mayor of Lewisham Business Awards 2015. Andy has generated over £1.5 million for library-related programmes since 2010, and was named by the Evening Standard as one of London’s 1000 most influential people of 2016.
Anne Hall - Project Manager, Libraries
Before joining the Cityread team five years ago, Anne worked in public libraries for nearly forty years. She had various roles, including Reader Development, Children's librarian, Stock Librarian and Area Manager and her last post, Operations Manager for Barking and Dagenham Libraries. Working for Cityread has allowed her to continue sharing her love of literature and reading to a wider London audience.
Sara loves all things Cityread and is currently working with the team as Project Administrator and overseeing the website re-design. Via Cityread, she has also scrounged some work with Ben! She has a number of years experience in Event and Artist Management, and after having her children moved to part-time, managing a small team of publishers in the City. More recently you will find her in search of any 'gig' that interests her and fits in with the kids. She particularly loves designing websites or a project to oversee.
Polly has worked extensively in theatre, film and television. Starting off in stage management both in repertory and West End theatre she was also assistant producer on a number of gala shows. Moving into television she worked on several commercials, promos and TV dramas both in the production office and on set before becoming an assistant agent at P.F.D. representing some of the top actors in the world. She then worked at the BBC as a casting director whilst also casting films and promos and running workshops for actors. In 2016 she set up 20Four7 Films with her actor / writer husband and through the company has produced several music videos and is currently producing a very exciting show for the BBC. Having always been a passionate reader she is really enjoying working with Cityread to produce the live events for this year’s programme.
I worked in local government from 1982 until March 2017 in Camden Library service and Hammersmith and Fulham library service in various roles.
Since leaving work full time, in 2018 I assisted the Cityread London programme with a pilot project to increase the inclusiveness and reach of the programme by placing 500 of the chosen title for the year with homeless people. I achieved this by working with various partner organisations who work with them. This year, I am working to improve and expand this element of the Cityread London.
During my time in the library service I gained considerable experience, taking responsibility for funding applications, extensive networking, undertook varied project work, worked in partnership across many council teams and worked in a large team of reader development specialists, including and work with children and young people. Latterly I gained experience in collating statistical data and providing analysis of KPI and took responsibility for the annual library Cipfa return. I was the lead for the Cityread London programme within the library service for 6 years until leaving in March 2017.
Katy has been a bit of a nomad until she settled in Bristol 7 years ago. In another life she worked overseas in marketing in the corporate world. She is now a freelance social media manager and Facebook Ads Strategist who loves using this medium for a purpose, for worthwhile causes: to inspire, to educate and to connect people. In a perfect world you might find her doing pilates, yoga, running or swimming. She’ll happily talk espressos and single origin coffee to you for hours if you’d let her. Is also exceedingly happy curled up with a good book, fact or fiction, with her cat.
Dr Melita Armitage
Melita has worked with Cityread since our very first campaign as our evaluator, as well as helping out with some of our bid writing over the years. She helps us to count what we need to count, which is no mean feat given the growing number of libraries and people that get involved annually. Through her work with us we can talk with confidence about our successes and think about what we could tweak to improve what we do. She combines reading with running and has worked her way through our Cityread authors on Audible while pounding the streets and trails around her hometown of Bath.
A cultural communications agency dedicated to the challenges of young people and the lifestyles of millennials. We activate youth communities for brands, charities, the public sector and more.
Socially motivated, agile and collaborative, we use arts and culture to develop multi-channel conversations that mobilise, empower, educate and support future-facing youth-led movements, both for young people and our clients.
Operating within a network of thought leaders, influencers, commentators, agencies, young people and professionals, we deliver insight and experiences, transforming niche culture into successful mainstream campaigns and valuable cultural movements.
Lord Tope CBE
Graham Tope is co-chair of the Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and is the Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Libraries. Throughout the period of the Coalition Government he was co-chair of the Lib Dem Communities & Local Government Parliamentary Committee. Graham was a London Borough councillor for 40 years, Council Leader for 13 years and subsequently Cabinet Member for Libraries. He was a member of the London Assembly (Greater London Authority) for 8 years, throughout which he chaired the Finance Committee of the Metropolitan Police Authority. Before becoming a councillor, Graham was Liberal M.P. for Sutton & Cheam. He was appointed a Life Peer in 1994 and awarded the CBE in 1991.
Catherine is a Managing Director, Head of Business Management at S&P Global, and is Cityread's Treasurer. She combines a lifelong love of literature with a passion for developing access to culture across all groups and communities, something that Cityread excels at. Catherine is very excited to be part of the small team helping take Cityread London forward.
Katie has worked in publishing for more than 20 years, including working as an editor and publisher at HarperCollins and Penguin Random House. She is now Managing Director of the Orion Publishing Group, part of Hachette UK. Katie was honoured to be invited to join the board of trustees for CityRead, to help connect the board with publishers. She is passionate about literacy and libraries, and CityRead brings those together brilliantly.
Jonah Albert is currently a cultural events producer at The British Library, creating engaging events linked to the Library’s collection and exhibition programme. He has been involved in public events programming and curation at the National Gallery and the V&A, with a particular focus on engaging families, young people and local communities with heritage and culture.
Chris is a brand planner and a strategic communications specialist who has worked across sectors from technology and consumer goods to the arts and cultural industries. In addition to his work in identifying and targeting audiences for major consumer brands, he also has considerable expertise in running communications for large-scale live-events such as Latitude, Hay Festival and The London Book Fair. Chris is proud to be involved with Cityread as he believes passionately in the power of libraries and reading to change lives.
Born and raised in London Ben Aaronovitch had the sort of unrelentingly uninteresting childhood that drives a person to drink or Science Fiction. The later proved useful in his early career when he wrote for Doctor Who (before it was fashionable), Casualty and the cheapest soap opera ever made - Jupiter Moon. Alas his career foundered in the late 1990s and he was forced to go out and work for living. It was while running the Crime and Science Fiction sections at the Covent Garden branch of Waterstones that he conceived the notion of writing novels instead. Thus was the Rivers of London series born and when the first book - Rivers of London - proved to be a runaway success he waited all of five minutes to give up the day job and return to the bliss that is a full time writing career. He still lives in the city that he modestly calls 'the capital of the world' and says he will leave when they pries London from his cold dead fingers.
He was selected as the Cityread London author in 2015, and having seen their work at first hand , decided he wanted to stay involved.
Cheney is Cityread’s public library guru. With a passion for connecting books and people, she has worked in public libraries for over 15 years, in several boroughs, inside and outside London promoting reading and supporting learning for all ages. She currently works as the Library Development Manager at Richmond upon Thames Library Services. Cheney has been a supporter of Cityread since day one and is dedicated to supporting the enormous potential of a festival that brings stories and people together across a whole city.
Jonathan Kuhles works is the Associate Director of Major Gifts in the Foundation Department at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. Until December 2018 he was the Development Director for the Philharmonia Orchestra. Jonathan became a trustee of Cityread in 2017 and is proud to be part of a charity that does so much to promote literacy and the enjoyment of reading for all.
Lou has spent her career working in advertising and has worked with some of the world’s biggest and best-known employers, helping them to develop and implement their employer branding, attraction and digital recruitment strategies. In August 2018 she joined Monster.co.uk as Marketing Director for UK and Ireland. Lou is an avid reader, has been to every Cityread since 2013 and is proud to serve as a Trustee.