What’s Your Story?
Help Your Shelf is a children’s literary consulting business that works with families and organizations across the country to create literacy-rich environments and ensure that every young reader finds a book that sparks their joy.
The short story:
Kit Ballenger, JD/MLIS, is a Washington, D.C. area youth services librarian and literary consultant with Help Your Shelf. She nurtures literacy-rich environments that sustain joy and build lifelong readers. She recently curated a children’s library for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new 81st St. Studio, and clients include National PTA, First Book, and the podcast Wow in the World. She appears regularly on satellite radio as the Kids Place Live librarian in residence. You can find her book reviews at Shelf Awareness, in Booklist, and on Instagram @KitonLit.
The whole story:
Kit Ballenger, JD/MLIS, is a youth services librarian and literary consultant with Help Your Shelf living in the Washington, D.C. area. A former child advocacy attorney, she reads KidLit voraciously and loves helping young readers find their next ‘good-fit’ book. Clients include cultural institutions, including The Met; nonprofits like National PTA, First Book, FreshFarms, and Horizons Greater Washington; publishers; media outlets; and individual families, for whom she stacks to-be-read piles and curates beloved baby gifts. Kit creates book lists for children’s podcasts including the STEM-based award-winning show Wow in the World, and she appears regularly on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live as “Kit on Lit,” their librarian in residence.
Kit has served on multiple committees for the American Library Association including the 2024 Mildred A. Batchelder Award (books in translation), the 2022 Morris Award (debut writing for teens), and as co-chair of the Quicklists Consulting Committee, which creates book lists for libraries nationwide. You can find her professional reviews online at Shelf Awareness and in print in Booklist. She served for many years on the board of Capitol Choices, a nationally respected children’s book advisory nonprofit, and works with the nonprofit Pride and Less Prejudice to bring LGBTQ+ books to Prek-3rd grade classrooms across North America. A long-term volunteer at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center and Programs Lab, Kit helps there with collection development and readers advisory. She is a graduate of Amherst College and U.Va. Law School. You can find her reading recommendations on Instagram @KitonLit.