Drawing of Ellen standing next to library stacks. Ellen is depicted wearing red pants and a sweater with a red and green print.

Ellen Williams is a PhD student in Language, Literacy, and Culture in the College of Education at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a former children’s librarian with nine years of experience working in rural, suburban and urban public libraries. As a white, cis-gendered woman, she acknowledges her privilege and the space she occupies in a field dedicated to diversity. She has instructed courses on multicultural children’s literature and social issues in children’s literature.

Williams grew up in western Massachusetts, an area home to many academic institutions, a thriving arts community, and people with particularly liberal mindsets. Williams is born of the millennial generation with and has no religious practices or affiliations. She identifies as a anarcho-socialist and holds a firm beliefs in equity in education despite socio-economic status, anti-racist education for all, and that knowledge is power.

The scholarship Williams is most interested taking a socio-cultural and critical lens to early literacy practices in informal learning environments. She is curious about finding measurable outcomes and comparable data from families, children, and working professionals engaged in early literacy practices in libraries.