We have a few new faces in the Madison Public Library Foundation office this year, and this month, we’re introducing another one of these employees.

Elissa Russell, our new Donor Relations Associate, joined our staff in January. Russell earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where she majored in marketing. Before coming to the foundation, she worked at Aptiv, a service provider that aids individuals with disabilities. A native of West Salem, Wis., Russell makes a hobby out of taking road trips with her husband. They always try to include at least one major library on the itinerary, and they love traveling to amusement parks throughout the country to ride every rollercoaster possible. She also spends a lot of time taking care of the couple’s “pandemic puppy.”

When it comes to her favorite books, she enjoys Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and the Harry Potter series, as well as numerous audiobooks. While she wasn’t a fan of them when she was younger, she now enjoys “listening to the tale unfolding.” When asked about something others might not know about her, she said, “I lost my first tooth at my local library while waiting for my mom’s Friends of the Library meeting to conclude!”

Reflecting on why she’s drawn to libraries, Russell reflects on this quote by author Sidney Sheldon: “Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life.”