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Youth Services Librarianship for the 21st Century: Books, Media, Technology, Advocacy and More

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This event is brought to you by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School of Information Sciences 

Date: October 21, 2021 at 9:15 a.m. PT / 11:15 a.m. CT / 12:15 p.m. ET

Children’s and Young Adult fiction is booming in the US, constituting a $2 billion industry.  When the American Library Association (ALA) first granted its prestigious Newbery Medal to “the most distinguished” children’s title published in the US, there were approximately 450 new books for youth published annually; now that number stands at more than 32,000.  It is thanks in part to the emergence of Youth Services librarianship that the quantity, quality, and diversity of children’s and YA materials has increased dramatically in the past century.  But whereas librarians of the past tended to place books—and frequently, their own aesthetic tastes—at the center of their outreach work, today’s Youth Services professionals see themselves as youth advocates, information connectors, and social justice advocates (even as they continue to champion books).  Sara L. Schwebel, director of the Center for Children’s Books at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, will discuss professional and academic training in Youth Services librarianship, current initiatives at the Center for Children’s Books, and career trajectories in Youth Services librarianship.

Registration is limited, so sign up today!

Zoom Link:

(RSVP for your session password)

Meet the Speaker


Sara L. Schwebel,
Professor and Director,
iSchool at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Sara L. Schwebel is the director of the Center for Children’s Books at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her books include Child-Sized History: Fictions of the Past in U.S. Classrooms (Vanderbilt, 2011), Island of the Blue Dolphins: The Complete Reader’s Edition (University of California Press, 2016), and Dust Off the Gold Medal: Rediscovering Children’s Literature at the Newbery Centennial (Routledge, 2022), which is co-edited with Jocelyn Van Tuyl. A cultural historian and children’s literature scholar, she holds a PhD in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University. 

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