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In this Newsletter…
News and Updates
Staff Changes at the CCB
The CCB is pleased to welcome our newest staff member to Room 24 this August: Lauren Grey, who will be joining Michelle Biwer as a CCB Graduate Assistant. If you’re in town this August, stop by the CCB and join us in greeting Lauren! We’re sad to have already said goodbye to Alice Mitchell, former CCB GA, who returned to the Chicago area after graduating in May. Congratulations to Alice as she looks forward to life after GSLIS! She recently helped lead a conversation about LIS education at ALA in San Francisco—read more in the Out and About section below.
Summer and Fall Hours
The CCB will continue to operate at reduced hours throughout the summer, with closures from July 22 through August 4 due to staff travel schedules. During Summer Interim (August 10-August 21), the CCB will operate at a slightly modified schedule, which will be announced shortly. Normal fall hours will resume at the start of fall classes on August 24. Please see the CCB website and Facebook page for the most current scheduling information.
- Wednesday, July 1: Youth Lit Book Club, 6 pm
Reading Graceling by Kristin Cashore
- Wednesday, July 15: Youth Lit Book Club, 6 pm
Reading Sabriel (The Abhorsen Trilogy, Book 1) by Garth Nix
- Wednesday, July 22 – Tuesday, August 4: CCB Closed
The CCB will be closed for normal business during this time due to staff travel. Please note that we will be open for our usual Youth Lit Book Club on July 29.
- Wednesday, July 29: Youth Lit Book Club, 6 pm
Reading The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
- Monday, August 10: Fall Interim Begins
- Wednesday, August 12: Youth Lit Book Club, 6 pm
Reading Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
- Monday, August 24: Fall Semester Begins; CCB Fall Hours Take Effect
Events take place at the CCB unless otherwise noted. For complete descriptions of events, visit the calendar on our website.
New Bibliographies on the CCB Website
Inside the Dragon’s Den: Dangerous and Delightful Tails
Created by Alice Mitchell, CCB GA
Meta Reads: Self-Aware Stories
Created by Alice Mitchell, CCB GA
Storytelling Bibliography: Sláinte! Folktales and Legends of Ireland
Created by Alice Mitchell, CCB GA
Our Affiliates Out and About
GSLIS had a strong showing at the recent ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA. CCB affiliate attendees included Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Kate McDowell and associate professor Christine Jenkins. Also at ALA, recent CCB GA Alice Mitchell and other GSLIS students and alumnae led a Conversation Starter panel entitled “What Do LIS Students Really Think About Their Education?” to present on their findings from the recent student-led Symposium on LIS Education.
Kate McDowell, GSLIS professor and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, recently attended the ACPA Student Affairs Assessment Institute in Louisville, KY.
Christine Jenkins will also be giving a presentation at Library History Seminar XIII with GSLIS doctoral students Melissa Hayes and Cass Mabbott. The presentation on Saturday, August 1 is entitled “Charlemae Rollins, the George Cleveland Hall Branch Library, and the Chicago Black Renaissance: The Public Library as place and cultural space for the children of Bronzeville, 1932-1958.” Library History Seminar is a history conference that takes place every 5 years, with this conference being held at Simmons College in Boston.
Assistant professor and CCB affiliate Liz Hoiem recently attended the annual Children’s Literature Association conference in Richmond, VA. Chairing a session on “Liberty and Death for the Nineteenth-Century Child,” Hoiem presented her paper entitled “‘Naughty full-grown babes’: Children’s Literature and the Radical Press, 1816-1836.” Also at this conference, GSLIS graduate student Melissa Hayes gave a presentation entitled “Being Honored: African American Illustrators and their Caldecott Recognized Books, 2000-2015.” Read more from the GSLIS newsroom here.
Feature: Interview with Christine Jenkins
Since coming to GSLIS in 1994, Christine Jenkins has played a significant role in making the youth services and K-12 programs what they are today. Jenkins will be retiring this fall, providing a bittersweet opportunity for the CCB to talk with her about her accomplishments, her learning experiences, and how things have changed during her time in the field.
GSLIS has changed in many ways since Jenkins arrived, particularly with the creation of a certifying K-12 degree in 2001, prior to which aspiring school librarians were responsible for obtaining a teaching certificate outside of GSLIS. On her arrival in the program, Jenkins also began teaching youth services courses that had not been offered in quite some time, such as Young Adult Librarianship. “I knew perfectly well that young adult books were high on people’s lists of things that get challenged. What I wanted to do was to make sure that my [Young Adult Literature] students thought about teens as part of themselves, not as these other creatures.”
The creation of the LEEP program in 1996 was another major milestone. Although she initially resisted the online program, Jenkins was inspired by her students’ determination despite early reservations about the format. “It was just really exciting to see people who were extremely uncomfortable with technology say, ‘if the incentive is high enough, you’ll do all kinds of things you never thought you would do.’” Jenkins ultimately had a very positive experience with her first LEEP classes, reflecting, “The synchronous elements were wonderful, it was like we were all in this ludic space, and people just did wonderful things.”
Her goals as an educator reflect her appreciation for the many things that children’s librarians have accomplished over the years. Inspired by her work as the Intellectual Freedom Information Coordinator for the University of Wisconsin, Jenkins’ dissertation was on the history of youth services librarian leadership with a particular focus on children’s intellectual freedom. The school library bill of rights was developed by public and school librarians in 1955, and children’s librarians also played a big role in developing written selection policies for libraries. Despite their reputation, Jenkins notes, “children’s librarians have been at the forefront, if you look at what they’ve done.”
One thing that Jenkins is particularly excited about is the change in attitudes regarding LGBT issues and diversity as a whole in books and librarianship. When she began her research in the 1980s, there was very little available on the subject. Now, Jenkins says, “That has really changed. It’s very exciting. I think the trend towards diversity includes lots of different diversities, and to have people say, ‘race, gender, ethnicity, ability/disability, gender identification, LGBTQ stuff,’ to have that just be part of the list, is so exciting.” Acknowledging ALA’s role in this shift—it was the first professional organization to have a gay task force, created in the 1960s—Jenkins is excited about the future. “I’m not saying that we won’t take steps backwards, but we’ve come so far.”
Recognizing a variety of challenges in the field, Jenkins offers advice for new and aspiring youth services librarians. The most important idea comes from a library education textbook by influential children’s librarian Effie Power. In it, Power stresses the importance of a “positive problem solving attitude,” because, as Jenkins notes, “Every single day, you’re going to have to be assertive.” Having taught students in both public and school library tracks, Jenkins also urges all children’s librarians to connect with one another and recognize opportunities for community engagement. Finally, Jenkins strongly recommends ALA as a way to stay energized and inspired in the field. “Whatever reason you can think of not to do it, it can be overcome. You’re doing stuff for other people all day long, and this is what you’re doing to keep your positive problem solving attitude.”
If you see Christine around GSLIS this summer, be sure to extend congratulations for her retirement and her wonderful influence on GSLIS. Jenkins’ official retirement date is in August, but we’re sure to hear more from her in the future! Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page: extended interview highlights will be available shortly.
New Books We Just Had to Read
Every month, the CCB Graduate Assistants highlight books reviewed in the most recent issue of the Bulletin that we were excited to read. These decisions are based on personal preference, but all books listed are Recommended by the Bulletin. For complete reviews, visit the Bulletin website (http://bccb.lis.illinois.edu/) to learn how to subscribe.
Michelle’s Choice: Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Reading Level: Gr. 7-10
Publisher and Year: Feiwel, 2015
Price: $17.99 A prequel to Marissa Meyer’s bestselling series the Lunar Chronicles, Fairest charts Levana’s ruthless but tragic journey from unsightly princess to Queen of Luna. As a child, Levana becomes permanently disfigured by a cruel prank. From then on, Levana uses her powerful glamour to change her entire appearance, everything from her hair to her clothes, so that no one will know her secret. She begins to use her glamour for more dastardly manipulations, namely, bending people to her will. After convincing herself that one of the palace guards likes her, Levana glamours him into doing her bidding and “loving” her, all the while glamouring the rest of the populace to gear up for her planned world domination. Readers will be sympathetic to Levana’s traumatic childhood and her desperate need to be loved, but if anything, finishing this tale will leave them all the more frightened of the havoc Levana will wreak in the upcoming Winter, the final installment in the series. This is an affecting villain origin story, and fans of the Lunar Chronicles who are curious about Levana should also keep an eye out for a few tidbits about the origins of their favorite heroes Winter and Cinder.
Anna’s Choice: Cast Off: The Strange Adventures of Petra De Winter and Bram Broen by Eve Yohalem
Reading Level: Gr. 5-8
Publisher and Year: Dial, 2015
Desperate to escape her abusive father, Petra De Winter stows away on a merchant ship supporting the Dutch East India Company of the late 17th century. She is quickly discovered by young crewmember Bram Broen, a half-Javanese boy who needs the captain’s approval to upgrade his second-class citizenship through a certificate of legitimacy. Risking both of their lives, Bram helps Petra hide below decks disguised as a boy, until she breaks cover and leaps to the rescue when the ship’s doctor struggles to help an injured crewmember. Her medical expertise earns her a place onboard, and her disguise holds up despite the close quarters. The ship holds other dangers, though, and a brewing rebellion divides the crew just as a terrible fever strikes. As the crew recovers and the two children struggle to pick sides, Petra’s secret is revealed and life on the ship turns more perilous than ever before. Both protagonists possess complicated motives and nuanced personalities, experiencing genuine conflict in spite of their precocious talents. This daring tale is compellingly told through Bram and Petra’s dual narration, and fans of The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and other swashbuckling tales will eagerly race through to the dramatic conclusion.
Lo, Malinda. Inheritance. Boston: Little, 2013. ISBN 978-0-316-19800-4.
For more book selections or to order this one, visit the CCB’s Amazon Wish List.
CCB Summer Hours and General Information
The CCB will be closed for normal business from July 22 through August 4. We apologize for any inconvenience.
For more information about the CCB and our collection, please visit the About Us page on our website.
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