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CCB Newsletter
September 2015


In this Newsletter…

News and Updates

GSLIS Receives Grant Funding for App Authors: Closing the App Gap II

Following the results of the recently completed “Closing the AppGap I” planning grant, we are thrilled to announce that The Institute of Museum and Library Services has recently awarded GSLIS with grant funding to pursue “App Authors: Closing the App Gap II.”

Led by principal investigator Deborah Stevenson and co-PI Kate McDowell, this multi-year grant project will focus on hands-on app creation as a way to encourage STEM involvement among young learners from diverse backgrounds. GSLIS will partner with schools and libraries across the country to develop a curriculum for children aged eight to twelve, for eventual use in other library and school settings. Through this project, children will both develop their own apps and share them with others, highlighting their achievements and learning about others’ as well.

Read more in the Letter from the CCB Director below, and stay tuned for more information as the project begins this fall.

Greetings from the New CCB GA

We’d like to take a moment to introduce the newest staff member in the CCB for the upcoming year. Lauren Gray is a first-year GSLIS student joining Michelle Biwer in the CCB GA position. She graduated in May from Illinois State University with a double major in Art Education and English Studies. Her primary interests include illustration, young adult literature, and representations of girlhood. While at GSLIS, Lauren plans to study youth services. We’re so excited to have Lauren here with us, and we invite you to join us in welcoming her to the CCB!

CCB Annual Open House

Please join the faculty and staff of the Center for Children’s Books for our upcoming Annual Open House & Galley Giveaway on Wednesday, September 16 at 5 pm. Come to the Open House to get an overview of the center and its staff, as well as meet and mingle with GSLIS youth services faculty. This event also serves as the first Galley Giveaway of the school year, so stop by for some free pre-publication copies of books for kids and teens. We’ll also have Curtis Orchard cider and doughnuts for you to munch on… what better way to start the semester?

CCB Brown Bag: An Insiders’ Guide to Youth Services at GSLIS

Throughout the academic year, the CCB hosts monthly Brown Bag lunch presentations related to a variety of topics in youth literature and librarianship. This month, a panel of current GSLIS youth services students will give peers the scoop on how to manage the youth services concentration, followed by an informal Q&A about youth services, GSLIS, and life in Champaign-Urbana. Join us on Thursday, September 10 at 12:00pm… pizza will be provided!

Rachel Magee Joins GSLIS Faculty

We would like to welcome Rachel Magee to the GSLIS faculty as an Assistant Professor with a focus on youth services and technology, and as a CCB Affiliate. Magee conducts research on how youth interact with technology, with a particular focus on the variety of media teens use in their social circles. Magee previously worked as a teen services librarian at the County of Los Angeles public library, experience that she will share in her courses here at GSLIS. This semester, she will be co-teaching Youth Services Community Engagement (LIS 490YSL) with Dr. Kate McDowell. Congratulations to Dr. Magee, and welcome to GSLIS!

K-12 Licensure Application Deadline

Current MS students interested in joining the K-12 licensure program must submit the application by October 1st to be considered for the spring semester. More information about the application and the licensure program can be found here on the GSLIS website, or feel free to contact Program Coordinator Georgeann Burch with questions at

September Calendar

  • Monday, September 7: CCB Closed: Labor Day
  • Thursday, September 10: CCB Brown Bag: An Insiders’ Guide to Youth Services, 12 pm
  • Wednesday, September 16: CCB Open House and Galley Giveaway, 5-7 pm
  • Thursday, September 17: Youth Lit Book Club, 5 pm
    Reading An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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

Thrilling Tales for a Dark and Stormy Night
Created by Maryjo Siergiej, CCB Volunteer

I Know You Want to Read This: Books About Psychics
Created by Anna Shustitzky, CCB Outreach & Communications Coordinator

Our Affiliates Out and About

CCB affiliate and K-12 Library Information Specialist Licensure Program Coordinator Georgeann Burch will be co-presenting at the Illinois Library Association’s All for One conference, “A Library State of Mind: 2015 Illinois Academic, Public, School & Special Libraries Conference” with Dr. Fred Schlipf. Through their presentation, entitled “Designing School Library Spaces That Work,” Burch and Schlipf encourage school librarians to address and advocate for their space needs, all with a practical eye towards common architectural missteps. Representing the first combination of ILA, ISLMA, IACRL, and SLA Illinois, this conference will be held at the Peoria Civic Center on October 22-24. Interested attendees should consider joining ISLMA, the Illinois School Library Media Association, as student rates were recently reduced to $25.00. Visit GSLIS at Booth #213, or join the GSLIS happy hour on Friday night.

Based on the results of ICES course evaluations, the University of Illinois periodically recognizes professors and teaching assistants for exceptional work as educators. Fourteen GSLIS professors were recently ranked as Excellent for the Spring 2015 semester, including CCB affiliates Betty Bush and Carol Tilley (ranked as Outstanding). Congratulations to all!

Adjunct professor and CCB affiliate Betty Bush recently partnered with other education and library science advisors to create a Nonfiction Favorites booklist for young readers put out by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Developed in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the NEH, this list highlights many NEH-funded projects throughout the program’s history, organized by age group for children aged 5 through 17. More information and a PDF of the booklist can be found here on the National Endowment for the Humanities website.

Feature: A Letter from the CCB Director, Deborah Stevenson

It’s the start of another new year at the Center for Children’s Books, and we’re looking forward to what awaits us.

There’s always a satisfying blend here of keeping familiar activities going and discovering, initiating, and celebrating the new.  New faculty member Rachel Magee brings an exciting combination of research and practice with young adults, in work that’s grounded in traditional library values and also looking toward the future.  We always gain fresh energy from our new graduate assistants, and new CCB GA Lauren Gray brings drive and an extra helping of artistic talent; she also was indoctrinated early in the CCB tradition, because she’s previously worked with CCB alum and librarian extraordinaire Laurel Halfar of the Bloomington (IL) Public Library.

In exciting news, we’ve received funding from IMLS for App Authors: Closing the App Gap II, a project that follows our successful Closing the App Gap I planning grant with a multi-year, multi-site exploration of libraries as sites for teaching and sharing app creation.  We’re excited to be working with partners in Oregon, Maryland, and Illinois as we develop our curriculum. We’re still looking for possible additional partners for third-year sites, so let me know if you’re interested and we’ll be back in touch.

Fall is conference season, so we’re looking forward to affiliate appearances at Illinois’ All for One joint ILA/ISLMA conference in October.  Georgeann Burch, our K-12 program coordinator, will be presenting, and of course there will be a GSLIS booth in the exhibits hall, staffed by our welcoming Advancement and Student Affairs teams. Come say hello, and bring along any prospective students you may know.

And of course we’re planning the fall Open House—galleys and doughnuts on September 16!—and a slate of fall brown bags.  We hope to see you there.

Deborah Stevenson, Director, Center for Children’s Books

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 ( to learn how to subscribe.

Melissa’s Choice: Dark Shimmer by Donna Jo Napoli
Reading Level: Gr. 9-12
Pages: 368
Publisher and Year: Lamb/Random House, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-385-74655-7
Price: $16.99

Towering over everyone else on her secluded island home, Dolce grew up ashamed of her name and her monstrous features. Isolated by her differences, she finds solace in her mother’s love and purpose in making mirrors. Following a tragic loss, Dolce flees the island and falls into the care of a kind family: open-minded Marin and his young daughter, Bianca. As time passes, she weds Marin and struggles to find her place in medieval Venice society, still disconnected by the stark contrast of her past. Dolce’s mirrors gain her favor among the noble ladies, but her body and mind slowly succumb to the poisonous quicksilver essential to her craft. This haunting fairy tale retelling explores beauty, belonging and the decay of good intentions.

Anna’s Choice: Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman; illus. by Sarah Watts
Reading Level: Gr. 4-6
Pages: 343
Publisher and Year: Ottaviano/Holt, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-62779-115-1
Price: $16.99

When Emily’s parents drag her to San Francisco on yet another move, she takes solace in the fact that her new home is also the birthplace of her favorite pastime: Book Scavenger. Part geocaching, part puzzle game, this ingenious treasure hunt sends competitors out seeking (and hiding) books all over the map… and it all started with the amazing Garrison Griswold. The Book Scavenger community is abuzz with rumors of a new competition, but an attack leaves Griswold hospitalized before he can announce the news. Taking matters into their own hands, Emily and her new friend James find a mysterious book at the crime scene that appears to be connected to the latest game. Somebody is after that book, though, and together they must race against time to solve the puzzle hidden within while fending off those who would see Griswold brought to ruin. Young bibliophiles will easily identify with Emily and her quest, picking up tips on cryptography and literary history while getting to know this engaging cast of characters. With any luck, this splendid tale will inspire a real-life Book Scavenger for those of us not fortunate enough to live in Bertman’s lovingly crafted world.

Highlighted Book from Our Wish List

Crossley-Holland, Kevin. Bracelet of Bones: The Viking Sagas Book 1.  London: Quercus, 2014. ISBN 978-1-62365-113-8.

For more book selections or to order this one, visit the CCB’s Amazon Wish List.

CCB Fall Hours and General Information

Monday: 10am-7pm
Tuesday: 10am-5pm
Wednesday: 4pm-7pm
Thursday: 10am-1pm, 4pm-7pm
Friday: 10am-5pm

For more information about the CCB and our collection, please visit the About Us page on our website.

To stay up-to-date with CCB events and news, be sure to ‘like’ our Facebook page.

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