A crossroads for critical inquiry, professional training, and educational outreach, the Center for Children’s Books (CCB) at the iSchool at Illinois is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. In its dual role as research collection and educational community, the Center has a national impact on the future of reading and readers.
The CCB supports its mission by providing space, staff, and other support to affiliates; housing collections and other research tools; and sponsoring outreach, scholarly conferences, and instructional activities. Affiliates include School and University faculty and academic staff, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, and the iSchool’s School Librarian Licensure Program.
To commemorate its diamond anniversary, the CCB is holding a virtual lecture series featuring iSchool youth services faculty and alumni speaking about the Center’s history and activities, with an emphasis on children’s literature, storytelling, diversity, and literacy as a public health issue. The lectures, which are open to all, will be held at 12:00 p.m. CT. Speakers and presentations will include:
- February 25: “CENTERED: The Life and Times of a Book Review Journal,” presented by Professor Emerita Betsy Hearne.
- March 3: “Storytelling: From Story Times to Epistemological Information Divides,” presented by Associate Professor Kate McDowell (MS ’99, PhD ’07).
- March 23: “Advocacy and Infographics: Doing the Work for Diversity in Youth Literature and Librarianship,” presented by Sarah Park Dahlen (MS ’09, PhD ’09), associate professor of library and information science at St. Catherine University.
- April 6, “Books Build Better Brains: Sharing Books as a Public Health Intervention,” presented by Dipesh Navsaria (MS ’04), pediatrician and medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin.
“Given the focus on the Center’s history, it is especially appropriate that three of the speakers were students of the fourth, longtime CCB director and Bulletin editor Professor Emerita Betsy Hearne,” said Professor and CCB Director Sara L. Schwebel. “The Center for Children’s Books has been led by a series of remarkable women who enjoyed long associations with the Center and its Bulletin, including Zena Sutherland, Betsy Hearne, and Deborah Stevenson—all of whom commanded tremendous industry-wide respect in the world of children’s books. During the most recent decade, the iSchool has welcomed four new youth services faculty members with diverse research interests and disciplinary backgrounds. As we celebrate the many successes of the CCB over the past 75 years, we are also engaged in strategic planning with an eye to the future.”
More information about the anniversary celebration is available on the CCB website.