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RELATED RESEARCH PROJECTS

appgapii
Institute of Museum and Library Services

The focus of this three-year, multisite project is development of app-based curricula and tools for use in school and public libraries. These tools will teach children aged eight to twelve how to build their own apps, providing them with early programming experience, and allow them to share their creations with other children. The project further establishes libraries as places to engage youth in STEM exploration and digital development that reflects their own experiences.

This project builds on a project conducted with support from a planning-phase grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services titled, "Closing the App Gap." 

“The App Authors project is an exciting expansion...

childrecomicsprint
University of Illinois Research Board

This project expands Tilley’s investigation of comics from the perspective of readers, a much-neglected group in both contemporary and historical research. Comics readership among young people peaked in the mid-twentieth century with levels reaching near 100%, yet there has been little scholarly investigation of this phenomenon. Funding for this project will enable archival research trips and hourly research support to complete data collection necessary for a single-author monograph that will provide a coherent examination of the social and cultural role of comics in United States’s children’s print culture throughout the twentieth century.

mapping_info_access

Mapping Information Access is a collaborative academic research project to study and understand the landscape of information access and availability in public schools and libraries in the United States.

There are more than 18,000 public school districts and more than 9,000 public library systems in the US. Each of these institutions is as a central node of information access for the communities they serve. Administrators must balance ideals of free speech and information with concerns about social norms, age-appropriateness, and budgets. These decisions then shape the flow of information to students, patrons, and other constituents. Yet the contours of this flow are not well understood. There exists no comprehensive record of the sorts of challenges faced, or decisions made,...

mechanicalliteracies

This project examines writers who represent education as an embodied experience, with learning and literacy grounded in what they called “object learning” or “the education of things.” Denouncing rote-learning in favor of an induction method, object lessons promised to coordinate the development of body and mind by using the pupil’s senses as a catalyst for higher cognitive thought. Children place themselves above the elements composing their environment, which they control through what Hoiem calls “mechanical literacy”—that is, by learning the dependable laws governing how things are sensed, manipulated, created, purchased, manufactured, and exchanged. The project mobilizes a uniquely diverse archive of material and print cultures—pedagogical treatises, radical newspapers, automaton...

somethingbeautiful_cooke

Picture books, such as those in the Marantz Collection (Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science), play an important role in developing literacy in our library users—from traditional literacy (as it relates to reading), to visual literacy, to cultural literacy. Exposing patrons of all ages to the messages contained in children’s literature can have lasting and beneficial effects, and can shape how readers view the world. It is for this reason that it is vitally important to examine the social justice messages that exist in the current literature and to advocate for even more social justice and diversity in the world of picture books. Per her interests in incorporating social justice into LIS pedagogy, Cooke will look for the messages contained in the texts (e.g...

IN THE NEWS

Oct. 5, 2017

Assistant Professors Rachel M. Magee and Deborah Stevenson will present research on youth and technology at the Digital Media & Learning Conference 2017 from October 4-6 at the University of California, Irvine. The conference is an annual event supported by the MacArthur Foundation and organized by the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub located at the UC Humanities Research Institute at UC Irvine.

On October 5, Magee and Stevenson, director of The Center for Children's Books, and doctoral student Melissa Hayes will present "App Authors: Kids Designing, Creating, and Sharing Apps in Informal Learning Settings." The App Authors project connects youth with skills and tools to design, create, and share apps, introducing learners to coding and the design process. The project is developing curricula for app-building in school and public libraries. The talk will discuss the App Authors framework, current curriculum...

Sep. 10, 2017
ccb-logo

Please join the Center for Children’s Books faculty and staff for our annual open house.

Things that will greet you on your arrival:

Free books! The CCB Galley Giveaway starts the night of our open house where you will find prepublication books that include picture books, easy readers, folk and fairy tales, middle grade, and young adult books.

Apple cider and doughnuts from Curtis Orchard!

You will also have the chance to converse with CCB staffers and iSchool youth services faculty. There will be a short presentation at 4:00 p.m. to introduce you to the units that comprise Room 24: the Center for Children's Books and the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books.

Learn about the range of iSchool-sponsored...

Jul. 13, 2017
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The K-12 LIS licensure program hosted its third annual Summer Getaway: Professional Development for School Librarians from June 12-14 at the School. Over forty Illinois school librarians and iSchool MS students attended this unique professional development opportunity.

Led by school library professionals, each day of the event offered an in-depth session focused on a single, high-demand topic. Participants learned how they can become advocates for their school library programs; address the needs of twenty-first-century learners; and use social media for branding, digital outreach, and instruction.

During the conference, Associate Professor Kate McDowell, Assistant Professor and MS/LIS Program Director Nicole A. Cooke, and Graduate Studies Advisor Karla Lucht facilitated closing sessions based on their research areas. Two closing session recordings are available...

Jul. 5, 2017
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Nicole A. Cooke, assistant professor and MS/LIS program director, has received two grants from the American Library Association (ALA) for her diversity research. The grants, worth $7,500, include the Carnegie Whitney Award and the ALA Diversity Research Grant. 

She received the Carnegie Whitney Award for her project, "The Interracial Books for Children Bulletin: A Bibliography of Diverse Books." The purpose of the project is to compile a bibliography of the books and media reviewed by the Interracial Books for Children Bulletin. 

"With the goal of addressing LIS practitioners and scholars, children's literature scholars, authors, illustrators, publishers, and multicultural literature aficionados, this resource will be used as a teaching and research tool in classrooms and will aid collection development librarians in diversifying their collections," said Cooke.

Cooke and Miriam E. Sweeney (PhD '13), assistant professor in the School of Library and...

Jun. 21, 2017
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Assistant Professor Elizabeth Hoiem will present her research on the representation of slavery in children's nonfiction books at the Children's Literature Association conference (ChLA 2017), which will be held on June 22-24 in Tampa, Florida. The theme of the conference, "Imagined Futures," explores the many possible futures to be found in, through, and for children's literature.

Hoiem will give the talk, "The Politics of How Things Are Made: Representations of Slavery and Violence in Children’s Histories of Technology," during a session titled, "Borders and Frontiers: Explorations of the Past." According to Hoiem, production stories—a genre that includes Amelia Alderson Opie's abolitionist chapbook, The Progress of Sugar (1826); David Macaulay's Cathedral (1973); Laban Carrick Hill and Bryan Collier's Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet,...

May. 11, 2017
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The App Authors project has been underway for over a year now, bringing kids and technology together to create apps through a child-centered curriculum at Kenwood Elementary and the Douglass Branch of the Champaign Public Library. The program, developed by the iSchool's Center for Children's Books (CCB), provides kids with varying levels of experience the opportunity to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. App Authors is now expanding its reach, working at sites in Maryland and Oregon as well as remaining in Champaign. 

"We're excited about expanding our reach this year," said Deborah Stevenson, PI of the project and director of the CCB. "Our partnerships with the Frederick County Public Libraries in Maryland and the...

Apr. 13, 2017
chip-bruce_1

Professor Emeritus Bertram (Chip) Bruce will present two brownbag sessions sponsored by the iSchool and the College of Education. This session will cover progressive education efforts in Nepal.

We think of progressive education as an early 20th century movement in US schools, or perhaps as what occurs in modern, “progressive” schools, often small, private schools serving more privileged students. But the progressive impulse has been an important factor in many places and many eras.

In Nepal today, there is a strong progressive education movement, one that I worked with during Fall 2016. That movement is especially noteworthy given the country’s extremely low resources (it’s a UN Least Developed Country). But many Nepalis see progressive education as aligned...

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