McDowell to deliver invited talk at IFLA symposium

Kate McDowell
Kate McDowell, Associate Professor

The International Symposium on Library Services for Children and Young Adults will feature an invited talk by Kate McDowell, GSLIS interim assistant dean for student affairs and associate professor. Hosted by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the symposium will be held June 19-20 in Seoul, South Korea.

The theme of the symposium will be “Reading Towards a Broader World!” Presentations will address ways of engaging children and young adults in reading, cooperation between public and school libraries, and reading therapy programs.

McDowell will address these themes in her presentation titled, “Exploring the App Gap.” She will discuss the planning phase and early implementation of “Closing the App Gap,” a project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, for which she serves as co-PI with principal investigator Deborah Stevenson, director of The Center for Children’s Books at GSLIS. In collaboration with the Douglass Branch of the Champaign Public Library, the team is investigating use of tablets and tablet-based apps in summer reading programs to bridge the reading gap that occurs for young readers during the summer months. The abstract for McDowell's talk reads:

Closing the App Gap explores the advantages of summer reading programming that includes tablet-based use of apps and e-books with primary grade children. Our planning process will assess the research, collect information about relevant practice, explore possible models of use, identify likely future partners, and conclude with the design of a multisite project. We will also implement a pilot study with our partner, the Douglass Branch Library, whose findings will inform our eventual recommendations.  

As the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading notes, “Reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success.” Children in low-income families, however, are less likely to meet important reading milestones, and they are particularly likely to suffer from summer reading loss, the setback of skills over the long summer vacation. Public libraries’ summer reading programs are a documented antidote to summer reading loss, and they are an especially crucial literacy tool in low-income communities where homes have fewer literacy resources. As digital media grows in importance, that resource disparity between affluent families and lower-income families becomes even more pronounced, with a digital divide effect that shapes the experience of emergent readers. Combining the public library’s traditional summer reading strengths with a technology-based approach brings new tools in the fight against summer reading loss, enhances technological literacy, and mitigates the effect of the digital divide on children in lower-income families.

McDowell's areas of research include youth services librarianship, children's print culture history, controversial topics in children's literature, and public libraries as cultural spaces. She teaches courses in youth services librarianship, history of readers, and storytelling. She has published articles in Children and Libraries, Book History, Libraries and the Cultural Record, and The Library Quarterly. Her article, “Surveying the Field: The Research Model of Women in Librarianship, 1882-1898,” won the biennial 2010 Donald G. Davis Article Award of the American Library Association’s Library History Round Table.

Tags:
Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Wang receives grant to integrate AI and human intelligence in disaster scene assessment

In the event of a natural disaster like Hurricane Ida, artificial intelligence (AI) may be used to assess damage, using imagery reports to identify the severity of flooded areas. Using AI in disaster scene assessment has its limitations, however, and input from the people affected is needed, in order to get a better picture. A new project being led by Associate Professor Dong Wang will explore the power of human intelligence to address the failures of existing AI schemes in disaster damage assessment applications and boost the performance of the system. Wang has received a three-year, $499,786 National Science Foundation (NSF) Human-Centered Computing (HCC) grant for his new project, "DeepCrowd: A Crowd-assisted Deep Learning-based Disaster Scene Assessment System with Active Human-AI Interactions."

Dong Wang

Schneider receives NSF CAREER award

Assistant Professor Jodi Schneider has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award to assess how to identify potential sources of bias in research and how confident we can be in the conclusions drawn from a particular body of evidence. This prestigious award is given in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Schneider's project, "Using Network Analysis to Assess Confidence in Research Synthesis," will be supported by a five-year, $599,963 grant from the NSF.

Jodi Schneider

Bonn and Twidale explore the concept of “informated food”

Associate Professor Maria Bonn and Professor Mike Twidale have published a two-part concept piece on "Informated Food" in the ASIS&T publication, Information Matters. It is one of the first featured pieces in this new digital-only forum for information science, which shares research evidence and industry developments, news, and opinion with various audiences, including the public, industry professionals, educational practitioners, and policymakers.

Blake promoted to professor

Catherine Blake has been promoted to the position of professor in the School of Information Sciences, effective August 16, 2021. Blake's research seeks to accelerate science and inform policy by automatically extracting and summarizing claims reported in the scientific literature.

Catherine Blake

New UIUC course to promote understanding of cybersecurity as a career

Cyber risk is everywhere, so cyber defense abilities are naturally in high demand from employers. However, there aren't nearly enough job candidates available who have both the technical skills and the broader contextual understanding that today's cybersecurity positions require. Developing a stronger cybersecurity workforce has therefore become a national priority, and experts are looking for ways to get more students interested in this vitally important but often-misunderstood field.

Masooda Bashir