Associate Professor Christine Jenkins, who has been a member of the GSLIS faculty since 1994, retired on May 31.
At GSLIS, Jenkins taught courses on literature and resources for young adults; youth services librarianship; literacy, reading, and readers; the history of children’s literature; and gendered perspectives in LIS. In addition to her GSLIS appointment, Jenkins was also a faculty member in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies.
Her research interests include the history of children's literature; history of youth services librarianship as women's history; historical and contemporary censorship and intellectual freedom; representations of LGBTQ and other minority-status groups in children's and young adult literature; reading engagement; reader-response research; and reader-text interaction. She has published four books and numerous articles in publications including Library Trends, Libraries and Culture, Library Quarterly, VOYA, New Advocate, Horn Book Magazine, School Library Journal, and Journal of the American Society for Information Science. Jenkins is an active member of the American Library Association. She has served on the Newbery, Caldecott, and Sibert Award committees, and as a trustee of the Freedom to Read Foundation.
As a member of the GSLIS faculty, Jenkins played a leadership role in the establishment of the K-12 library media specialist program and pioneered the first youth services course taught via the Leep online education program. In 2003, she received the Campus Award for Excellence in Off-Campus Teaching from Illinois and in 2008 she received the Award for Teaching Excellence from the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE). Jenkins was named the 2006-2007 GSLIS Centennial Scholar in recognition of her accomplishments and promising scholarship in the field of library and information science. She served as director of The Center for Children’s Books from 2007 to 2010. She currently serves on the editorial board of Children’s Literature in Education and is a regular participant at The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books reviewer meetings.
“We will all deeply miss Christine's presence and her wise counsel on so many things: libraries, children, diversity, our School, our field, and more. It is very hard to imagine the School without her. Personally, I think I will suffer her absence as much as anyone,” said Dean Allen Renear.
“Christine was one of the first people I met when I was being interviewed for a faculty position here in the spring of 2000, and when I arrived as a new faculty member, her very warm friendship and thoughtful advice was enormously important to me. Of course, I knew I could never compete with her classroom charisma—but I am certainly a better teacher for trying to! I know Christine will have a continuing relationship with GSLIS as she pursues her many projects, but it is impossible to greet any diminution of Christine's presence in the building, and in our lives, without a little bit of sadness. We wish her well!”
As an undergraduate, Jenkins studied English and art at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She went on to earn a master's and PhD in library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a master's in English/children's literature from Eastern Michigan University. Before joining the faculty at GSLIS, she worked as a media specialist for Ann Arbor Public Schools and as the intellectual freedom information coordinator at the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
A reception celebrating Jenkins’ career will be held on August 27 at 4:00 p.m. in the east foyer of the GSLIS building.