Book chapter authored by McDowell discusses storytelling and young adult services

Kate McDowell
Kate McDowell, Associate Professor

Associate Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Kate McDowell has authored a chapter in the book, Transforming Young Adult Services, Second edition, which was recently published by ALA Editions. In the new edition, leaders in the field present a diverse array of topics addressing current issues in teen libraries.

In her chapter, "Hidden in Plain Sight: Storytelling Epistemology and Envisioning Young Adults," McDowell discusses how storytelling can add "rich practical and analytical dimensions" to the way librarians and LIS researchers think about young adults.

"Storytelling constitutes a richer way of knowing than our field has yet embraced, particularly when it comes to the challenge of connecting with young adults in libraries today," McDowell said. "Whether our stories are folktales based on ancient myths or tweets about the apps on our phones, storytelling is a process of communication."

McDowell has been teaching storytelling since 2007, helping graduate professional students explore how their stories can help them succeed. She is also the storytelling consultant to campus-level Advancement at the University of Illinois. Her current research project is on Storytelling at Work, and she is working on a book called Storytelling Thinking for Professionals. McDowell also researches and publishes in the areas of youth services librarianship, children's print culture history, and public libraries as cultural spaces. She holds both an MS and PhD in library and information science from the iSchool at Illinois.

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