These papers highlight some of my recent research. They are listed in order of publication date, beginning with the most recent. All the papers will display in a new browser window; most are PDF files and will open your Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in.
"The Watsons Go to NRC—2007: Crossing Academic Boundaries in the Study of Children’s Literature." by Patricia Enciso, Christine Jenkins, Karen Coats, and Shelby Wolf. Published in National Reading Conference Yearbook, 2008 (Vol. 57, pp. 219-230).
As scholars of children’s and young adults’ literature, the authors of this article have been engaged in a multi-year effort to understand the intersection of our three disciplines—English, LIS, and education. This article discusses what is considered normal practice regarding the teaching of children’s and young adult literature
in our disciplines, how the book is transformed within and across different academic figurations of reading and interpreting children’s literature. In this article we take The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 as a shared focal text through which we can illustrate how a novel might be transformed within and across different academic figurations of reading and interpreting literature.
This is an examination of the role of Effie Louise Power (1873-1969) in U.S. library history as a practitioner, library and information science educator, national and regional professional leader, and author. Particular emphasis is given to Power’s place in the network of children’s librarians in the early twentieth century, her professional authority, and her success as a writer and editor of children’s books, especially folktale collections for use in storytelling programs. Power influenced not only her contemporaries but also the next several generations of children’s librarians.
"The History of Youth Services Librarianship: A Review of the Research Literature." Published in Libraries & Culture, Winter 2000 (Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 103-140).
Youth services librarianship—a term that encompasses all library services to youth (children and young adults, ages zero to eighteen) in school and public library settings—has long been considered the classic success story of American libraries. This classic success, however, has received little attention from library history scholars. Further, past and current research in the history of children’s, young adult, and/or school librarianship is scattered through scholarly and mass market publications in library and information science, history, education, and English. This essay provides a review of the existing research literature of this multidisciplinary field and suggests a research agenda for future scholars in this area.
"Far Out Learning." Published in School Library Journal, February 1, 2000.
This brief article reviews my first teaching experience in the LEEP distance education program at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The characteristics of LEEP and the causes of its success are evaluated. Distance education programs are described, and criteria for evaluating programs are suggested.
"From Queer to Gay and Back Again: Young Adult Novels with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content, 1969-1997." Published in Library Quarterly, July 1998 (Vol. 68, No. 3, pp. 298-334).
Building on earlier content analysis research, this article provides three theoretical approaches to understand the evolution of this subgenre, drawing on the work of Gerda Lerner, Rudine Sims Bishop, and George Chauncey. It concludes by highlighting themes and patterns that suggest the progress that has been made and has yet to be made in the realistic portrayal of gay/lesbian/queer lives in young adult fiction.
"Women of ALA Youth Services and Professional Jurisdiction: Of Nightingales, Newberies, Realism, and the Right Books, 1937-1945." (Imagination and Scholarship: The Contributions of Women to American Youth Services and Literature.) Published in Library Trends, Spring 1996 (Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 813-829).
A historical overview of the dispute between the predominantly women- dominated field of children’s book publishing and their opposers, classroom teachers and male authors who stood for more realism, is examined. The 1930’s speeches by Frances Clarke Sayer and Howard Pease are analyzed.
"Young Adult Novels with Gay/Lesbian Characters and Themes 1969-92: A Historical Reading of Content, Gender, and Narrative Distance." Published in Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, Fall 1993 (Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 43-55).
This article describes some of the information contained in the sixty young adult novels published from 1969 through 1992 that I have identified as containing significant gay/lesbian content and/or themes. This chronological examination of the books’ portrayals of gay/lesbian characters and their contexts focuses on information about gay/lesbian people, both as individuals and in relationships, and on gender representation and narrative distance. It also identifies some gender and narrative patterns that have yet to be explored in this subgenre of young adult novels.