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Welcome to the Center for Children’s Books!

The Center for Children’s Books at the School of Information Sciences is a research center with additional interests in education and service.

Our mission is to facilitate the creation and dissemination of exemplary and progressive research and scholarship related to youth-focused resources, literature, and librarianship.



News & Updates

  • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books: November’s Big Picture and Starred Reviews.

  • Read the November/December Newsletter.

  • The CCB will be closed from Monday,  November 25 through Friday, November 29  for Thanksgiving Break. We will reopen at 10 AM on Monday,  December 2. 


Brown Bag: Children’s Books, National Parks, and Public Humanities

Thursday, 5 December 12-1PM in the CCB (iSchool Rm 24)

On Thursday, December 5, CCB Director Sara L. Schwebel will be giving a presentation entitled, “Children’s Books, National Parks, and Public Humanities.” She will share her work with the Channel Islands National Park to create multimedia digital resources centered on Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins and the historical people and places it fictionalizes. Parts of this project can be viewed here. She will also discuss plans for future pairings of children’s books, digital humanities resources, and National Parks.

Can’t make it to the CCB in person? Join us online at: http://bit.ly/2EWJ1LL. A recording of the event will also be available at a later date on our website.

Welcome to our new Director, Dr. Sara L. Schwebel!

The CCB is pleased to welcome Dr. Sara L. Schwebel as our new director and as a professor of information sciences at the iSchool. Her research areas include children’s and young adult literature, history/social studies pedagogy, public history, and digital humanities. She is interested in exploring the way narratives of and about the past are presented in texts for youth and helping teachers, librarians, and parents use children’s literature to deepen critical approach to history.

Schwebel is author of Child-Sized History: Fictions of the Past in U.S. Classrooms (Vanderbilt UP, 2011); co-editor, with Jocelyn Van Tuyl (New College of Florida), of Dust off the Gold Medal: Rediscovering Children’s Literature at the Newbery Centennial (Routledge, forthcoming); editor of Island of the Blue Dolphins: The Complete Reader’s Edition (University of California Press, 2016); and editor of The Lone Woman and Last Indians Digital Archive, which has been honored with the Organization of American Historians’ Stanton-Horton Award (2019) and the American Studies Association’s Garfinkel Prize in Digital Humanities, Honorable Mention (2017).

Schwebel is co-founder and chair of the Carolina Children’s Literature Consortium. She co-chaired the 2014 Children’s Literature Association’s annual conference and served as a member of the Children’s Literature Association Board of Directors. She was previously a professor of English and women’s & gender studies at the University of South Carolina (USC). Prior to her academic career, she taught English and history to middle school students in Connecticut and Virginia. She earned a BA in history from Yale College and a PhD in the history of American civilization from Harvard University.

“The Center for Children’s Books has been a leader in bridging the divide between the ivory tower and community for more than half a century,”  Schwebel said. “I look forward to building on its historic strength as a center of expertise on children’s books even as we expand outward to become an incubator for innovative research on children’s literature, media, and information behavior, broadly conceived.”

Although stepping down from directorship of the CCB, Dr. Deborah Stevenson will continue her service as editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books and as an affiliate member of the iSchool faculty. We thank Deborah for her many years of leadership and vision for the CCB!


Research Spotlight: App Authors

App Authors: Closing the App Gap II, our three-year national IMLS-funded research project, has designed a curriculum to teach coding to children aged eight to twelve in school and public libraries.

Working with partners in Illinois and across the country, we’ve created two seven-session curriculums to suit all kinds of young learners, which can be viewed here. Through this project, children develop their own apps and share them with others, highlighting their achievements and learning about others’ as well.

If you would like to participate in this exciting grant as a volunteer, please contact the CCB GAs at ccb@illinois.edu.