About Us

Mission | About the Collection | Director | Staff | Affiliates | Contact Us


The Center for Children’s Books (CCB) at the School of Information Sciences is a crossroads for critical inquiry, professional training, and educational outreach related to youth-focused resources, literature, and librarianship. The Center’s mission is to facilitate the creation and dissemination of exemplary and progressive research and scholarship related to all aspects of children’s and young adult literature; media and resources for young (age 0-18) audiences; and youth services librarianship.


About the Collection

In partnership with The Bulletin of The Center for Children’s Books—an authoritative analytic review journal—the Center aims to inspire and inform adults who connect young people with resources in person, in print, and online. The Center sponsors activities and hosts interdisciplinary research projects involving both theory and practice. In its dual role as research collection and educational community, the Center has national impact on the future of reading and readers.

The Center for Children’s Books (CCB) houses a non-circulating collection of more than 16,000 recent* and historically significant trade books for youth, birth through high school, plus review copies of nearly all trade books published in the U.S. in the current year. The CCB houses over 1,000 professional and reference books on the history and criticism of literature for youth, literature-based library and classroom programming, and storytelling. Although the collection is non-circulating, it is available for examination by scholars, teachers, librarians, students, and other educators.

*reviewed by The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books in the last 5-7 years.

For more information about our collection and space, check out our virtual tour below.



Dr. Sara L. Schwebel is the Director of the CCB and 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.



Lena Bohman, Graduate Assistant

Joshua Altshuler, Graduate Assistant


Our Affiliates

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

School of Information Sciences (The iSchool at Illinois)

K–12 School Librarianship

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois Library Catalog


Contact Us

The Center for Children’s Books
School of Information Sciences (The iSchool at Illinois)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
501 E. Daniel St.
Champaign, IL 61820

Phone: (217) 244-9331
Email: ccb@illinois.edu


Our main listserv has information about upcoming CCB events and our monthly newsletter.
Our volunteer listserv features information for current and potential volunteers regarding volunteer schedules.

Announcements on the main listserv will be made only by the Center for Children’s Books about events or items of interest pertaining directly to the CCB, including our annual book sale, open house, storytelling festivals, Gryphon lectures on children’s literature, and booklists. These announcements will be made approximately ten times a year in the form of the CCB Newsletter.