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Dissertation Information for Christine A. Jenkins

NAME:
- Christine A. Jenkins

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- University of Wisconsin, Madison (USA) (1995)

ADVISORS:
- Dianne Hopkins

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Jane B. Robbins
- Louise S. Robbins
- Linda Gordon
- Wayne A. Wiegand

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: The strength of the inconspicuous: Youth services librarians, the American Library Association, and intellectual freedom for the young, 1939-1955

Abstract: In the years since the formation of the American Library Association (ALA) in 1876, U.S. librarians have moved from a position of protecting the public from "questionable literature" to defending the public's right to read. ALA's adoption of the Library Bill of Rights in 1939 marked the beginning of the profession's official commitment to intellectual freedom, but at that time, this commitment was directed toward adult readers only. In 1955, however, librarians extended First Amendment support to children and young adults with the adoption of the first ALA document that specifically addressed the rights of young readers, the School Library Bill of Rights. This document was created by ALA youth services librarians, here defined as librarians serving minors in public and school library settings. "The Strength of the Inconspicuous" is a historical study of the librarians who were leaders of the children's, young adult, and school library divisions of ALA.

Youth services librarianship's shift from child protection to child advocacy from 1939 to 1955 is the central focus of this study, which utilizes the historical model of women's cultural history as a perspective well-suited to the study of this female-intensive profession.

This examination of the professional activities of ALA youth services leaders is informed by their identity as a group of predominantly white, middle-class women. During a time that began with the outbreak of World War II and ended with the Cold War, they utilized the rhetoric and strategies of female-intensive child welfare professions to effectively respond to book censorship attempts by McCarthy Era pressure groups and maintain their professional jurisdiction over the selection and evaluation of books for children and young adults. Among the issues debated at this time were the place of realism in children's literature, challenges to librarians' authority as selectors of Newbery Medal winners, and the value of books advocating interracial relations and international understanding in the children's and school library collection.

Primary sources covered include the published record of ALA youth services librarians and the ALA Archives at the University of Illinois: periodicals, textbooks, bibliographies, ALA conference proceedings, reports, policies, and correspondence. Also included in this study is a prosopographical portrait of the 237 librarians (231 women and 6 men) identified as leaders of ALA youth services divisions from 1939 to 1955.

MPACT Scores for Christine A. Jenkins

A = 6
C = 12
A+C = 18
T = 6
G = 1
W = 6
TD = 6
TA = 0
calculated 2014-07-02 17:50:52

Advisors and Advisees Graph

Directed Graph

Students under Christine A. Jenkins

ADVISEES:
- Elizabeth R. Cardman - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1996)
- Rae-Anne Louise Ruth Montague - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2006)
- Cindy C. Welch - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2008)
- Sarah Y. Park - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2009)
- Lim Yeojoo - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2012)
- Loretta Mary Gaffney - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2012)

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- Holly Crawford - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1997)
- Elizabeth Figa - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2002)
- Melanie Ann Kimball - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2003)
- Keren Moses Joshi - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2006)
- Joyce M. Latham - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2007)
- Joan Bessman Taylor - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2007)
- Debra Mitts Smith - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2007)
- Kathleen McDowell - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2007)
- Janice M. Del Negro - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2007)
- Anna L Neilsen - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2010)
- Christa V Hardy - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2010)
- Minjie Chen - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2011)