The purpose of the Marantz Fellowship (supported by Dr. Kenneth and Sylvia Marantz) is to encourage scholars from the United States and around the world to use the resources of the Marantz Picturebook Collection for the Study of Picturebook Art in their research on the study of picture books.
Stacey Bliss, 2nd year PhD candidate in Education at York University in Toronto, Canada was the 2017 Marantz Fellowship awardee. While in the Reinberger Children’s Library Center, Bliss explored picturebooks with ‘unwelcomed’ characters, focusing most of her attention on the illustrations of Maurice Sendak. One find of particular interest was Sendak’s 1993 controversial book, We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy. Bliss pointed out that it “…tackles issues, and is perhaps quite apropos in order to open discussion on our current state of unions. How have we been tricked and are we living in a house of cards? Can we see the cards that we have been dealt? What house has been built for us in our popular literature and picturebooks? What new, contemporary houses are being built or can be built?” Bliss will present some of her findings at the International Research Society for Children’s Literature Congress in August 2017, and she will publish her findings in the Edinburgh University Press.
Dr. Nicole Amy Cooke, assistant professor at the School of Information Sciences at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is an expert on social justice and diversity. While onsite at the Reinberger Children’s Library Center, she examined a selection of books in the Marantz Collection that contained depictions of social justice. Dr. Cooke plans on using her findings to teach future librarians about how messages of social justice can impact their work. Dr. Cooke is the recipient of the 2017 American Library Association (ALA) Achievement in Library Diversity Research Award and the 2016 recipient of the ALA Equality Award and the Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for Teaching and Mentoring in Diversity. Relating to her work on social justice and diversity, she is the author of the book, Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals and co-editor of the book, Teaching for Justice: Implementing Social Justice in the LIS Classroom.
Dr. Claudia Mendes, a graphic artist and researcher from Brazil, examined contemporary picture books from notable winners (such as Caldecott medalists and honorees) to produce a comparative study of Brazilian and American works. Dr. Mendes also presented a paper on contemporary art in Brazilian picture books at the 2016 Marantz Picturebook Research Symposium. Dr. Nicola Daly of University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, examined Dual Language Books (DLBs) in picture books with languages from immigrant and indigenous communities. Dr. Daly is a senior lecturer in Te Hononga, the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Researching DLBs within the Marantz Collection built upon on her previous research on linguistic diversity (Daly, 2007; 2008; Macdonald & Daly, 2013) and the importance of diverse picture books in the classroom (Blakeney-Williams & Daly, 2013). Dr. Daly blogged about her findings and experience working with the Marantz Picturebook Collection .
Denice L. Baldetti (MLIS, 2015) of Phoenix, Arizona, was the first recipient of the Marantz Fellowship. She visited the Center in 2015 to research her project titled, “Picture Clues: Exploring Visual and Textual Clues in Children’s Mystery Picture Books,” which offered a “critical examination of picture book illustrations, and particularly, how illustrations connect with the storyline to move the text of a mystery picture book forward.”
The Albers Fellowship was created by iSchool alumna Jacqueline M. Albers, M.L.S. ’94, to establish an endowment for a guest scholar to study children’s literature using the collections in the Reinberger center.
Lauren Christie, PhD student at the University of Dundee in Scotland, and the recipient of 2017 Albers Fellowship, is researching the evolution of the Gothic genre in children’s literature from eighteenth to the twenty first century. Christie argues that the presence of spooky and dark elements in stories, and exposure to fear in children’s literature, is healthy. “In order to help boost collective literacy rates we need to be doing everything possible to ensure the publishing industry continues to attract or maintain this young readership,” Christie points out. After spending time developing programs that promoted literacy to deprived communities in Scotland, Christie made the connection that children would read as long as they were interested in the subject matter. One popular genre in children’s and young adult literature from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century was those with Gothic themes. “My time as an Albers’ fellow enabled me to further my exploration of this field by pinpointing literary examples from the early nineteenth century, which was heavily influenced by the Gothic genre. Tracking the traditional elements of this collaboration will allow us to consider what can be done in the future to maintain popularity, and whether or not this style of literature has changed.” Through her research Christie hopes to have an impact on raising reading levels within her community and beyond. “I feel this research topic would make a significant economic and societal lasting impact in education and society. My research will address the issue of how to get children to enjoy literature at large, therefore addressing the literacy issue; this will, in turn, boost individual reading abilities, raise collective literacy rates and change non-reading children and teens into readers for life.”
Dr. Zoe Jaques from University of Cambridge, built on her earlier work of how interactivity has helped to shape early literacy across two centuries. During this visit, Dr. Jacque focused on the Marantz pop-up collection and considered the interconnections between book and toy -- reading and playing. Dr. Jaques has since invited teachers from the Cambridge area to participate in workshops that explored some of the moveable books which she found in the Marantz pop-up collection. During the workshops, participants came up with ways of how they might use pop-up books in the classroom.
Vikki C. Terrile of Brooklyn, New York was the first recipient of the Albers Fellowship and completed her on-site research in the summer of 2015. Terrile pulled inspiration from her work with children in the homeless shelters in New York, after she discovered that many children’s books were saturated with images depicting a safe middle class home environment and lacked characters that this population of children could relate to. Terrile has since presented her findings in a paper entitled, A Place Like Home: Representations of Houses and Home in Contemporary Picture Books at the Children's Literature Association Annual Conference in June 2016 and a poster presentation called, Our Invisible Families: Library Services with Families Experiencing Homelessness, at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Conference in August 2016.
From historical books for children to contemporary literature for young people, the Reinberger Children's Library Center and the Marantz Picturebook Collection encompass diverse collections of youth literature that span geographic, cultural, physical, technological and temporal borders. The collections represent the best literature and related materials for young people. They also demonstrate the processes involved in producing, publishing and marketing such literature over time, from evolving means of production to differing constructions of childhood. In addition, the state-of-the-art Center provides opportunities to study connections between literacy, reading and digital technologies, which is valuable for practitioners as well as scholars. The Center’s research purpose is threefold: 1) to support and encourage scholarly research within its collections; 2) to provide professional training to students and practitioners; and 3) to engage in activities and outreach to the community and beyond. The Center's collection is of interest to interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners from such fields as youth services librarianship, school library media, children's literature, education, English, communication, media studies, design, and others interested in studying youth literature, publishing, young people and reading in both an historical and contemporary context. The Reinberger and Marantz collections combine to form a research library collection of more than 30,000 books and related ephemera.
Following is a sampling of the types of studies which could be done using the collections:
Applications will be accepted beginning, March 2019.
Recipients of the Marantz Fellowship for Picturebook Research must be willing to present (in-person or online) their research related to the fellowship findings at a future picture book symposium hosted by Kent State University’s School of Information. Recipients of the Albers Fellowship must be willing to present (in-person or online) their research related to the fellowship findings at a future symposium hosted by Kent State University’s School of Information.
Recipients must be willing to have their name, photo and title of research promoted via publicity and marketing channels at Kent State University.
Any publications resulting from this support should credit the appropriate fellowship.
Applicants agree to send a copy of any ensuing publications to the Reinberger Children’s Library Center at Kent State University’s School of Information.
For more information contact: Michelle R. Baldini at firstname.lastname@example.org