About the Reinberger Children’s Library Center

The Reinberger Children’s Library Center opened in 2003 after a generous $240,000 gift from the Reinberger Foundation.  It was originally constructed as the Reinberger Children’s Room, a "demonstration" children's public and school library center where thousands of students, paraprofessionals, librarians, teachers and community members have participated in hands-on courses, events and workshops in the space. In 2008, another expansion project was needed after the late Dr. Kenneth and Sylvia Marantz dedicated over 25,000 picture books from the past 40 years, as well as posters, original artwork, ephemera and character toys. The Reinberger Foundation, iSchool and the College of Communication and Information (CCI) funded the expansion of this physical space on the 3rd floor of the Kent State University Library.

Reinberger Children's Library Center supports and encourages scholarly research, provides professional training to students and practitioners and engage in activities and outreach throughout Northeast Ohio, the Columbus Metropolitan area and beyond. The RCLC features a collection of more than 50,000 children’s books, original picture book art, posters relating to children’s books that date back to 1924, an iPad Lab containing 18 iPads with pre-loaded K-12 apps, movable books, historical children’s books and more.




Our vision is a world where every child has equal access to a diverse range of literature and  library programs that celebrate and reflect their lived experiences and cultural background.  Through the Reinberger Children’s Library Center’s (“The Center”) interdisciplinary research  and cross-cultural learning we envision a community of passionate individuals from diverse  backgrounds and organizations joining forces to foster inclusive, equitable, and just  communities for all children and their families. 

*In this context, the term “community” refers to a group of passionate individuals who share a common  interest or goal. This community includes not only faculty, students, staff, practitioners, researchers,  authors, illustrators, children’s book creators, but also anyone who is invested in the work or activities  related to our community. Essentially, it encompasses all individuals who contribute to or have an  interest in promoting The Center’s aims and advancing the fields of children’s literature, library youth  services, and related areas. 

*Our community recognizes the critical role that authors, illustrators, and children's book creators play  in advancing our overall mission. Further, we recognize the profound impact of diverse literature and  how it can expand young minds, while also being mindful of the potential harm of inaccurate/culturally  dated material. Collectively, our community strives to promote inclusive and culturally responsive  literature that honors and reflects diverse lived experiences and enhances children’s learning while  fostering their growth as global citizens. 


The mission of the Reinberger Children’s Library Center is to serve as a research facility on the  Kent State Campus and cultivate a community of diverse and passionate individuals, including  faculty, students, staff, practitioners, researchers, authors, illustrators, children’s book  creators, and community members, who are committed to advancing cross-cultural learning  and interdisciplinary research in the field of children’s literature and youth services. By  curating a vast and diverse collection of children’s literature and related material, while  actively engaging in research that expands our insight and understanding of critical issues  pertaining to youth, we strive to improve the welfare of society as a whole, with a particular  focus on families and communities. Through a range of dynamic initiatives designed to

educate, train, connect, and empower its community, we work toward this vision of creating a  brighter, more equitable future for our most vulnerable citizens. 


The Reinberger Center at Kent State University is a unique and valuable resource for students, staff, faculty, researchers, and the larger global community. This unique collection includes over 40,000 children's books, original picture book art, posters, and related ephemera, as well as resources for those serving, studying, or creating for young people across multiple disciplines.  Regardless of academic background or focus, the stories and lessons learned through children's books hold a profound place in our personal and collective memories.

While our focus is on youth, these resources offer a wealth of insights into diverse  cultures, politics, significant events, and human experiences across time, rendering them relevant  to all ages, fields and areas of study. 


We are deeply committed to aligning The Center’s initiatives, programming, research,  curriculum involvement, events, resources, and community outreach programs with Kent  State University's six priorities and its diverse programs. The Center’s core values and mission align with  the University's emphasis on diversity, immersive learning experiences, community engagement, global presence, and  sustainability. The center's ultimate goal is to encourage the use and study of The Center’s collection and research on young people and their experiences, and to equip Kent State University students for successful careers, foster inclusion, and provide an immersive and impactful learning experience for all.

Books are mirrors when readers see their own lives reflected in the pages. Books are  windows when they allow readers a view of lives and stories that are different from their  own. Books become sliding glass doors when readers feel transported into the world of the  story and when they feel empathy for the characters. ~ Rudine Sims Bishop