Our Two Fellowships
The iSchool at Kent State University offers two $1,500 research fellowships connected to the Reinberger Children's Library Center (RCLC):
The Jacqueline M. Albers Guest Scholar in Children’s Literature Fellowship was endowed by iSchool alumna Jacqueline M. Albers to support a guest scholar who will study children’s literature using the collections in the Reinberger Children’s Library Center.
The Kenneth and Sylvia Marantz Fellowship for Picturebook Research, supported by Dr. Kenneth and Sylvia Marantz, encourages scholarly research on the study of picture books using the resources of the Marantz Picturebook Collection for the Study of Picturebook Art.
Each fellowship provides a stipend of $1,500 for outstanding scholars to spend approximately one week on-site, researching children’s literature, picture books, or ephemera related to picture books in the Reinberger Children's Library Center and Marantz Picturebook Collection at the Kent State University School of Information in Kent, Ohio, U.S.A. Funds are awarded after completion of on-site research.
For questions please contact Michelle R. Baldini, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mission of the RCLC and the Marantz Picturebook Collection for the Study of Picturebook Art
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:
- To support and encourage scholarly research within its collections
- To provide professional training to students and practitioners, and
- 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 Research Collections
The Reinberger and Marantz research collections combine to form a research library collection of more than 40,000 books and related ephemera.
Examples of studies the collections may support:
- The art of picture book illustration (media and techniques)
- Themes and trends in children’s literature
- Social construction of childhood through children’s literature
- Social justice in children’s picture books
- Studies of American Children’s Award winners
- Historical perspectives on children’s literature (and the work of May Hill Arbuthnot)
- Contemporary perspectives (e-book vs. print picture books)
- Reviewing studies (Including the work of Ken and Sylvia Marantz)
- Publishing studies on books for young readers
- Study of pop-ups/paper engineering
Criteria for Eligibility
- Preference will be given to topics likely to be published or otherwise disseminated.
- Awards also will be based on applicants’ scholarly qualifications.
- Applicants from diverse academic disciplines are welcome to apply, including but not limited to: youth services librarianship, school library media, children's literature, art, education, English, communication, media studies, design, art education, illustration, publishing, and others interested in studying youth literature, young people and reading.
- Applicants must hold at least a master’s degree.
Albers: Applicants are evaluated based on their proven dedication to the study of children’s literature (not specifically picture books) and selection of a topic of study related to the Reinberger and Marantz collections.
Marantz: Applicants will be evaluated based on their proven dedication to the study of children’s picturebooks and selection of a topic of study related to the Reinberger and Marantz collections.
- 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.
- A two-page summary addressing the topic of your proposed study and the potential impact of your work. Include an outline of the project and its relationship to previous and current scholarship in the field, how the resources of the Kent State collections will support your research, as well as the anticipated outcome of the project and plans for publication.
- Curriculum vitae / resume including name, title, contact information, education.
- A proposed budget of anticipated travel and research expenses, and suggested dates of study in Kent.
Stipends must be used within one year from receipt of funds, at which time expenditure reports will be due.
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.
2019 Marantz Fellow
Dr. Patricia Kennon, a lecturer in English Literature at Maynooth University in Ireland, received the 2019 Kenneth and Sylvia Marantz Fellowship for Picturebook Research. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic her visit to the center was postponed, but the Reinberger Children’s Library Center is looking forward to supporting her research with the Marantz Picturebook Collection soon. She will be studying the potential of historical picturebooks as aids for teaching historical concepts in preschool and elementary education. Kennon’s project explores how picturebooks set in the past can cultivate children’s metacognition. “My time as a Marantz fellow will enable me to further my investigation of how these visual narratives might support child historian’s agency, critical thinking, and reflective constructions of historical knowledge,” Kennon says. As an educator in youth literature, she intends to integrate her project findings into her own pedagogical practice. She plans to promote the use of historical picturebooks in her department at Maynooth University, the Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education, and in departments at partner schools. “I hope that my research will make a valuable contribution to the fields of children’s literature studies, primary education, initial teacher education, and history education,” Kennon says.
2018 Marantz Fellows
Dr. Wendy Stephens, Assistant Professor at Jacksonville State University, completed her fellowship in conjunction with the Marantz Picturebook Research Symposium. Stephens’ dissertation work focuses on teenage attitudes towards the graphic narrative. Stephens has long been a researcher in this area. However, while visiting, Dr. Stephens’ continued her research in a different vein by researching color fields and visual grammar in modern picture books, focusing on how picture book texts use fields of color to create early reader experience. The unique Marantz Collection,which is cataloged by the artist, influenced Dr. Stephens’ research outcome. “The collection allowed me access to a chronological evolution as [Ezra Jack] Keats began to use color fields to suggest horizon and landscape through abstracted blocks varying half-tone and saturation to terrific effect.” Dr. Ken Marantz believed that picture books should be seen as “art object” and after completing her fellowship in the Marantz Collection, Dr. Stephens agreed. “...seeing the illustrators of work foregrounded by the arrangement of the Marantz collection there really up-ended the traditional thinking about picture books, and delving deeply into the work of Ezra Jack Keats really demonstrates a shift from art as merely illustrative to using the whole of the page to the point where everything from the gutter to the bleed off the page really demonstrates that picture books are indeed objects of art.”
Dr. Jennifer Luetkemeyer, Associate Professor from Appalachian State University, also completed her research in August 2018 in conjunction with the Marantz Picturebook Research Symposium. “The faculty and staff at the iSchool at Kent State University were absolutely amazing, as were the Reinberger Children's Library Center and the Marantz Picturebook Collection for the Study of Picturebook Art. I was able to find everything I needed, and I came away with a treasure trove of data, a plethora of new ideas, and the certainty that I not only would be back, but would be welcome to come back. And as if the luxury of dedicated, funded research time was not enough, I had the pleasure of attending the informative and well-organized Marantz Picturebook Research Symposium before I left. It was overall an amazing experience, and I am grateful for the support and funding, and the new relationships that I forged in the process.” During her research visit, Dr. Luetkemeyer collected data on the representation of gender in picture books. Performing a visual and textual content analysis, her research study used the Bem Sex Role Inventory and the Bechdel-Wallace test to examine how gender is portrayed in three sets of picture books: Caldecott medal winners, NY Times bestsellers, and CBC Children's Choice award winners. She intends to follow this research with a similar study of graphic novels for children.
2017 Marantz Fellow
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 picture books 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 picture books? 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.
More Past Marantz Fellows
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.
2019 Albers Fellow
Dr. Laura D’Aveta is the recipient of the 2019 Albers Guest Scholar in Children’s Literature Fellowship. As an Albers Fellow, Dr. D’Aveta intends to develop a digital resource for researchers interested in learning about May Hill Arbuthnot and her contributions to the field of children's literature. “The goal of my project is to analyze and digitize portions of the May Hill Arbuthnot Collection at the Reinberger Children's Library Center in order to increase visibility of the collection within the children's literature community,” D’Aveta says. D'Aveta's research also will focus on using print-based library cards, autographs/dedications within books in the collection, and other ephemera as a form of marginalia to cultivate a deeper understanding of the collection, its history, and its use.
2018 Albers Fellow
Dr. Karen Gavigan, Associate Professor at the School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina, was the 2018 Albers Guest Scholar in Children’s Literature Fellowship recipient. Before completing her fellowship, Dr. Gavigan participated as a panelist and gave a closing keynote at the 2018 Marantz Picturebook Research Symposium. Dr. Gavigan had a positive experience accessing the collection at the Reinberger Children’s Library Center. “The collection provided me with a wealth of resources that contributed significantly to my current research. Dr. Kasey Garrison (Charles Sturt University in Australia) and I are examining multicultural and social justice graphic novels published for children and young adults in the United States and Australia,” Dr. Gavigan said. To share their work, Drs. Gavigan and Garrison have launched a website that serves as a toolkit for teachers, educators, and librarians looking to use graphic novels to spark discussion on social justice issues with young adults. They have also published their work in The School Library Connection and The Conversation, and have presented at multiple state and national conferences.
2017 Albers Fellow
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.”
More Past Albers Fellows
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.