The Hoot: News from the Butler Children’s Literature Center, April 2019

Hello friends, it’s been a while! We’ve had a busy winter in the Butler Center and its rolled right into spring in the blink of an eye. So before the spring flowers fade and summer vacations beckon, let’s take a peek back at what we’ve been up to and a look ahead at what’s next.

Rainbow books band

Spring Semester Happenings–

Professional Development

Serving Bilingual Teens in the Library 

In February, we were thrilled to host SOIS alumna Elizabeth Lynch (Addison Public Library) and Kelly MacGregor (Berwyn Public Library) for Sort of Bilingual: Serving Youth and Young Adults from Spanish-Speaking Homes, an in-depth look at how they worked to improve service for the teens at their library and a discussion of how other libraries can implement similar programming. Our discussion focused on their process for collecting useful community data and how to use that information to better serve the bilingual kids in the library.

Butler Lecture

Carmen deedy 3In March we were honored to welcome acclaimed author and storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy for the 7th Annual Butler Lecture. In her address, The End of the Story, she shared personal stories of her childhood and family that were at once humorous, hear-warming, and deeply profound. Thanks to all that joined us for the lecture and reception with the delightful Ms. Deedy!


Illinois Youth Services Instituteballoon alien

After a long, but lovely lecture evening I headed to Bloomington-Normal for the Illinois Youth Services Institute. BCLC was honored to again be a sponsor of the event, giving me a chance to chat with SOIS alumni and potential students about all things youth services. Next time around I’ll be sure to include more time to attend some of the impressive programming offered at the conference. But I did get the chance to make an out-of-this-world new friend!

Bologna Children’s Book Fair

bologna group 1And then I jumped right on a flight to Italy (at least that’s how it felt) to join a group of SOIS students on their trip to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. We spent a week visiting churches, archives, libraries, the BCBF, and as many gelato shops as one can reasonably (ok, maybe not so reasonably) fit into a 6-day trip. The students were curious, thoughtful, and engaged, the food was spectacular, and the fair was a delight. If you ever get the chance to attend I would highly recommend it. In one lovely day, I had the chance to hear Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop speak about CSK books, observe amazingly talented illustrators at work, and watch a gentleman at a lunch counter hand make tortellini for a line of hungry book-lovers.


Expanded Greene Storytelling Collection

In her final bequests, author and storyteller Ellin Greene again generously donated from her extensive personal collection to the Butler Center. Her magnanimous gifts of books, research, and realia are currently being currently sorted and cataloged for addition to the BCLC folk and fairytale collection that bears her name. Never visited the Ellin Greene research collection? Contact us for an appointment.

What’s Up Next–

Butler Youth Services Scholarship

The Butler Children’s Literature Center is proud to announce the creation of a new scholarship to support diversity in library service to young people. This $15,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student seeking to earn an MLIS with a planned focus on service to children and young adults. Preference for the Butler Youth Services Scholarship will be given to graduates of a Dominican University undergraduate program who are from a background underrepresented in the field of library science. The scholarship will be administered by the BCLC, with the generous support of the Butler Family Foundation. For full eligibility and application requirements visit

Wellness in the Library

On May 11th, from 1 pm-3 pm, we’ll host SOIS alumna Regina Townsend (Forest Park Public Library) for Finding Balance: Self-care for You and Your Team. Regina will discuss compassion fatigueself-care strategies for individuals and organizations, and ways you can create a culture of mental health in your library. Care to join us? RSVP to to reserve your seat.

Open Hours

The Butler Center welcomes teachers, librarians, booksellers, parents, grandparents, caregivers and anyone interested in literature for young people. Spring open hours are held Monday-Thursday from 1pm-6pm or by appointment with the curator; contact to make an appointment. Summer hours coming soon.

The Center is a non-lending library, but our staff is here to assist you in locating books that address specific themes, age groups, or reading levels.

The Butler Center is located in the Rebecca Crown Library, room 214, on Dominican’s main campus at 7900 W. Division Street in River Forest, Illinois. Directions and a campus map are available here. The Butler Center is administered by Dominican’s School of Information Studies and is generously supported by the Butler Family Foundation. We hope you’ll want to visit us, or join us for an event, and stay tuned for our news and upcoming events. Please contact me with any questions you have. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Jen Clemons

Curator, Butler Children’s Literature Center
Dominican University SOIS