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

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

The library is bustling, it’s impossible to find a parking spot on campus, and the smell of freshly sharpened pencils is in the air—it’s fall! My favorite season has arrived with pumpkin spice-flavored everything and I couldn’t be happier to start pulling out my sweaters and adding new titles to my TBR list for the chilly days ahead. But first, an update on all things exciting in the Butler Children’s Literature Center.

Storytelling ref shelf

What We’ve Been Doing–

Storyteller figureSummer can be quiet in a university library, which makes it the perfect time for big, messy projects. Over the past few months, we’ve been evaluating our permanent collections to get a good look at what we have, what we need, and how we can put the information to use for our community. The Butler graduate assistants spent most of the summer at work on the Ellin Greene Folk and Fairytale Collection—sorting, labeling, cataloging new books, and reorganizing (oh my!). Want to see what’s new? The collection is now searchable through the Rebecca Crown Library catalog, or you can stop by to browse the shelves in person. The Effie Lee Morris Collection of African American Children’s Books also got summer makeover. We analyzed the collection for Own Voices content, dividing the collection into two separate categories: Own Voices plus African American Content and Characters. It was wonderful, though not surprising, to see that Morris prioritized authentic experiences in her collection, despite the lack of author diversity when she began collecting in the 1950s. We are proud to steward this collection and continue adding titles from some of today’s influential voices in youth literature.

Guest Reviewers
Earlier this year we put the call out to local authors interested in book reviewing with the Butler Center. Through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, we partnered with many talented authors to review and promote just a few of the wonderful titles we received this year. You can find their reviews on our blog, Butler’s Pantry, as well as information on the authors and SCBWI.

Butler Youth Services Scholarship
Nora Sanchez photoWe’ve been hard at work on a new scholarship initiative this year and are thrilled to announce the first recipient—Nora Sanchez. Ms. Sanchez is a Dominican alumna, local library assistant, and newly-minted student in the School of Information Studies. Make sure to say hello if you run into her at a Butler event. The Butler Youth Services Scholarship will be awarded annually to a student from a background underrepresented in library science and, in addition to receiving financial assistance, Butler Scholars will work closely with their advisor, the Butler Center, and a librarian-mentor as a support structure for their graduate school career and beyond. You can find out more about the scholarship here. The application window for the next award will open in 2020.

What’s Up Next–

Ellin Greene Storytelling Tea
2019 Greene Memorial TeaIn January, we gathered for an afternoon of stories in memory of Dr. Ellin Greene. After that lovely afternoon of stories and memories shared, we were inspired to make it an annual event, but with less chance for a blizzard. Please join us on Sunday, October 13th at 3 p.m. for stories by Janice Del Negro, Marie Ringenberg, and Janet Thompson in celebration of Ellin Greene and her contributions to the Butler Center and the storytelling community. Please RSVP to by October 6th.

Illinois Library Association Annual Conference
Will we see you at ILA? You’ll find the Butler Center at the Dominican School of Information Studies booth (#415) and I’ll be bouncing around to check out all the cool things SOIS alumni are doing at the conference. Stop by to chat at the booth or join us for the Dominican iSchool Alumni Reception on Wednesday, Oct. 23 from 5-6 p.m. in the Pebble Beach room at the convention center.

Butler Center Book Sale
Mark your calendars for the annual book sale! Whether you’re looking for holiday gifts or adding to your library collection, we’re here to help with cookies, cider, and expert recommendations. Friday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Dec 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Butler Center.

Fall Open Hours

The Butler Center welcomes teachers, librarians, booksellers, parents, grandparents, caregivers and anyone interested in literature for young people. Fall 2019 open hours are Mondays 10-6, Tuesdays 3-6, Wednesdays 12-6, and Thursdays 9-noon and 1-6. Or contact us at to schedule an appointment.

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 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