The Hoot: News from the Butler Children’s Literature Center, March 2020

Spring, or at least Spring Break, is almost here! And while some of us are only dreaming about warm weather and beach vacations, there is no reason not to have a little R&R (rest and reading) right here on campus. A quiet week in the library is the perfect time for a little reflection on what has been happening in the Butler Center, making plans for the next few months, and debating what to read in the sunny days ahead.

What We’ve Been Doing–

Butler Lecture

bryan collierLast night the Butler Center was thrilled to welcome award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier for the 8th Annual Butler Lecture–You Can Never Outgrow a Picture Book. Collier examined the lives of many of his book characters and how their histories, their childhoods, their experiences, their “dream-walking” whispered of what they would become. His charming style, gorgeous art, and thorough research lead to books filled with layers and nuance that will appeal to readers of all ages and continue to offer new experiences with each reading. Thank you to all who joined us!

 Morris Collection

This winter, BCLC received a generous gift to the Effie Lee Morris Collection of African American Books from professor and book collector Dr. Elizabeth Poe. Her collection, comprised of fiction, nonfiction, picture books, middle-grade and YA novels, will enhance the breadth and depth of Own Voices titles in the collection. Is this your area of study? Just interested in beautiful art and stories? Drop by to check out the newly expanded collection.

2020 Mock CaldeNott Awards

2020 caldenott book pileOn February 1st, the Butler Center served as HQ for the CaldeNott Awards “Committee.” Local librarians, authors, and SOIS students spent an afternoon discussing just a few of the fabulous picture books that weren’t eligible for the Caldecott Awards due to their foreign provenance. After much deliberation and many snacks, the award went to… The Moose of Ewenki by Gerelchimeg Blackcrane and illustrated by Jui Er (Greystone Kids). With honor awards to Hicotea: A Nightlights Story by Lorena Alvarez (Nobrow), Small in the City by Sydney Smith (Neal Porter Books), and Stormy: A Story about Finding a Forever Home by Guojing (Schwartz & Wade). 

Ellin Greene Storytelling Tea

In September, the Butler Center once again hosted an afternoon of tea and tales celebrating the life and contributions of author, teacher, storyteller, and Butler Center supporter Dr. Ellin Greene. Storytellers Janice Del Negro, Marie Ringenberg, and Anne Shimojima delighted the group with a variety of folktales and personal stories while we enjoyed tea, treats, and exceptional company. Keep an eye out this summer for information on the 2020 Storytelling Tea.

Butler Center Book Sale
Sale crowd 2019Once again, last December, the BCLC was packed with librarians, teachers, gift-givers, and book-lovers during our annual book sale weekend. We were able to send over 1500 books to loving new homes and help support Butler Center programming and collections for 2020. Do you know a teacher or librarian that would like a bit of help with their collection? Send their contact information to, and we’ll send special invitations to future book sale events.

What’s Up Next–

Butler Youth Services Scholarship

BYSS tv slide 2020Last fall, the Butler Center was thrilled to award the first-ever Butler Youth Services Scholarship to Nora Sanchez, newly appointed Early Childhood Community Engagement Specialist at the Oak Park Public Library. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student from a background underrepresented in library science. 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 applications are being accepted for the 2020 Butler Youth Services Scholarship.

 Folk and Fairytales with SCBWI

Join us for an evening of folk tales with Dr. Janice Del Negro. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Oak Park and Near West Suburban network is collaborating with the Butler Center for their March meeting to learn more about the Ellin Greene Folk and Fairytale Collection. We’ll discuss the history of folk and fairy tales, ways to use them, tools for finding them, and also give more information about the Butler Center’s collections. This program open to all—Butler/Dominican friends and all SCBWI networks.
7-9 pm on Thursday, March 12th, 2020
Oak Park Public Library—834 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL

Spring Open Hours

The Butler Center welcomes teachers, librarians, booksellers, parents, grandparents, caregivers, and anyone interested in literature for young people. Spring 2020 open hours are Mondays 10-6, Tuesdays 3-6, Wednesdays 12-6, and Thursdays 9-6. Or contact us at to schedule an appointment. Please note, the Butler Children’s Literature Center and Rebecca Crown Library will be closed for construction March 9-15, 2020.

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