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The Butler Center commits itself to imagination and wonder, encouraging and supporting adults in libraries, classrooms, childcare centers, and homes to engage young people with good books.

For the latest news from the Butler Children's Literature Center, its open hours, and more, visit the Center's blog, the Butler's Pantry.

What We Do

The Butler Children's Literature Center (BCLC) is an examination center for children's and young adult books published annually. Area teachers, librarians, and other members of the general public are invited to view and interact with newly published books. In addition, the Butler Children’s Literature Center includes several special collections that include rarely held and historical materials.

The Center offers professional development in the form of conferences, events, and book discussion groups. Courses taught by the curator, along with other youth services-focused courses, are open to working professionals as well as students of children’s and youth literature.

About the Center

The Butler Children's Literature Center was dedicated on January 10, 2009 in a program featuring Jon Scieszka, the Library of Congress's Inaugural National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and that day's recipient of an honorary doctorate of letters in celebration of Dominican University's Year of Youth Literacy. The opening of the Center's current location in the Rebecca Crown Library, Room 214, was commemorated in September 2011 with the Kinship Project, the Center's inaugural exhibit, which showcased 29 books for young people that represent the theme of "kinship." The annual Butler Lecture series has presented influential figures in children's book creation, including Ed Young, Jane Yolen, LeUyen Pham, Christian Robinson, Holly Black, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Carmen Deedy, Bryan Collier, and Aisha Saeed.

The Center is administered by the School of Information Studies; founding partners include the School of Education, the Rebecca Crown Library, the Butler Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

About the Space

The Butler Children’s Literature Center is housed in Rebecca Crown Library room 214. Constructed with a donation from the Butler Family Foundation, the space is designated for housing the special collections and activities that support the study and celebration of youth literature. Library and Information Science courses in children’s and young adult literature, Master of Arts in Youth Literature courses, and School of Education courses meet in the BCLC main reading room.

BCLC hosts weekly open hours (varied by semester) for student and visitor use of the collections. Special appointments, outside of open hours, can be made by arrangement with the Curator.

Space use requests will be reviewed individually by the Center Curator and/or Director of the School of Information Studies, with priority given to classes, events, and groups that need use of the collection or that are directly connected to the Center.

Food and drink may be consumed in the space with permission from the Curator. All food and drink must be kept away from the bookshelves and collections. Arrangements must be made with DU Physical Plant/Housekeeping for post-event cleanup after serving food and/or drinks in the Butler Center space.

About the Collection

The Center's collections are available as specified below to Dominican University students and faculty, as well as members of the general public including freelance reviewers, area educators, parents, and other adults interested in connecting young people with the best in books for kids.

The Center’s review collection, composed of newly published titles for babies to young adults, is available during BCLC open hours and by appointment with the Curator for students, professionals, writers and reviewers as an educational resource and mentor text collection. This is a non-circulating collection, and not available through the catalog. BCLC retains only the most recent year of published books in its collection, which is refreshed annually through publisher donations.

BCLC also houses historical collections of significance, including the Effie Lee Morris Collection of African American-focused books for children and the Ellin Greene Storytelling Collection. These collections are non-circulating, but searchable through the Rebecca Crown Library Catalog. They are available for limited use by students and researchers by appointment with the Curator.

Why We Do It

As a Sinsinawa Dominican-sponsored institution, Dominican University prepares students to pursue truth, to give compassionate service, and to participate in the creation of a more just and humane world. The Butler Children's Literature Center carries out its own mission as a reflection of that inspiration.

For questions and room use requests, please contact:

Jennifer Clemons, Curator
(708) 524-6861
(708) 524-6657 (fax)

Butler Children's Literature Center
Dominican University
School of Information Studies
7900 W. Division Street
River Forest, IL  60305