YOUTH SERVICES LIBRARIANSHIP - work with young people in school and public libraries - has always been a female-intensive specialization. The organization of youth services librarians within the American Library Association (ALA) has been a powerful professional force since the turn of the century, with the evaluation and promotion of "the right book for the right child" holding a central position in their professional jurisdiction. However, during the late 1930s and early 1940s, this jurisdiction over the selection of the best books for young readers was strongly challenged on the basis of gender. An examination of these confrontations reveals consistent patterns in both the attacks and the defenses, as well as gender-based assumptions, that ALA youth services leaders confronted in their ultimately successful effort to defend their jurisdiction over the Newbery Medal (awarded yearly to "the most distinguished contribution to literature for children"), while at the same time broadening the profession's criteria for "the right book" to include realistic fiction that dealt with contemporary social issues.
|Number of pages
|Published - Mar 1996
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Library and Information Sciences