This, That, Both, Neither: The Badging Of Biracial Identity In Young Adult Realism

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By Sarah Hannah Gómez, Graduate Student, School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College

Editor’s Note: This, That, Both, Neither was accepted for the peer reviewed paper session at YALSA’s third annual Young Adult Literature Symposium held November 2-4, 2012 in St. Louis.   The theme of the conference was “Hit me with the next big thing.”

Only in the lifetime of the Millennial generation has it become legally acceptable to mark more than one race on a federal form. In the 2010 Census, 2.9 percent of respondents indicated that they were two or more races, with even more assigning themselves other designations that speak to the many types of multiracial identities common today. As this population grows in real life, it also flourishes in young adult literature, where ever more protagonists identify with more than one racial or ethnic group and must decide how to assert themselves and what to call themselves. This paper explores some of these novels and tracks each character’s progress towards creating a “badge” of identity.
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Posted in Volume 3: April 2013 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Taking a Dip in the Crazy Pool: The Evolution of X-Women From Heroic Subject to Sexual Object

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By Suzanne M. Stauffer, Associate Professor School of Library and Information Science, Louisiana State University

The X-Men presents a unique opportunity for examining changing social attitudes toward women in the evolution of the personality and character of the female X-Men to reflect the social construction of women. Analysis reveals that they reflect and reaffirm traditional patriarchal gender hierarchies and traditional American middle-class values and norms. Nearly all of the X-Women, regardless of their individual personality, physical characteristics, or superpower, share the same pattern of development. They are hypersexualized and hyperfetishized physically, emotionally, and psychologically. They are emotionally submissive to and dependent upon their male partners. Their powers are physically weaker than their male counterparts and they are usually incapable of managing those powers without masculine assistance. Their stories suggest that women who attempt to assume and exercise immense power are a danger to the very fabric of existence and that they will be punished for this unfeminine act with insanity or death or both.
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YA Literature: The Inside and Cover Story

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Editor’s Note: YA Literature: The Inside and Cover Story was accepted for the peer reviewed paper session at YALSA’s third annual Young Adult Literature Symposium held November 2-4, 2012 in St. Louis.   The theme of the conference was “Hit me with the next big thing.”

By Regina Sierra Carter, PhD Student, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The faces of today’s teens are undeniably transforming due to the changing faces and forms of today’s families. Although there are now more young adult (YA) books that feature minority/mixed race characters, help is still needed in the area of cover art to ensure that it accurately reflects the story within. This paper explores questionable cover art with regards to the presence of racial minority and mixed raced characters. Small-scale recommendations are offered for readers interested in where the future of cover art for YA literature may be headed.
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Recent South Korean Immigrant Adolescents’ Everyday Life Information Seeking When Isolated from Peers: A Pilot Study

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By Joung Hwa Koo, Doctoral Candidate, School of Library & Information Studies, College of Communication & Information, Florida State University

Peers are important to adolescents. This research explores South Korean immigrant adolescents’ information seeking in the period of transition before new peer groups are established. In the pilot study described here, South Korean immigrant adolescents between the ages of 10 and 20 who had arrived in the United States within the past two years were contacted and asked to participate. Respondents were administered three research instruments in order to determine their level of isolation. Subjects whose scores satisfied the criteria of isolation were invited to participate in interviews about their information world and practices.

Findings indicate that isolated South Korean immigrant adolescents’ main information issues and needs are: (1) to do well academically in order to achieve GPAs and SAT scores that will enable them to attend desired universities; and (2) to make very close friends and develop a social life. In terms of information sources, isolated immigrant adolescents seek information through their parents (especially mothers), regarding them as the most reliable information source available to them, even though they are not satisfied with the information that their parents supply. Related theories and concepts are discussed to show that among South Korean immigrant youth, the two major features of their information practices are passive information seeking and a strong attachment to their mothers.

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Posted in Volume 2 Number 3: September 2012 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Critical Issues in Juvenile Detention Center Libraries

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Editor’s Note: This paper was originally presented at ALA’s 2012 Midwinter Meeting during YALSA’s Midwinter Paper Presentation event on Trends Impacting Young Adult Services. The YALSA Midwinter Paper Presentation is an annual event sponsored by past presidents of YALSA to provide a venue for educators, librarians, students, and others interested in young adult librarianship to gather and explore a topic of current interest that impacts the field. 

By Jeanie Austin, project coordinator for Mix IT Up! at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science

There has been a recent rise in interest in both juvenile detention center librarianship and critical approaches to library and information science. This paper integrates information from critical, feminist, and poststructural pedagogies to provide a theoretical framework for providing library services to youth located in juvenile detention centers, to deconstruct ideas of “neutrality” in library services, and to frame librarianship as a site for enacting social and political change. The juvenile detention center library is positioned as a site for potentially interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. Tensions present in juvenile detention center library services (such as institutional limitations and access to technologies) and how youth and librarians can and do navigate these tensions within the library setting are described.

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Posted in 2012, July | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Editor’s Message: Continuous Publishing

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By Sandra Hughes-Hassell, JRLYA member editor

Welcome to the Journal for Research on Libraries and Young Adults. Beginning with this issue, JRLYA will move to a dynamic publication schedule. As soon as a manuscript has met our rigorous review criteria, it will be published online.  The JRLYA advisory board believes that moving to a continuous schedule will allow YALSA to provide high quality, original research from scholars in our field in a more timely manner.  This change also aligns with YALSA’s use of electronic and social media to communicate, collaborate, and educate its members.  As new manuscripts are added to JRLYA, they will be publicized in YALSA E-News and via YALSA’s social networking tools.

In this issue of JRLYA, we are pleased to publish two papers which focus on the theme of multiple literacies, specifically visual literacy and media literacy.  In their paper “The Cover Story,” Annette Goldsmith, Melissa Gross, and Debi Carruth use compositional analysis and semiotics to investigate how the US jacket of Adele Minchin’s 2004 young adult novel, The Beat Goes On, reflects the novel’s HIV/AIDS content.   Paul Mihalidis develops an argument for media literacy education as the pedagogical foundation for the learning commons model for school libraries in his paper “Media Literacy and Learning Commons in the Digital Age,” highlighting the Chelmsford High School Learning Commons in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, as a vibrant central space in a school for just this type of integrated learning.

JRLYA is currently accepting manuscripts for upcoming issues based on original qualitative or quantitative research, an innovative conceptual framework, or a substantial literature review that opens new areas of inquiry and investigation. Case studies and works of literary analysis are also welcome. The journal recognizes the contributions other disciplines make to expanding and enriching theory, research and practice in young adult library services, and encourages submissions from researchers, students and practitioners in all fields.

The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults uses the Chicago Manual of style endnotes. For complete author guidelines including example citations, please visit the author guidelines. While submissions average 4,000 to 7,000 words, manuscripts of all lengths will be considered. Full color images, photos, and other media are all accepted. Please direct any manuscripts, questions, or comments to Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Member Editor, at yalsaresearch@gmail.com.

Posted in Volume 2 of the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, Volume 2: April 2012 | Tagged | Leave a comment

Media Literacy and Learning Commons in the Digital Age: Toward a Knowledge Model for Successful Integration into the 21st Century School Library

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By Paul Mihailidis, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Emerson College and Director, Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change

School libraries today feel increasing pressure to reinvent themselves in the face of increasing financial pressures, new media technologies, and a progressively media-savvy population. Their transformation from information reserve to knowledge center has been fast underway. This paper builds on that evolution to develop an argument for media literacy education as the pedagogical foundation for the learning commons model for school libraries. This would position the school library as a dynamic media literacy learning hub, anchoring entire schools around knowledge, expression, collaboration, and creation in both virtual and physical spaces. The paper will highlight the case of Chelmsford High School Learning Commons in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, as a vibrant central space in a school for just this type of integrated learning.

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The Cover Story: What the Book Jacket of Adele Minchin’s Young Adult Novel, The Beat Goes On, Communicates about HIV/AIDS

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By Annette Y. Goldsmith, Guest Faculty, University of Washington Information School;  Melissa Gross, Professor, Florida State University School of Library and Information Studies; Debi Carruth, Doctoral Candidate, Florida State University School of Library and Information Studies

Teens can learn about social as well as medical ramifications of HIV/AIDS on their lives by reading young adult novels featuring a character who is HIV positive, but it is not always evident from its book jacket that a book discusses HIV/AIDS. This US-based study investigates how the jacket reflects the HIV/AIDS content of a novel in which the disease is central to the plot, and what picture of HIV/AIDS the jacket presents. Compositional analysis and semiotics are applied to the US cover of Adele Minchin’s 2004 young adult novel, The Beat Goes On, first published in the UK. The analysis concludes that the jacket presents the narrative accurately overall. However, the front and back of the jacket do not reveal the subject matter; one must first open the book to the inside flaps to discover manifest HIV/AIDS content. The jacket images signify intimacy, vulnerability, and danger, but also hope through education and activism. Gaining insight into the information teens get from jackets as an entrée to the novels themselves is important because though many teens may not see themselves as personally at risk, HIV/AIDS continues to be a major public health problem in the US.

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Posted in Uncategorized, Volume 2 of the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, Volume 2: April 2012 | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment