Children and Young Adult Library Services

child reading in library

In a time where our world is changing so fast and information is overwhelmingly abundant, children and young adult librarians can help young people learn to navigate, understand, and take positive action in the world around them. The UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Children and Young Adult Library services program has a long and distinguished history of preparing graduates to serve and advocate for these unique library patrons, and we continue to build on this strong tradition. The most recent U.S. News and World Report graduate program review ranked SILS at #3 in the nation overall and #3 in the Services for Children and Youth specialty area.  

In your future career, would you like to:

  • Work with children and young adults
  • Reach out to diverse communities
  • Share your love of books
  • Keep up with the latest technology
  • Develop leadership, organizational, and decision-making skills
  • Use your dramatic and artistic talents
  • Bring positive change to individuals, families, schools, and neighborhoods
    (List courtesy of the American Library Association)

SILS can help you channel your dedication and ambition into a meaningful career. Guided by a comprehensive knowledge and applied understanding of theory, practice, and emerging trends in librarianship, you can become a leader in the field of children and young adult library services and play an influential role in the shaping of 21st century libraries.

Check out the SILS’ Specialization in Children and Youth Services course grid.

As a master’s student specializing in children and young adult librarianship at SILS, you will find:

  • Intellectually rigorous coursework, emphasizing children and young adult literature, reference services, collection development, library management, technology integration, and leadership.
  • Instruction in emerging technologies used in today's libraries.
  • Exceptional faculty, including Dr. Brian Sturm and Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell.
  • A dedicated community of peers.
  • Practicum opportunities serving children and young adults in urban and rural public library settings.
  • Personalized mentorship by professionals in the field of children and youth services and by SILS faculty.

Special Opportunities and Initiatives at SILS

Susan Steinfirst Memorial Lecture in Children's Literature

Steinfirst Artist-in-Residency Program

Story Squad

Project READY (Reimagining Equity and Access for Diverse Youth–A Professional Development Curriculum)

Coalition of Youth Librarians (COYL)

SILS Library Collection
The SILS Library is the largest collection of its type in the Southeast and provides both depth and breadth in the subject areas of information and library science. The collection, housed in Manning Hall, contains over 99,000 volumes, many of which are specifically focused on the area of youth services, including a large juvenile collection, graphic novel collection, and a growing collection of Hispanic juvenile titles.

State and National Organizations

ALSC - Association for Library Services for Children

International Children’s Digital Library - Multicultural digital library of outstanding children’s books

LearnNC - Resources for K-12 teachers and media specialists from UNC School of Education

NCLA Youth Services - North Carolina Library Association—Youth Services

NC WISEOWL - Website that has, as its centerpiece, several subscription databases of reference sources for K-12 students.

National Storytelling Network

North Carolina Storytelling Guild

We Need Diverse Books

YALSA - Young Adult Library Services Association

Contact Information

Dr. Brian Sturm
The School of Information & Library Science
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
CB#3360, 100 Manning Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3360
(919) 962-2460
fax (919) 962-8071
sturm@ils.unc.edu