Kate McDowell

Photo of Kate McDowell

Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs

PhD, Library and Information Science, Illinois

102 LIS
(217) 244-8957
kmcdowel [at] illinois [dot] edu

Curriculum Vitae   

Areas of Research

Youth services librarianship; children's print culture history; public libraries as cultural spaces; apps and iPads for kids; storytelling in higher education, advancement, business, and public service.


Kate McDowell is the assistant dean for student affairs and an associate professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where her courses include youth services librarianship, history of readers, and storytelling. She has published articles in Children and Libraries, Book History, Libraries and the Cultural Record, and Library Quarterly. Her article “Surveying the Field: The Research Model of Women in Librarianship, 1882-1898” won the biennial 2010 Donald G. Davis Article Award of the American Library Association’s Library History Round Table.

Research Projects

Closing the App Gap: From Plan to Project I

This project allies with IMLS’s support of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading with an exploration of the use of tablet computers, apps, and e-books in public libraries as a tool against summer reading loss. It will engage with experts in scholarship and practice to define the public library’s role in selecting and providing existing digital media for younger children, especially those primary-grades children in low-income communities who are most in need of intervention, whose access to...

Selected Publications, Papers, and Presentations

McDowell, Kate. 2009. “Surveying the Field: The Research Model of Women in Librarianship, 1882-1898.” The Library Quarterly 79 (3): 279–300.

McDowell, Kathleen. 2009. “Toward a History of Children as Readers, 1890-1930.” Book History (Pennsylvania State University Press) 12: 240–265.

McDowell, Kate. 2009. “Which Truth, What Fiction?: Librarians’ Book Recommendations for Children, 1876-1890.” In Education and the Culture of Print in Modern America, ed. Adam Nelson and John Rudolph. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin-Madison Press, 15-35.

McDowell, Kate.  “Children’s Voices in Librarians’ Words, 1890-1930.”  Libraries and the Cultural Record 46, no. 1 (2011): 73-101.

McDowell, Kate, and Caroline Nappo. 2012. “Evolution in Children’s Science Books: Recommendations and Library Collections, 1863-1956.” Library Trends 60 (4): 655–674.

McDowell, Kate. 2012. “Oh the Places We’ve Been! The Roots of Evaluation in Youth Services, 1882-1930.” Children & Libraries 10 (2): 32-35, 41.

Related Topics

History, Economics, and Policy, Youth Services, history of childhood, childhood studies, history of libraries, literature for children and young adults, comparative storytelling (digital and traditional), gender in children's literature, technology in youth services librarianship, distance education pedagogy