School of Information Sciences - Library and Information Science Program

Resources & Services: Children and Youth

Fall Term of Entry only.

For more than 100 years, library services to young people have been a focus of the degree programs offered by the iSchool. Founded in 1901 as a part of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the school was first known as the Carnegie Training School for Children's Librarians. By 1919, the School had moved to the Carnegie Institute and the name had changed to the "Carnegie Training School" to include educating other librarians. Nonetheless, the program strongly advocated children's services and continues to do so over 100 years later.

Children’s and Young Adult Librarians are needed today more than ever. Young people live in a world rich in technology and media, where direct contact with an adult who knows books and loves to read is sometimes hard to come by. At the same time, we can’t forget that today’s children are digital natives and they interact with information, story, and the world at large in ways that their parents could hardly imagine. The iSchool acknowledges the changing landscape of children’s and young adult librarianship. Without forgetting our important roots in children’s literature, our school prepares information professionals who can reach out to the child of the 21st century.

Competencies for librarians serving children and young adults in public libraries

Several library organizations have determined the core set of skills for information professionals who will work with children or young adults.  At the iSchool, our curriculum is designed to provide students with those mandated skills as well as the theoretical knowledge necessary for leadership in the library profession.

Guidelines for library services for babies and toddlers, children, and young adults.
Children’s and Young Adults Section. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries.  Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

Competencies for Librarians Serving Young Adults. Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

Program of Study

Students interested in working with children and young people will take the four required courses in the MLIS degree.

Students will take at least four courses from this listing:

Students may select their remaining elective credits from outside the children and young adults area. Here is the list of suggested electives:

Field Experience (LIS 2921)

The Field Experience is a 3-credit/150 hour program of supervised professional work. Although not required in the Children’s and Young Adult area of interest, it is highly recommended for students who lack professional experience. Students must have completed a minimum of twelve credit hours in good academic standing in order to register for the Field Experience.

To view the term in which a class is offered, please see the Projected Course Offerings.

Click here for the current plan of study.


Leanne Bowler, Lead Faculty
Research Interests are in the areas of children's and young adult library service, family literacy, youth information-seeking behavior, and human computer interaction and youth. 

The Services to Children and Young Adults area of interest is supported by a team of full-time regular faculty and adjunct faculty, all of whom are experienced practitioners in the field.

Financial Assistance

The School is fortunate to be able to offer deserving students interested in working with young people a variety of scholarship opportunities. See the Student Awards section of the iSchool Web Site for information about the Elva Smith Scholarship, Margaret Hodges Scholarship, and the Joan Brest Friedberg Scholarship for Part-time Students that are available through the Library and Information Science Program.

Please note that the majority of these scholarships and fellowships are awarded to students starting in the Fall Term.

The Partners Program

The Partners Program provides students with real-world experience and financial support as they earn their master’s degree in Library and Information Science. In the past, students in this area of interest have gained experience at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Library Association and other public library entities.


For more information about this area of interest, please contact our Student Recruitment Coordinator at or 412-624-3988. 

Strong Foundation

The blend of theory and application at the iSchool distinguishes its graduates in the job market, giving them a strong foundation of theoretical knowledge and practical experience.