The Criscoe/Lanasa Award Winning Children's Books Collection

Sponsored by the West Research Center for the study of Children's and Young Adult Literature




Dr. Betty Criscoe began thinking about the value of a research center in award winning children's books as a teacher in a Trends and Issues in Children's Literature course. At times, her students were forced to use reviews of works from the 1930s & 1940s because no one source was keeping the primary materials themselves regardless of how many awards, citations, or honors they won during their heyday. Dr. Phil Lanasa's interest was piqued in this area when he accompanied his wife to England and had the chance to examine outstanding literature in this field.
Drs. Criscoe and Lanasa were coeditors of Award-Winning Books for Children and Young Adults. They enthusiastically encouraged the Education Department, Moffett Library, and the West Foundation to house, catalog, and encourage the use of award winning books. When a plan was approved, they then donated the hundreds of works they had housed informally to Moffett Library. Thus the Criscoe and Lanasa Award Winning Books Collection was born. Most of the titles stem from the late 1980s to the present. Future plans are to retrospectively collect and catalog titles for various awards as funding becomes more available. The focus of the collection is to provide primary materials from award-winning children's and young adult literature in the English language that can be a spring board in studying trends and issues in the field.
Use of the Collection
Records for the Criscoe/Lanasa Collection are available on Voyager, Moffett Library's online catalog. To make records as useful as possible , the Library has added specific note information,e. g. when a book has won an award and the award name itself. Virtually any name of a person who has made a substantial contribution to the creation of the work is searchable, e. g. the illustrator, translator, editor, compiler, etc.
The West Research Center (like all other Special Collections materials) is shelved in a non-public service area. It is open to the general public Monday - Friday from 2 pm - 5 pm. With adequate notice, the library director may be able to make arrangements to have the center open during other hours when Moffett Library is open. Materials DO NOT circulate for home use and must be used within the Special Collections Room by patrons holding a Library Card (or other form of photo identification).
University classes are encouraged to make use of the collection, but such tours MUST be made in advance. Instructors are asked to call the Library Director at ext. 4757, and make a request at least ONE WEEK in advance.
Other library resources in children's literature are available. For example, both the general reference department and the curriculum materials reference area have indexes, research guides, and bibliographic tools on children's and young adult literature. Circulating collections of children's and young adult literature are available in the curriculum materials library.
Related Sites
Children's Literature Web Guide maintained by David K. Brown
ALSC web page (The American Library Association's Association for Library Service to Children)
YALSA web page (The American Library Association's Young Adult Library Service Association)
ALAN: The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents
Other Children's Literature Special Collections on the Web
Baldwin Library of American and British Historical Children's Literature (University of Florida)
Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents (California State University San Marcos)
Children's Literature Collection (Lilly Library, Indiana University)
Cooperative Children's Book Center School of Education (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Elizabeth Nesbitt Room (University of Pittsburgh)
Keene State College Children's Literature Festival
Kerlan Collection (University of Minnesota)