Use our catalog (sometimes called MnPALS) to find out what books we have and where they are shelved. Most of the books you'll find are in the "general collection" - some of them shelved on the third floor, some on the main floor. Be aware of some other collections, too. We have a children's literature collection on the third floor that's separate from the general collection. And there's a lot of information about children's books in the reference collection on the main floor.
Books are shelved according the the Library of Congress system, which is different than the more familiar Dewey Decimal system, but it operates on the same principle. Books on the same subject are shelved together.
Unlike public libraries, there is no separate fiction section. Fiction is shelved with criticism. You'll find British adult authors (PR) and American authors (PS) on the main floor.
You may also borrow books from other libraries around the state. If we don't have a book you'd like to read, look it up in WorldCat and use the yellow "find it" button to make an interlibrary loan request.
Our databases can help you find out what articles have been published in scholarly journals as well as in newspapers and magazines. The databases list some things we don't have here. Use the yellow "find it" button to determine if we have an article and whether it's online or in print (and shelved downstairs on the lower level). We can also get articles from other libraries via interlibrary loan.
- Academic Search Premier
The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database, Academic Search Premier indexes nearly 8,050 publications and provides full text for nearly 4,600, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. You can limit a search to scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals, which is recommended for tapping into the serious conversations about children's books. (You will otherwise get a lot of short and not very informative book reviews and news articles.)
1975-present; updated daily
Getting Background Information on Books and Writers
- MLA International Bibliography
The major research resource for information on English literature, foreign languages and linguistics. Includes references to scholarly articles, books, book chapters, book reviews, and dissertations. This may be too in-depth for your purposes, and will list a lot of books and articles that we don't have at this library, but you could use it to find out what kinds of research other people are doing on a particular writer or topic.
1923-present; updated 9 times yearly
The reference collection on the main floor has a lot of specialized encyclopedias and biographical sources on writers of children's books. These can't be checked out, but you can always photocopy pages.
- Something About the Author
Detroit: Gale Research
The single most complete source of biographical and critical information about children's book authors. In addition to lengthy survey articles there are numerous photographs and illustrations. Frequently interviews and autobiographical statements are included. Use the index in the most recent volume to find which volumes include information on a given writer. Note: As of 2009, the library will no longer have an active subscription to Something About the Author, but the older editions will be kept in the Reference Collection.
Location(s): Ref PN 451 .S6
- International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature
Includes essays covering theory and critical approaches, genres, the context of children's book production (e.g. publishing, censorship, story-telling) applications (e.g. developmental stages of reading, bibliotherapy, education and librarianship) as well as country surveys of literature written for children, including many non-western countries.
Location(s): Ref PN 1008.5 .I57 1996
- Oxford Companion to Children's Literature
Oxford: Oxford University Press
This handbook is a place to find quick information on authors, characters, and topics such as "books of instruction" and "chapbooks." It is particularly helpful for historical topics.
Location(s): Ref PN 1008.5 .C37 1984
Browsing for Books and Articles
- One Hundred Years of Childrens Books in America: Decade by Decade
New York: Facts on File
Each chapter presents the relationship between America's social development and the children's books published during that time. Three appendixes list children's literature collections across the country, identify Caldecott and Newbery Award winners and runners-up, and provide a comprehensive bibliography of children's books by grade level.
Location(s): Ref PS 490 .A38 1996
Books that may be of interest are shelved in these areas:
LB 1042 Storytelling
PN 451 Children's literature--bio-bibliography
PN 1009 .A1 Recommended lists, lists by subject, and criticism
PN 6001 .C4 Collections of children's poetry
You might also be interested in browsing issues of the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and Horn Book, both shelved alphabetically by title among the journals on the lower level.
Citing Your Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism
Use Everyday Writer for the details on how to write about sources and format your references. If your book isn't handy, there's one shelved behind the reference desk - or use our guide. For a useful tutorial on avoiding plagiarism, try this site from Purdue University.
Page Coordinator: Barbara Fister firstname.lastname@example.org
This URL: http://gustavus.edu/academics/library/libdata_pos/page.phtml?page_id=190