SJSU SLIS Associate Professor Brings Young Adult Expertise to Two New Books


How should libraries envision young adults? That’s the question raised in one of Dr. Anthony Bernier’s two new books published this summer. 

Transforming Young Adult Services, a 232-page textbook published by Neal-Schuman, an imprint of the American Library Association, is an edited collection of 13 essays written by leading youth services scholars and practitioners, “designed to provoke classroom debate primarily among graduate students and faculty,” said Bernier, an associate professor at the San José State University School of Library and Information Science (SJSU SLIS).

Bernier said working on the book was “an exciting intellectual journey because it required synthesizing young adult librarianship whole, not in bits and pieces, and seeing our intervention historically. Young adult librarianship is an area with an out-of-date research record, and so I hope Transforming will be true to its name and spark rejuvenation.”

Bernier’s second publication this summer, entitled The Collected Wit and Wisdom of Dorothy M. Broderick, is a 260-page trade paperback published by VOYA Press.

Along with a wide selection of Dorothy Broderick’s own writing, this type of publication called a “Festschrift,” Bernier said, “is German for a kind of analytical memorial to a luminary in the field.” The collection also includes essays by Bernier and authors who knew Broderick well.

The work celebrates the contributions of Broderick, who co-founded the most important magazine in young adult librarianship – Voice of Youth Advocates, or VOYA – and was an influential advocate for intellectual freedom until her death in 2011. “My hope is that it will be appreciated not only by the many people who knew Dorothy, but by students she has yet to inspire,” Bernier said.

In addition to his two new publications regarding young adult librarianship published this summer, Bernier traveled in June 2013 to Seoul, South Korea, at the invitation of the government, to deliver the keynote address for the Seventh International Symposium on Library Services for Children and Young Adults. His speech covered recent developments in youth services in the U.S. He also presented a paper on research he conducted on youth volunteers in libraries.

Bernier’s research interests include the history of libraries and library science, information literacy and instruction, libraries and society, serving multicultural populations, and young adult services. He is the principal investigator on a three-year National Leadership Grant, sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, to study young adult library spaces – a research topic Bernier introduced to the library and information science (LIS) field.

“Our teams of four researchers and four SLIS graduate research assistants are currently preparing several article manuscripts for publication,” Bernier said, allowing the team to share their findings broadly with information professionals and scholars.