Pierce, Jennifer Burek

Associate Professor

School of Library and Information Science
3076 Main Library
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242-1420

Jennifer Burek Pierce writes about publishing trends and their implications for libraries, past and present. Her research considers what happens when ideas once shared face-to-face are committed to print. How are the resulting books promoted and shared? How are communities of readers understood in light of books and materials made available to them and made by them?

Books, games, and toys for young readers are of particular interest. A 2013 essay discusses developments in e-books and picture-book apps for children, and the history of libraries’ collection of fiction and games for children contextualizes this research. Fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society and Winterthur Museum, Libraries and Garden have funded her study of children’s books and related materials.

Her books include What Adolescents Ought to Know: Sexual Health Texts in Early 20th Century America (UMass Press, 2011) and Sex, Brains, and Video Games: A Librarian’s Guide to Teens in the 21st Century (ALA Editions, 2009). She developed the Youth Matters column for American Libraries , to which she has returned as a contributing author, and has also written for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

She serves on the advisory board for the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (visit their website at http://iisc.uiowa.edu/staff-and-faculty/). Students in her Community Engagement course worked with the Sioux City Public Library to develop information resources about partnerships supporting early childhood literacy (see http://iisc.uiowa.edu/project/coordinate-early-literacy-resources-in-support-of-grade-level-reading-success/). Professor Burek Pierce is also a member of the advisory board for the University of Iowa Press.

Areas of Interest: 
Print culture and book history, including e-books; publishing, particularly marketing and promotion of books; literature and non-fiction materials for young readers; and community engagement and service learning.