Children's Literature + Library Services to Children

Children's Literature (MA) + Library and Information Science (MS):Library Services to Children is the first and only dual degree program in the country that prepares students and professionals in library youth and young adult services.

Librarians in a library

Enroll in both the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature and the Master of Science in Library and Information Science to meld theory and practice. Work with an advisor from each program to tailor your studies to meet your needs and interests.

Examine literary history and then evaluate a children’s literature collection. Consider far-ranging critical frameworks and assess the right young adult texts to bring to readers. Study the form of the picturebook as the first step in connecting books to child readers. Research contemporary nonfiction to build not only today’s common core but also to tomorrow’s scientists.

Immerse yourself in The Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. Join authors and illustrators at the summer institute, the Horn Book at Simmons Symposium, and the literary events hosted in Boston every year. From Children’s Books Boston to the Boston Book Festival, participate in today’s literary society as you create tomorrow’s readers.

Scholarships, Discounts, Fellowship and Teaching Assistantship Opportunities 

All applicants are considered for a range of university scholarships, including endowed and departmental awards; new and returning students may apply for selective fellowships to help fund their degrees. Students who have completed at least eight credits are eligible to apply for teaching assistantships to gain experience in the classroom and help finance their degree. Additionally, Simmons is proud to offer teachers, librarians, affiliates of partner organizations, and Simmons alumnae/i reduced tuition and other benefits.

 

 

Library Science Requirements for Students Seeking  School Library Teacher Certification.

Students interested in pursuing School Library Teacher endorsement must complete the following ten courses in Library and Information Science.(30 credit hours).

Three core courses in Library and Information Science (totaling 9 credits):

LIS415 Information Organization 3
LIS407 Information Sources & Services 3
LIS488 Technology for Information Professionals 3

Two courses describing children’s library collections (6 credits)

LIS481 Library Collections and Materials for Children 3
LIS483 Library Collections and Materials for Young Adults 3

The program consists of ten courses in Library and Information Science (30 credit hours).

Courses in Library and Information Science (totaling 30 credits)

LIS407 Information Sources & Services 3
LIS415 Information Organization 3
LIS460 Technology and the School Library Teacher 3
LIS459 Fundamentals of School Librarianship 3
LIS406 Management and Evaluation of School Library Programs 3
LIS461 Curriculum and Instructional Strategies for the School Library Teacher 3
LIS481 Library Collections and Materials for Children 3
LIS483 Library Collections and Materials for Young Adults 3
LIS498 Practicum (PreK-8) 3
LIS499 Practicum (7-12) 3

Required and Elective Courses

CHL401 Criticism of Literature for Children 4
CHL403 The Picturebook 4
CHL413 Contemporary Realistic Fiction for Young Adults 4
CHL414 Fantasy and Science Fiction 4

4 credits of CHL History coursework

4 credits of CHL elective coursework

 

In addition to the required courses noted above, students in the dual degree program complete a 4-credit capstone course and 9-12 credits of freely chosen elective coursework (credit count depends on the courses selected

Dual Degree Program Capstone Course (4 credits):

 
CHL437 Critical Positionality 4

Freely Chosen Program Electives ( 9-12 credits )

Students may select 9-12 credits of elective coursework from among courses offered by Library and Information Science and the department of Children’s Literature.

Our students take advantage of internships in Boston and beyond, building their skills and resumes and learning from mentors in their fields. Students have interned at publishing houses such as Delacorte, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Charlesbridge, Candlewick, Scholastic, Penguin, David Godine, and St. Martin's; at a variety of literary agenc​ies in Boston and New York; and at advocacy groups, such as Reach Out and Read and the Boston Book Festival. Some students also seek professional internships with local schools and libraries.

Programs at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

All Children’s Literature degree and dual degree programs are offered on the Boston campus. In addition, the MA in Children’s Literature, MFA in Writing for Children, the dual degree MA/MFA are also offered at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst. Students can complete the MA in Children’s Literature/MS in Library Science with MA courses at the Carle and LIS courses on the Mount Holyoke campus. Founded by Eric Carle, the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the Carle is the first full-scale museum in this country devoted to national and international picture book art.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

In collaboration with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Simmons offers all four graduate programs in Children's Literature onsite at The Carle. This includes our M.A. in Children's Literature, M.F.A. in Writing for Children, M.A. in Children's Literature/M.F.A. dual degree, and M.A. in Children's Literature/M.S. in Library Science dual degree offered in collaboration with Simmons's School of Library and Information Science program at Mount Holyoke. Founded in part by Eric Carle, the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is the first full-scale museum in this country devoted to national and international picture book art. The Carle is located in Amherst, in the heart of the Five Colleges area of Western Massachusetts. Learn more about the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Spotlight on Children's Literature Students and Alums

A row of children's books on a shelf. Robyn Budlender robzy_m, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Children’s Literature Editor Karen Boss ‘95 ‘13 Champions Diverse Authors in Successful Career Change

Karen Boss ’95 ’13MA earned a double Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Sociology and returned to Simmons twenty years later for her Master’s in Children’s Literature. She is a senior editor at Charlesbridge, where she works on fiction and nonfiction picture books, and middle-grade and young adult works.


A side by side image with Julie Bliven alongside the cover of her book "Sometimes Shy"

Julie Bliven ’05 ’08MA Shares the Power of the Simmons Community

Charlesbridge Publishing Children’s Book Editor Julie Bliven ’05 ’08MA worked with Simmons classmate Elaine Dimopoulos ’08MFA on her most recent novel, and this year published her debut picture book. She shares how being a writer has helped her be an editor, and vice versa.


Bethany Campbell

Children's Librarian Bethany Campbell Upholds a Commitment to Access and Inclusivity

In recognition of Banned Books Week, we caught up with children's librarian Bethany Campbell '21MAMS to learn how she deals with challenges to book displays at her public library.


Ariel Richardson hoding a number of children's books

Ariel Richardson ’09MA Edits Sibert Medal-Winning Picture Book

Ariel Richardson ’09MA is the Senior Editor in Children’s at Chronicle Books, located in San Francisco. We caught up with Richardson about her role, her time at Simmons, and her recent award-winning picture book.


Photo of Stephanie Seales with her dog

Children's Literature Alumna Shares Fresh Perspectives for Children's Books

Stephanie Seales '09MA has touched many aspects of publishing throughout her career, and is using her understanding of the industry in her works as an author , career coach, book reviewer, and authenticity reader. What led you to study children's...


Photo of Ariel Vanece - Adriana Arguijo Photography

Ariel Vanece MA '22 Imbues Children's Literature with Intergenerational Friendships

Ariel Vanece, who completed the dual Children's Literature MA and Writing for Children MFA program in 2022, recently secured a two-book deal with Penguin / Rocky Pond Books. They spoke with us about what motivates them to write and how...


Photo of Megan Litwin

Megan Litwin '02MA Publishes her First Children's Book

In her new book Twinkle, Twinkle, Winter Night , author Megan Litwin '02MA captures the enchantment of winter. She spoke with us about her interest in children's literature and her experience at Simmons. Tell us about your new book and...


Main College Building cupola with fall leaves

Elissa Gershowitz '00MA, Editor in Chief of The Horn Book, Offers Titles to Add to Your Reading List

This October, Elissa Gershowitz '00MA was officially named Editor in Chief of The Horn Book, Inc. , publisher of a review journal of children's and young adult literature. We caught up with her about her role at the Horn Book...