Youth Information, Literature and Cluture Ph.D. -Urbana-Champaign, IL

The University of Illinois’ School of Information Sciences is recruiting outstanding doctoral students in Information Sciences, with a focus on Youth Information, Literature, and Culture. 

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is home to the nation’s #1-ranked iSchool and #1-ranked youth library services program. Boasting a world-class research library, the largest collection of children’s and young adult literature outside the Library of Congress, and the American Library Association (ALA) archives, Illinois is also at the forefront of technology, a leader in innovative methods of studying books, readers, and information use. 

Accepted doctoral students are guaranteed four years of funding in the form of research, teaching, and service assistantships, which include tuition waivers and stipends. Support for travel to conferences is also provided. Applicants to the PhD program bring a range of academic backgrounds and professional experience. A previous master’s degree is common but not required. We especially encourage students from historically and statistically underrepresented groups to apply.

Research topics of investigation might include: 

•  Youth as creators and collaborators in the production of literature, media, and information

•  Children’s literature and Digital Humanities

•  Big data and distance reading approaches to children’s books

•  Book history and archival approaches

•  LGBTQ issues in contemporary young adult literature

•  Diversity in youth literature

•  Fan fiction, Fan studies

• Comic Studies

• Public and school libraries

• Makerspaces and informal learning

• Digital media and technology for youth

• Youth community informatics

• Youth literacies

• Youth information behavior

• Storytelling

• Censorship and intellectual freedom

• History of childhood reading, readers, and texts

• Trends in children’s publishing and prizing: past, present, and future

• International perspectives on youth literature and culture

• Cultural and educational perspectives on toys and play

For a comprehensive list of research areas, see: For more about our faculty visit

Our PhD program in Library and Information Science is the oldest existing LIS doctoral program in the US with 270 alumni. Recent graduates are now faculty members at institutions such as the University of Michigan, University of Washington, University of Maryland, and UCLA; professionals at Baidu and Google’ and academic library professionals at the Library of Congress, Princeton University, and the University of Chicago.   

For more information about the application process, please visit:
Application deadline is Sunday, 1 December 2019, at 11:00 p.m., Central Time.
For additional information about our PhD program, see

For questions, please contact Dr. Jana Diesner, PhD Program Director, at

Kyungwon Koh, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
School of Information Sciences
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Phone: 217.300.8161