About Digital Resource

About This Digital Resource: 

The exhibit, The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter, was conceived as a celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Kerlan Collection. The original exhibit was produced by The New York Public Library and curated by Leonard S. Marcus, a noted children’s literature historian.

This digital resource contains the materials from the physical exhibit as well as additional images and content for readers.  

Technical Support and Training has been provided by Jason Roy, Director of Digital Library Services at the University of Minnesota Libraries. In this capacity, he acquires, prepares, and manages collection-related information in digital format for discovery and long term management. Jason fosters the creation of and access to research and scholarly material in digital form from across the campus community.


Lisa Von Drasek


Lisa Von Drasek is the Curator of the Children's Literature Research Collections. The CLRC, an internationally recognized resource in the field of children's literature, contains six core collections, including the Kerlan Collection and several smaller collections. Lisa previously was the Children's Librarian of the Bank Street College of Education. She was the teacher/librarian for pre-k through eighth grade, as well as a teacher of Children's Literature, Storytelling, and Children's Book Publishing 101. Lisa reviews children's books for The New York TimesShelf Awareness, and has blogged at EarlyWord: The Librarian/Publisher Connection. She has served as a juror on The New York Times Best Illustrated, the Newbery Committee, The Ezra Jack Keats Award, Trudi Birger Prize (Jerusalem Book Fair), National Book Awards for Young People's Literature, American Library Association's Notable Children's Books, and the 2017 Caldecott Award Committee (Association for Library Service to Children).


JoAnn Jonas (left) and Mary Schultz (right)

Project Managers

Mary H. Schultz has worked with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students and their families in North Dakota, Connecticut, Maine, and Minnesota since 1967. Most recently, she has worked as a speech/language therapist and as a classroom and itinerant teacher in the St. Paul Public Schools Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program, as well as an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota CEHD graduate program teaching Reading and Writing with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Learners. In 2014 she retired and is now volunteering at the Children's Literature Research Collections and is a member of the Kerlan Friends Board.

JoAnn Mooers Jonas was an alumna of UMN ('73, BS) and an MLIS Librarian with a Children's Librarian specialization. She worked at The New York Public Library-Central Children's Room, and as the director of the Early Childhood Resource and Information Center (ECRIC) for NYPL, Youth Services Librarian/Manager at Carlsbad and Chula Vista Public Libraries, and selector of youth books & materials for San Diego County Library System. She also reviewed children's books, wrote Teacher and Discussion guides and served on the Newbery, Caldecott & Wilder Award committees. She was a contributor to EarlyWord: The Librarian/Publisher Connection, a moderator of the monthly Young Readers Author Chat, and served on the Board of the Children's Reading Alliance. She was also a CLRC volunteer and a member of the Kerlan Friends Board.


Rebecca Brown

Co-Project Manager and Digital Exhibit Designer

Rebecca Brown has her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Hamline University. She graduated with her Master’s in Library and Information Science at Saint Catherine with a focus on archives and special collections in May 2020. In the summer of 2018, she began working on the digital exhibit of The ABC of It. Rebecca has also worked on other digitization projects at General Mills Corporate Archives and Northwest Airline History Center. Her favorite children’s book is The Secret World of Og by Pierre Berton.

About Digital Resource