Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen discusses diversity within children’s literature, specifically how transracially adopted Koreans are dealt with. Sarah also talks about the “We Need Diverse Books” hashtag/movement, “Mommy, that’s me!” moments of discovery, and why Minnesota seems to be the epicenter of transnational adoptions. (Intro: Last Words)
Sarah Park Dahlen is an associate professor in the Master of Library and Information Science Program at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. She teaches courses on youth materials and library services, storytelling, and library science. Her research addresses transracially adopted Koreans in children’s literature, the information behaviors of adopted Koreans, and diversity in children’s literature and library education. Sarah serves on the ALSC Children & Libraries advisory committee, the 2019 John Newbery Award committee, and the Children’s Book Council’s selection committee for the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. In 2016, she was awarded the University of Illinois iSchool Leadership Award. She co-edited Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors Through Reading with Jamie Campbell Naidoo and the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly’s Special Issue on Orphanhood and Adoption in Children’s Literature with Lies Wesseling, and in 2017 she co-founded and will co-edit Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, a new open access, peer reviewed journal. Her next book projects address race in the wizarding world with Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and Asian American youth literature with Paul Lai.