International Conference of Institutes and Libraries for Chinese Overseas Studies (WCILCOS) (5th : 2012)

Chinese picture books at the Northeast Kansas Library System member libraries : a descriptive approach Wong, Anna Ching-Yu


Children’s picture books provide images and knowledge for small children to learn about other people, places, and cultures. Many public libraries of major cities in the United States have a branch targeting service to Chinese residents such as the Chicago Public Library Chinatown Branch, San Francisco, and Los Angeles public library systems. These libraries have a tremendous collection of Chinese children picture books. As a Chinese American librarian, I am curious to find out, what kinds of Chinese picture books are housed in the Mid-Western public libraries of the United States, where the communities are predominantly Caucasian (European American). This study explores the Chinese picture book collection of the 16 Northeast Kansas Library System libraries. A total of 118 titles of eight hundred and fifty-eight Chinese picture books are recorded. This study suggests that population ethnicity is not a factor for purchasing Chinese children's picture books amongst the local libraries. Despite the demographic statistics, it appears that many Mid-Western residents are interested in exploring Chinese culture and its fascinating folklore stories. The main themes of the Chinese children's books have moved away from the predominant folklores to the contemporary stories.

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