Reading Appalachia: Library System, History Center Exhibit Focuses on Children's Literature ; UT Thesis Provides Basis for Collection

News Sentinel, June 16, 2014 | Go to article overview

Reading Appalachia: Library System, History Center Exhibit Focuses on Children's Literature ; UT Thesis Provides Basis for Collection


It all started with a college thesis.

Now the community can walk through the topic Jamie Osborn found herself so passionate about in 2008 when getting her master's degree in library science.

Knox County Public Libraries and the East Tennessee History Center opened their newest exhibit Sunday, "Reading Appalachia: Voices from Children's Literature."

Osborn researched Appalachian literature as a graduate student in the University of Tennessee's School of Information Sciences.

"I decided to do a bibliography of Appalachian children's literature ... and I became angry. I was like, 'I'm a child of Appalachia, I grew up in western Virginia and eastern Kentucky ... and I came across all these titles and authors that no one had ever pointed out to me,' " Osborn said. "For me the whole project from beginning to end was important because I didn't want anyone else to go through that."

Little did she know her thesis would have the chance to reach an even bigger audience.

"Then I was done in 2008, and I thought 'That's it, it's going to go on a shelf, and no one's ever going to see it again.' And generally that's what happens," she said.

Osborn began working in the Knox County Public Libraries system. Two years ago she was approached by the libraries' Community Relations Director Mary Pom Claiborne about using her thesis bibliography as the foundation of an exhibit. …

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