The University of Iowa

Jennifer Burek Pierce

Jennifer Burek Pierce
Associate Professor, School of Library & Information Science

Jennifer Burek Pierce writes about changes in media for young readers, creating histories of moments in media use that reflect important developments either in library history or contemporary culture. Her current research explores Nerdfighteria and Vlogbrothers' viewers as communities of readers, emphasizing the ways readers craft their responses to stories. A forthcoming essay on readers' responses to The Fault in Our Stars will be published in the Edinburgh History of Reading in 2019.

Her research on nonbook materials for children in libraries won the ALA Library History Round Table's Davis Award (link is external) in 2018. Fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society (link is external) and Winterthur Museum, Libraries and Garden (link is external) supported that article and her other studies of books, games, and toys for young readers. A 2013 essay (link is external) evaluates historical developments in e-books and picture-book apps for children. The essays have explored trends in publishing and young people's reading, considering their implications for libraries, past and present. Particular topics of interest include the ways books and other media are promoted and shared. These studies also consider how communities of readers are understood in light of books and materials made available to them and made by them.

Her books include What Adolescents Ought to Know: Sexual Health Texts in Early 20th Century America (UMass Press, 2011) (link is external) and Sex, Brains, and Video Games: Information and Inspiration for Youth Services Librarians/2nd (ALA Editions, 2017) (link is external). She developed the Youth Matters column for American Libraries (link is external) and has also written for The Chronicle of Higher Education (link is external) and The Paris Review (link is external).

Prof. Burek Pierce serves on the advisory board for the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (link is external) and the University of Iowa Press.

Related Projects



Washington - Community Branding

Marketing Institute students worked with the Washington Chamber of Commerce to rebrand the community as an attractive destination. Students created a contemporary Activities Guide that provides information on community events, where to eat and visit, and recreational opportunities. Students also...