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Lisa Von Drasek

Lisa Von Drasek

Lisa Von Drasek is the Curator of the Kerlan Collection of Children’s Literature . The Kerlan, an internationally recognized resource in the field of children’s literature, contain six core collections and several smaller collections. They are The Kerlan Collection of Children’s Literature, the Borger Comic Book Collection, the Hess Collection of Dime Novels, Story Papers, and Series Books, the Paul Bunyan Collection, the Laura Jane Musser Collection of Oziana materials, and the Illustrated Treasure Island Collection.

Formerly the Children’s Librarian of the Bank Street College of Education, Lisa was the teacher/librarian for pre-k through 8th grade as well as a teacher of Children’s Literature, Storytelling, and Children’s Book Publishing 101 to students in the graduate school of education. While serving as director of Bank Street’s Center for Children’s Literature, Lisa founded the Cook Prize, given to a STEM book chosen by children grades 3-4.  She was also a frequent guest lecturer at the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science in Storytelling and Folklore, Collection Development, and Services to Children. Lisa has reviewed children’s books for The New York Times,, Shelf Awareness and blogs at Blue Ox Review.

She has served as a juror on the Caldecott Committee, 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, and American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Books.

Lisa has lectured on the topics of Writing Boxes: The Reading/Writing Connection in Libraries, Emergent Literacy, Diversity in Children’s Literature, Comics and Literacy, the New Adult,  What Makes an Award Winning Book, and Children’s Choice Awards.

Ask the Curator

Do you have a question for Lisa Von Drasek, Curator of the Kerlan Collection? It can be about the Kerlan Collection, her favorite books, or you can ask for book recommendations.


Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science, MLIS 1995

Skidmore College BS 1981

Awards & grants

2007 – Library Journal Mover and Shaker as an emerging leader in the field of librarianship. This distinction is awarded individuals from around the world who are innovative, creative, and making a difference.

1999 – The American Memory Fellows Program. Library of Congress.

2018 Bechtel Fellowship, American Library Association

Service to professional organizations

American Library Service includes as an elected member of ALA Council, elected member of the ALSC Board of Directors

USBBY Board of Directors

Selected presentations & publications

Selected Presentations

  • That’s Not Funny: Humor and Literacy in the Elementary Classroom Reading Program”
  • “Words Matter: Grief in Picture Books, an Examination of Original Manuscripts, Author Research, Art and Texts of Contemporary Children’s Books.”
  • “The Role of Children’s Choice Awards in Elementary Classroom: Exploring the implementation, engagement and learning outcomes”
  • “Children’s Choice Awards and the Common Core”
  • “Writing Boxes: The Reading/Writing Connection- Creative Writing Supporting Literacy in the Library.”
  • “Ariane Dewey: The hidden artist- no credit, no copyright, no royalty.”
  • “Comics and Graphic Format in Collection Development”
  • “Selecting and Evaluating Children’s Literature”
  • ” Children’s Book Publishing 101″
  • “Diversity in Children’s Literature- History and Content”
  • “Reading Aloud in an Emergent Literacy Program”
  • “Rhythm, Rhyme, and Repetition, Guiding Caregivers to the Perfect Read Alouds.”
  • “Self-Selection and Reading Fluency: There Is a Connection”
  • “Scared Straight- What is  Plagiarism? Teaching Middle School Student’s to Cite Their Sources.”

Selected Publications

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