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International Speaker Series (ISS): Dr Mary Ann Harlan

20 Jul 2020 4:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Information Literacy in Reading Fiction

Dr Mary Ann Harlan is the Teacher Librarian Coordinator and an Assistant Professor at the School of Information at San Jose State University, California. She completed her PhD in 2012 in the San Jose State/QUT Gateway Program after completing research on the information practices of teens who create and share content online. Since then she has been researching how fiction provides information to teens – including representations of girlhood in YA fiction, and the information practices of teens reading fiction. Prior to entering the PhD program, she was a middle and high school (ages 12-18) school librarian. She has been an active presenter and writer around similar topics since 2000. Her most recent title is an examination of feminist Young Adult titles: The Girl-Positive Library: Inspiring Confidence, Creativity, and Curiosity in Young Women.

Often reading fiction is seen as ‘school work’, and the power of story to provide us with information is not a connection that is clearly made. This presentation will explore why this might be and how to challenge assumptions regarding information, how to engage with reading a story as a site of learning not of facts per se but of one’s self and our world. It will explore the embodied experience of reading, valuing emotional and affective actions as information.

To explore more about our International Speaker Series or to register, please visit

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