Joan K. Blaska Collection of Children's Books
The James W. Miller Learning Resources Center library houses the Joan Blaska Collection of Children's Literature. Books in this collection include characters with disabilities or illnesses.
During the seventeen years she was a member of the Child & Family Studies Department at SCSU, Dr. Blaska built her personal collection of these children's books. When she retired in 2001, she donated almost 300 books to the James W. Miller Learning Resources Center juvenile collection. The books, written for children from preschool through third grade, give children the opportunity to begin to understand the diversity of human ability much as they develop awareness of cultural diversity from other books.
Dr. Blaska believes that children who learn about disability and illness during their early years will build a stronger understanding of disabilities and do a better job of relating to a person rather than focusing on a person's disability or illness.
Some of the titles in the collection include The Lion Who Had Asthma (Jonathan London), Waiting for Mr. Goose (Laurie Lears), Sit Still! (Nancy Carlson), My Buddy (Audrey Osofsky), Even Little Kids Get Diabetes (Connie White Pirner), and Kathy's Hats: A Story of Hope (Trudy Krisher). As new books on these themes are published, they are purchased by the Joan Blaska Book Fund through the SCSU Foundation and then added to the collection.