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College of Information and Communications

Faculty and Staff

Jenna Spiering, Ph.D.

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: School of Library and Information Science
College of Information and Communications
Phone: 803-777-2298
Fax: 803-777-4103
Office: School of Library and Information Science
Davis College, Room 214
1501 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208
Resources: Curriculum Vitae
Jenna Spiering


B.A., English Literature and Viola Performance, University of Iowa
M.A., Library and Information Science, University of Iowa
Ph.D., Language, Literacy and Culture, University of Iowa


Dr. Jenna Spiering’s research interests lie at the intersection of school libraries, critical youth studies, and children’s/young adult materials. Specifically, Spiering’s work emphasizes the school librarian’s role in selecting, promoting, and curating materials for students in k-12 settings. Some of her recent work has explored representations of gender and sexuality in young adult literature, and considers how the presence of these topics affects selection practices in school libraries and the inclusion of materials in classrooms.


Spiering believes that teaching and learning are both social and multidirectional. She sees her role in the classroom as a facilitator of critical thinking, and is constantly learning alongside and from her students. Therefore, discussion and civil discourse are key components of any course she teaches. She also strives to highlight diverse voices and perspectives in the texts and materials assigned in her courses — often challenging the canon of traditionally taught texts both in schools and in academic settings. She teaches courses in children’s and young adult materials, and school library curriculum and program development.

Recent Publications

Spiering, J. & Kedley, K. (Forthcoming, 2018) “Grieving like a normal person”: Examining responses to grief in Nina LaCour’s We Are Okay. In Falter, M. & S. Bickmore (Eds), 13 Reasons Why and 13 other books where people die. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Kedley, K. & Spiering, J. (Forthcoming, 2019) “Defining gender and sexuality in LGBTQ youth memoirs.” In Guzetti, B, Dunkerly-Bean, J, & Bean, T (Eds), Literacies, sexualities, and gender: Understanding identities from preschool to adulthood. New York: Taylor and Francis.

Spiering, J. (2017) Reviewing to exclude? Critical Discourse Analysis of LGBTQ YA literature book reviews for school librarians. The ALAN Review.

Kedley, K. E. & Spiering, J. (2017). Using LGBTQ graphic novels to dispel myths about gender and sexuality in ELA classrooms. English Journal, 107(1).


Member, Reviews Advisory Panel for the School Library Connection

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.