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College of Information and Communications

Faculty and Staff

Jenna Spiering, Ph.D.

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: School of Information Science
College of Information and Communications
Phone: 803-777-1676
Office: School of Information Science
Davis College, Room 211
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.

Funded Research

Spiering, Jenna (Principal Investigator) “Full STEAM (and Social Studies) Ahead with TPS Grant Training in South Carolina,” Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program (TPS) Grant. Funded for $167,613.28 (2021-2023) Sponsored by the Library of Congress (Co-PI with Dr. Liz Hartnett, Christine Shelek, and Valerie Byrd-Fort)  

Spiering, Jenna (Co-Principal Investigator) “Teaching Civil Rights History with Primary Sources,” Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program (TPS) Grant. Funded for $101,628.10 (2021-2022) Sponsored by the Library of Congress. (Co-PI with Associate Professor, Dr. Daniella Cook) 


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. & Amato, N. A. (Forthcoming) “Nothing to do but be borne and steered”: Unpacking Feminist Scripts in Elana Arnold’s Damsel. International Journal of Young Adult Literature. 

Santos Green, L., Spiering, J., Kitzie, V., & Erlanger, J. (2022). LGBTQIA+ inclusive children’s librarianship: Queer-positive policies, programs, and practices. Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited. 

Spiering, J. & Lechtenberg, K. (2020) Conceptual curation for school librarians: Toward a more critical and collaborative approach. School Libraries Worldwide.  

Spiering, J. & Kedley, K. (2019) “You can’t go back to holding hands”: Reading Judy Blume’s Forever in the #MeToo era. Study and Scrutiny, 3(2). 


Secretary, AASL Educators for School Librarians Section (ESLS) (2021-2023)

Board Member and USC Liason, South Carolina Association of School Librarians Board of Directors (2019-2022)

Member, AASL Professional Learning Committee (2020-2021)

Member, AASL Task Force for Position Statement on Labeling (2020-2021)

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Representative, International

Federation of Library Association’s (IFLA) Section on Literacy and Reading (2019-2023)

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.