Purpose of Collection:

The library collection reflects interdisciplinary nature of the Childhood and Youth Studies program. Carleton University is among the few universities in Ontario offering advanced education in critical childhood and youth studies. Teaching and research in the field of Child Studies draws on many disciplines and methodologies and brings a critical lens to the lived experiences of children and youth in historical and contemporary national and global contexts.

For concrete examples of our collections in action, please visit our Childhood and Youth Studies Subject Guide.

Academic Departments & Programs Supported:

  • Undergraduate Programs
  • Interdisciplinary/Collaborative/Specialized Programs
    • Areas of cooperation include Indigenous Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Disability Studies, History, Sociology, and Anthropology.

Themes/Subject Coverage

Select material of an acceptable academic/scholarly or professional standard from academic/university presses, or those publications from research institutions, associations, organizations, federal and provincial governments, agencies and intergovernmental international organizations from the fields listed below. In addition, select materials which originate from Indigenous communities and include oral histories as well as local documents detailing contemporary concerns.

1. Child activism and rights; care services and welfare; plus social policies related to child care, the family, and women; also include education,child rights, and reconciliation. Material for these subjects should be from a historical, theoretical, or empirical perspective. Also includes cross-cultural comparisons.

2. Critical perspectives on childhood and youth including: development psychology: critical perspectives of psychology: theoretical and empirical aspects of interrelationships among the physical, mental, social, cultural, and emotional aspects of child development and well being incorporating roles of parents, teachers, siblings, peers, and child care practices.

3.Children’s literature, particularly picture books, graphic novels, children’s and young adult fiction, and non-fiction books that address issues of identity, agency, and children’s rights.

4. Cultural studies of childhood, including work on children’s and youth’s cultural artifacts, children’s media and literature, myths and discourses around the notion of childhood and youth in relation to intersectional identities such as socioeconomic status, race, gender, sexuality, migration status, ability, and disability.

5. Indigenous ways of knowing and being, childhood and youth in indigenous context, working with and in communities.

6. Research methods: interdisciplinary, innovative, emerging approaches to knowledge production in relation to the study of childhood and youth, including qualitative research such as ethnographic studies, oral history, and archival research, participatory action research, decolonizing research methodologies, community-engaged research, narrative inquiry, visual research.Interdisciplinary approaches to childhood in Canada including constructions and deconstructions of society, social policy, family and education, histories of childhood and youth in Canadian contexts

Selection Guidelines


Primarily current material is collected with earlier material acquired to fill in a series gap, replace an important work that is missing or damaged, or in response to faculty and student recommendations.


Collect materials from all Geographic areas with focus on Canada.


English-language works will be the primary focus of the collection. Other languages collected upon faculty request.


Books (including children’s literature), journals, reprints, dissertations/theses, maps, and government documents, in print, online, digital, visual and microform formats.


Popular how-to material, K to 12 material related to the practice of teaching.

Additional Collection Information

Related Subject Profiles

Content last reviewed: