The research profile of the Center for Children’s and Young-Adult Media Research (ALEKI) comprises the fundamental analysis of children's and young-adult media. Key aspects are the history of children’s and young-adult literature, contemporary children’s and young-adult fiction, visual forms of literature (picture books and comic strips), Jewish children's and young-adult literature, as well as the didactics of children's literature and children's media.
The Center forms an organizational unit within the Institute for German Language and Literature II. Its staff members offer lectures and seminars for students who are enrolled in teaching degree programs (primary and secondary education). Of course, the main focus of these classes is children's and young-adult media.
The Center for Children’s and Young-Adult Media Research houses a comprehensive specialist library which contains historical and modern children’s books, a collection of video and DVD films, as well as a collection of photographs (illustrations, portraits of authors). The Center also operates the Schatzbehalter, collaborating with the museum of picture books Burg Wissem.
Public attention is especially drawn by the Les(e)bar – an online magazine which originates from advanced seminars on literary criticism. The Les(e)bar focuses on new publications introduced to the market of children's and young-adult books. Updated lists of recommendations and a large number of book reviews are offered on the magazine's website. LesensWERT, a project for the literary promotion of gifted children, is connected to the Les(e)bar.
The Center for Reading Research and Children’s and Young-Adult Literature, as the ALEKI was originally called, was set up in 1985. It emerged from a research project on the history of German children’s literature initiated by Professor Theodor Brüggemann († 2006) in the 1970s. After his retirement, the Center was directed by Professor Dr. Bettina Hurrelmann (1988-2008) and Professor Dr. Gisela Wilkending (1993-2007). From 2008 until 2011, Professor Dr. Otto Brunken was interim director. Today, Professor Dr. Gabriele von Glasenapp, who also holds a professorship for literary studies (children's and young-adult literature), is director of the Center for Children’s and Young-Adult Media Research.
The field of reading and media socialization research, which had been one of the focal points of the Center until 2008, has been outsourced to the department of Professor Dr. Christine Garbe (IDSL II).