The Bechtel Fellowship is designed to allow qualified children’s librarians to spend up to four weeks reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, part of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida in Gainesville . The Baldwin Library contains a special collection of 120,000 volumes of children’s literature mostly published before 1950. The scholarship is endowed in memory of Louise Seaman Bechtel and Ruth M. Baldwin and provides a stipend of up to $7,500.
Joe Prince is a curriculum and outreach educator at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH. It will continue the historical presentation of grief and loss in children’s books, 1850-1950. The committee was impressed with the speed of research on the presentation of grief and loss and the impact of these texts on children given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting losses in communities. across the country and the world.
The committee was impressed with Mr. Prince’s plan to integrate social-emotional learning frameworks into his research and his intention to use his research to inform curriculum in the future. “We are delighted to see the results of Dr. Prince’s research; we are confident that he will be able to apply the insights he gained through his time at the Baldwin Collection to inform how future teachers and school librarians present and share titles with children dealing with bereavement and to the loss,” President Rachel Fryd said.
“I look forward to working with Mr. Prince on this important project. The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature contains hundreds of stories that explore loss in different ways, at different points in time, and it will be fascinating to see how Mr. Prince’s research influences the way we share stories about grieving with contemporary children,” Ramona said. Caponegro, curator, Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature.
The ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to supporting and improving library services for children. With a network of approximately 4,000 child and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and education teachers, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about the ALSC, visit the ALSC website at www.ala.org/alsc.
The ALSC Annual Recognition and Scholarship Committee includes: Brooke Newberry, co-chair, La Crosse Public Library (Wisconsin); Rachel Fryd, co-chair, Free Library of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania); Lourdes Montes Public Library, Charleston County, South Carolina; Elizabeth Burns, State Library of New Jersey; Kathleen Campana, Kent State University (Ohio); Robin Howe, King County Library System (Washington); Mary Schreiber, Cuyahoga Public Library (Ohio); Elizabeth Saxton, Content Specialist – Overdrive, Cleveland, Ohio.