Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship

The Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship provides a $4,000 grant to a qualified children’s librarian to spend a total of four weeks or more reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of the George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville.  The Baldwin Library contains a special collection of 85,000 volumes of children’s literature published mostly before 1950.  The fellowship is endowed in memory of Louise Seaman Bechtel and Ruth M. Baldwin.

Current Bechtel Winner
Past Bechtel Winners


  • Each application will be judged on the following:
    • The description of the topic of study for the fellowship period.
    • The applicants demonstration of ongoing commitment to motivating children to read.
    • The applicants must be prepared to spend a total of four weeks in Gainesville.  The time spent does not have to be successive weeks.  They can be broken up into two-week increments.


  • Applicants must:
    • Be personal members of ALSC, as well as ALA; organizational members are not eligible
    • Currently be working in direct service to children, or retired members who complete their careers in direct service to children, for a minimum of eight years
    • Have a graduate degree from an ALA-accredited program
    • Be willing to write a report about his/her study; the report will be submitted to the ALSC Office, for distribution to the Bechtel Committee and for possible inclusion in Children and Libraries, and to the Director of the Smathers Libraries and the Director of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature and Media at the University of Florida
    • If selected, Fellowship winners would agree to present a minimum of three public programs (i.e.exhibits, lectures, workshops, etc.) based on their research project to librarians/teachers, children, or the general public

How to apply

The ALSC Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship committee is now accepting applications for the 2015 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship. Applications are due October 1, 2014.

Announcement of winners

Winners will be announced via a press release on the ALSC website in November.

Committee resources

Bechtel Fellowship manual (Word)
Bechtel Fellowship manual (PDF)