2014 Bechtel Fellowship Winner

CHICAGO — The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee have awarded the 2014 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship to Natalie Ziarnik.

The Bechtel Fellowship is designed to allow qualified children’s librarians to spend a total of four weeks or more reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, a part of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the 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 and provides a stipend of $4,000.

Natalie Ziarnik is the head of the Children’s Department at the Ela Area Public Library District in Lake Zurich, Ill. She will conduct comparative studies of books published for children featuring science related themes, noting how texts change as new information becomes available and how accuracy and thoroughness are balanced with appeal to readers.

“The committee was impressed with Ms. Ziarnik’s timely topic and the thoughtfulness put in to the research methods and questions she will be examining, as well as her plans for sharing her research with school and public libraries, ” said Jeanne Lamb, chair of the Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee. 

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC’s website at www.ala.org/alsc.

The 2014 ALSC Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee includes: Jeanne Lamb, chair, New York Public Library; Connie J. Champlin, Children’s Literature consultant, Cape Cod, Mass. ; Alpha Selene DeLap, St. Thomas School, Medina, Wash.; Mary Beth Dunhouse, Children’s Literature consultant, Boston; Jennifer Estepp, Queens (N.Y.) Library; Elisa Gall, Latin School of Chicago; Lucinda Whitehurst, St. Christopher’s Lower School, Richmond, Va.; Krissy Wick, Madison (Wis.) Public Library.

For a list of past winners and projects, please click here.