2019 Bechtel Fellowship Winners

Beth McIntyre and Caroline Ward receive 2019 Bechtel Fellowships

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee have awarded the 2019 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship to Beth McIntyre and Caroline Ward.

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.

Beth McIntyre is a teen services librarian at the Madison (WI) Public Library. The title of her project is “Fictional Disgust, Real Empathy: otherness and Empathy in Representations of Poverty in Children’s Literature 1820-2019.” The committee was impressed with her inclusion of poverty as connected to empathy in teen literature past and present.

Caroline Ward is a youth literature specialist and public library consultant. The title of her project is “From the New England Primer to The Cat in the Hat: An Examination of the Books Used to Help Children Learn to Read From 1800 Through 1950.” The committee was impressed with her connections between early readers of the past to those for contemporary readers.

“The committee was impressed by the timelessness as well as the timeliness of both of the topics. We are excited to see the fruits of the research from McIntyre and Ward as they are sure to discover some interesting and important aspects in their individual research areas using the Baldwin collection.” said Chair Allison G. Kaplan.

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 2019 ALSC Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee includes: Dr. Allison G. Kaplan, chair, Information School, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Stephanie Bange, Children's Literature Consultant, Dayton, OH; Tony A. Carmack, Placer County (CA) Library; Bina Williams, Bridgeport (Connecticut) Public Library; Maria Dietrich, Youth Services Manager, Oak Creek (Wisconsin) Public Library; Susan Kusel, Temple Rodef Shalom Library, VA;  Joyce R. Laiosa; Early Literacy Consultant, Instructor at the University @ Albany (SUNY), Slingerlands, NY; Jennifer Ralston, Materials Management Administrator, Harford County Public Library, Belcamp, Maryland.

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