Dorr named 2010 ALSC Bechtel Fellowship winner

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NEWS
For Immediate Release,
February 10, 2010

Dorr named 2010 ALSC Bechtel Fellowship winner

CHICAGO—The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has awarded the 2010 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship to library media specialist Christina H. Dorr, Ph.D., from Columbus, Ohio.

The fellowship is designed to allow a qualified children’s librarian to spend a month or more reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, 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.

While at the Baldwin Library, Dorr will pursue her study, “Searching for Heroes.”  In this study of biographical works, Dorr will examine the formats and styles of biographies as well as the process of writing a biography, such as how biographers handle their subjects.  Being able to use the historical range of books that the Baldwin Library contains will assist Dorr in making comparisons and noting differences in biographies over time.

“I am now in my 20th year as a school library media specialist, and in that capacity, one of my foremost privileges is to encourage children to be passionate, lifelong readers,” said Dorr.  “At every opportunity I introduce my enthusiasm for, and share biographies with, my students both through curricular connections in classes and in informal capacities in the media center.  This fellowship will expand my understanding of the history of biographies for children; help me to make connections more readily for children about the individuals discussed in biographies and how biographers’ treatment of those individuals has changed over time; and aid in the collection development of my biography section at my library.”

ALSC, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children.  With a network of more than 4,200 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 Web site at www.ala.org/alsc.

Members of the 2010 ALSC Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee include: Mary Beth Dunhouse, Mass.; Nancy J. Johnson, Ph.D., Western Washington University; Carol A. Doll, Old Dominican University, Darden College of Education, Va.; Christine A. Jenkins, University of Illinois; Marianne Marten, Rutgers University School of Communications and Information, N.J.; Mary Lois Nicholls, N.Y.; Ellen Hunter Ruffin, University of Southern Mississippi; Dorothy Stoltz, Carroll County Public Library, Md.; Janet Raelene Weber, Tigard (Ore.) Public Library; and Amanda J. Williams, Austin (Texas) Public Library.