CHICAGO – The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee have awarded the 2016 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship to Bridgid Mangan and Wendy Stephens.
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 130,000 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.
Bridgid Mangan is a children’s librarian at the Petworth Neighborhood Library, DC Public Library in Washington, D.C. She will study the impact of Arthur Rackham’s illustrations on children’s literature and his influence on illustrators Tony DiTerlizzi, Brian Froud and Alan Lee. Ms. Mangan said “I’m thrilled with this opportunity to share the wondrous world of Arthur Rackham with today’s children.”
Wendy Stephens is an assistant professor in the Educational Resources Department, Jacksonville State University (Alabama). She will examine themes in children’s books published in the United States during World War II such as patriotism and international conflict. She said, “Young people learning about the scope and scale of World War II invariably have questions about American involvement. I hope that by studying the children’s literature of the period, I will be able to develop a context for understanding how contemporary perceptions about the conflict unfolded stateside.”
“The Committee thought both topics had strengths reflected in the research questions and methods for exploration in the Baldwin Collection. The connections to contemporary children’s literature will resonate in the public programs created by these two Fellows,” said Chair Mary Beth Dunhouse.
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 2016 ALSC Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee includes Mary Beth Dunhouse, Chair, Boston; Dr. Ramona Camponegro, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan; Laurina Cashin, We Love Children’s Books, Annapolis, Maryland; Constance J. Champlin, Centerville, Massachusetts; Dr. Alpha Selene DeLap, St. Thomas School, Medina, Washington; Carol Arlene Edwards, Denver; Angela Frederick, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Madison, Tennessee; Jeanne C. Lamb, New York Public Library, Office of Children’s Services, New York; Jenny Schwartzberg, Newberry Library, Chicago.