ALSC Bechtel Fellowship winner announced

Contact: Meredith Parets

For Immediate Release
July 2002

ALSC Bechtel Fellowship winner announced

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) a division of the American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce that Leslie Barban has been selected as the 2002 recipient of the Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship.

Endowed in memory of Louise Seaman Bechtel and Ruth M. Baldwin, the fellowship provides a stipend of $4,000 to allow qualified children's librarians to spend a month or more reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The Baldwin Library contains a special collection of 85,000 volumes of children's literature published mostly before 1950.

Barban's research proposal is twofold: she will first study early 20th century British children's literature, and then incorporate her research into "Let's Rap About It," a summer book group she coordinates at the Richland Public Library.

"As children await the next Harry Potter with bated breath, I recommend not only other fantasy to them, but work by British authors they otherwise may not find," she says. "Children are fascinated by children from other places and other times. My reading [at the Baldwin Library] would enlighten me via the literature, and would enable me to share, through description, the types of books those children must have read."

Since 1986, Barban has been children's room manager of the Richland County (S. C.) Public Library. She teaches continuing education classes in children's librarianship at the University of South Carolina's College of Library and Information Science, and is a reviewer for School Library Journal.

Members of the 2002 Bechtel Fellowship Selection Committee were: Kathy East, chair, Wood County (Ohio) District Public Library; Margery S. Cuyler, Princeton, N. J. ; Karen Nelson Hoyle, Walter Library, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; and Mary Ann Paulin, Superiorland (Mich.) Preview Center.

More information about the Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship and a downloadable an application is available  online.