ALSC announces Bound to Stay Bound Books and Melcher Scholarship winners

Contact: Meredith Paret, ALSC Program Coordinator


For Immediate Release

August 25, 2003

ALSC announces Bound to Stay Bound Books and Melcher Scholarship winners

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced the 2003 recipients of the Frederic G. Melcher and Bound to Stay Bound Books Scholarships.

The scholarships are awarded annually to students who plan to enter ALA-accredited programs, obtain a master’s degree in library science and specialize in library service to children.
Applicants must be United States or Canadian citizens.
Recipients are expected to become members of ALA and are required to accept a position in the field of library service to children for at least one year following graduation.

Barbara Heiderscheidt of New London, Pa., and Melissa Okerblom of Budd Lake, N.J., are the recipients of the Melcher Scholarship.
Each winner receives $6,000 from ALSC, made possible by contributions received in memory of Frederic G. Melcher.

Libby Fry of York Haven, Pa., Alison Kelly of Los Angeles, Tessa Michaelson of Madison, Wis., and Diana Ricciardone of Southington, Conn., are the Bound to Stay Bound Books Scholarship winners.
Each winner receives $6,000, made possible through a generous contribution from Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc., of Jacksonville, Ill.

Heiderscheidt continues to work with the underserved population in Chester County, Pa.
She founded a family literacy coalition that delivers programs at the library to Spanish speaking families.
Heiderscheidt will attend Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

Okerblom’s dual goals are to become a children’s librarian, as well as a children’s author.
She looks forward to planning children’s programs in the library as a way of encouraging early literacy.
Okerblom will attend Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Fry created and continues to manage the Children’s Exploration Center in her library, a computer laboratory for children ages 14 and under.
As her library continues to expand its children’s services, Fry is committed to improving service to youth.
Fry will attend the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Kelly’s professional experience as a book publishing publicist led her to volunteering at a public library in order to better understand, among other things, children’s reading levels.
Her decision to pursue librarianship quickly followed.
Kelly will work toward improving the literacy and reading skills among children in her community.
Kelly will attend the University of California at Los Angeles.

Michaelson is an elementary education teacher who already facilitates information and learning, and now will do so in a library setting.
She revels in opportunities that foster energetic connections between youth and information use.
Michaelson will attend the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Ricciardone has worked in her community library to promote literacy through outreach programs in schools and other community organizations.
Ricciardone plans to develop innovative library science and instructional strategies to better support literacy and learning.
Ricciardone will attend Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.

Members of the scholarship committee were very impressed with the caliber of applicants.

“Each and every recipient is quite excited to receive the scholarship and to be embarking on a career in children’s librarianship,” Committee Chair Grace Shanahan said.

In addition to Shanahan, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, committee members are: Melissa Yurechko, Hartford (Conn.) Public Library; Diane Janoff, Queensborough (N.Y.) Public Library;
Kay Evey, Tukwila Elementary School, Seattle;
and Victoria Smith, McArthur Public Library, Biddeford, Maine.

Applications for the 2004 scholarships will be available on the ALA Web site beginning September 2, 2003, at, or send an e-mail to