Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant recipient named

Contact: Mary Jo Lynch, ORS Director


For Immediate Release

June 13, 2003

Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant recipient named

Lynne McKechnie, associate professor in the faculty of information and media studies and Pamela J. McKenzie, assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario are winners of the 2003 American Library Association (ALA) Carroll Preston Baber Research Grant.

The $3,000 grant supports innovative research that could lead to an improvement in library services to any specific group of people.
The award was donated by Eric R. Baber, Newton, Kan., in honor of his father, who was library director at Kansas State Teachers College (now Emporia State University) for 27 years.
Baber died in January 1991, leaving ALA an endowment to support the award in perpetuity.

The 2003 grant will fund a project entitled “The Young Child/Caregiver Storytime Program as Information Ground.”
This study will find out what actually happens when young children, caregivers and librarians meet to share stories by addressing the following three research questions:

What kinds of library-related learning opportunities, if any, arise for very young children during library storytime programs?

What kinds of information seeking, giving and exchange happen for caregivers of very young children in the context of library storytime programs?

What work is done by librarians leading these programs and how does this work contribute to meeting the information needs of young children and caregivers who participate in storytime programs?

“This project has great potential to improve library service to children and their caregivers,” said Baber Grant Jury Chair Charles Harmon. “Story hours have always been a popular library service, but there has been no study of this service as a part of the development of literacy and information skills.
This project will begin to fill that gap and should enable children’s librarians to be more effective.”

Guidelines for the Baber Grant, including a list of previous winners, may be found