ALSC Bechtel Felllowship Winner Announced

Contact: Laura M. Schulte-Cooper

Program Officer

(312) 280-2165

For Immediate Release

June 3, 2005

ALSC Bechtel Fellowship winner announced

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is pleased to announce that children's librarian Sharon Deeds has been selected as the 2005 recipient of the Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship.

The Bechtel Fellowship is designed to allow qualified children's librarians 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, which 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, which must be used by the end of the calendar year 2006.

Sharon Deeds, Youth Services Coordinator for the DeKalb County (Ga.) Public Library System, will examine Mother Goose nursery rhymes during her time at the Baldwin Library. Her topic, “Mother Goose: An Historical and Social Perspective,” will cover the history and importance of the nursery rhyme and its implications on emergent literacy and beyond.

“I plan to investigate the history of Mother Goose and nursery rhymes and how this literature was perceived and how it reflected society in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,” said Deeds. “I plan to compare the nineteenth century and early twentieth century versions, as more Mother Goose books were published, and discuss their impact on children and learning. From the twentieth century to the present, I will address the changing face of Mother Goose and why diversity in setting and character is important.”

Members of the 2005 Bechtel Fellowship Selection Committee were: Debra S. Gold, chair, Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library; Denise Agosto, Drexel University, Philadelphia; Sana P. Daliva, Kahului Public Library, Hawaii; Kathy East, Wood County Public Library, Bowling Green, Ohio; and Nancy Gifford, Schenectady County Public Library, Scotia, N.Y.

For more information regarding the Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship please visit

Information regarding the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature can be found at