Anne Mlod, JoAnna Schofield, and Lisa Von Drasek receive 2018 Bechtel Fellowships

For Immediate Release
Thu, 03/22/2018


Courtney Jones

Awards Coordinator

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

American Library Association

(312) 280-2163

CHICAGO -- The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee have awarded the 2018 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship to Anne Mlod, JoAnna Schofield, and Lisa Von Drasek.


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 120,000 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.


Anne Mlod is the school librarian at the Genesee Elementary School in Auburn, New York. In her research, she will explore how slavery has been represented in children’s fiction and non-fiction books over time. JoAnna Schofield is branch services librarian for Cuyahoga County Public Library in Warrensville Heights, Ohio. Schofield will examine how typography has contributed to the readability and legibility of historic picture books and early readers. Lisa Von Drasek is curator and associate librarian at the Children’s Literature Research Collections, University of Minnesota Libraries. She will research how ABC books, primers and tracts have influenced contemporary concept book design and content.


This is the first time the selection committee has awarded the fellowship to three individuals within the same year. “The committee was impressed by the proposals of all three fellows. Each fellow has a very different topic rooted in the history of children’s literature while being also relevant to children today and how this history continues to impact children’s book publishing,” said Chair Rachel G. Payne.


“I am honored to be selected for a Bechtel Fellowship and I am very excited about the opportunity to spend time exploring the collection of the Baldwin Library and using my research to develop ways to bring discussions about slavery into the classroom,” Mlod said.


Being awarded the Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship is truly one of the greatest honors of my professional career. I look forward to researching typography in early readers at the Baldwin Library and contributing to this important field of study. Most importantly, I look forward to continuing in the footsteps of previous Bechtel Fellows and producing distinguished research using one of the best children’s literature libraries in the nation,” Schofield said.


“I am honored to receive the Bechtel Fellowship as it gives me a unique opportunity to focus on my research on late 1800's children's books. This research will inform a digital exhibit of the history of Children's Literature building on the recently launched Children's Book Art Techniques and Media site,” Von Drasek said.


“I’m thrilled with the diversity of proposals this year. The importance of studying how the history of children’s literature informs our current climate is so important. All three librarians will bring fresh insights to both their research and their work,” said Suzan Alteri, curator, Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature.


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


The 2018 ALSC Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee includes: Rachel G Payne, Chair, Brooklyn (New York) Public Library; Stephanie D. Bange; Tony A. Carmack, Placer County (California) Library; Maria Dietrich; Dr. Allison G. Kaplan, University of Wisconsin Information School; Susan Kusel, Temple Rodef Shalom Library, VA; Dennis J. LeLoup, Avon (Indiana) Intermediate Schools; Robin P. Sofge, Prince William (Virginia) Public Librar; Sylvia G. Tag, Western Washington University.