Gebel receives 2024 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship

For Immediate Release
Tue, 11/28/2023


Ana Cackley

Awards Coordinator

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

CHICAGO - The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Bechtel Fellowship Committee have awarded the 2024 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship to Doris Gebel.

The Bechtel Fellowship is designed to allow qualified children’s librarians to spend up to four weeks 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 $7,500.

Doris Gebel is a retired children's librarian and the former Head of Youth Services at the Northport-Eastport Public Library (NY). She will pursue the topic of international literature to emphasize the global impact of the work of The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi and the influence of that work on subsequent youth literature.

“Gebel's proposed research roots itself in an exploration of Pinocchio's Italian origins, but also seeks to examine its unifying global impact, a timely exploration as perceptions of children's literature become increasingly divisive,” said Member Rebecca Price-Donahue.

“The Professional Recognition and Scholarships Committee were impressed by the plan for public programs that will take the story of Pinocchio beyond the familiar Disney artwork and reach not only children, but also librarians and educators, both nationally and internationally,” said Co-Chair Mary Schreiber.

“The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature has dozens of editions of The Adventures of Pinocchio, as well as adaptations, and it will be exciting to see how Gebel situates the history of this story within the larger stories of global and translated children’s literature,” said Ramona Caponegro, Curator of the Baldwin Library.

The 2024 ALSC Professional Recognition and Scholarships Committee includes: Elizabeth A. Burns, Co-Chair, New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center, Trenton, New Jersey; Mary Schreiber, Co-Chair, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, Ohio; Susan Dunn, Broomfield Library, Colorado; Jaclyn C. Fulwood, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana; Jacqueline J. Partch, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Oregon; Maria Xochitl Peterson, Chicago Public Library (retired); Rebecca Price-Donahue, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Middleburg Heights, Ohio; Joe Prince, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg, Virginia.

About the Association for Library Service to Children

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