One of the 2011 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship recipients, Victoria Penny from the First Regional Library in Hernando, Miss., talks about her experiences at the Baldwin Library at the University of Florida:
I truly feel that the Bechtel Fellowship experience changed my outlook in a number of ways. I have an increased awareness of the value of special collections, whether to a department, a university, or a discipline as a whole. Through personal interaction I have gained a much greater appreciation for those who collect, maintain, and nurture these collections.
Having the chance to focus on a specific topic for a month was invigorating. I obtained more insight into research in the field. I have an even stronger desire to study how the historical and cultural milieux impact children’s literature, and vice versa. I am more interested than ever in ecocritical approaches to children’s literature. I want to stay current with writing by scholars in this area. I am seeking to learn more about how language and images in children’s books describe the natural world and how we humans, particularly children, interact with nature.
To apply for the 2012 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship, check out the ALSC Professional Awards page. Applications are due December 1, 2011. For more information, contact the committee chair, Ellen Ruffin at Ellen.Ruffin@usm.edu.