Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Applications for the 2020 Bechtel Fellowship Are Now Open

Are you feeling a little burned-out and is it time for a “sabbatical” to “recharge your batteries” and gain a new perspective at work? Or, do you have a curious desire to deepen your knowledge about historical children’s literature? If either is the case, you should consider applying for the Bechtel Fellowship…

The Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship provides a grant up to $4,000 to a qualified children’s librarian to spend up to four weeks reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature of the George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville. The Baldwin Library contains a special collection of 130,000 volumes of children’s literature published mostly before 1950. The fellowship is endowed in memory of Louise Seaman Bechtel and Ruth M. Baldwin.

The guidelines for the grant and link to apply are found here: Remember, applicants must be members of ALSC. Applications and supporting materials are due by October 15, 2019.

Current Committee Member Joyce Laiosa describes her Bechtel experience in this way: “The Bechtel Fellowship was a highlight of my career! I was amazed at the range of material, the dedication of the staff with their expert guidance, and the beauty of the locale. I studied illustrated alphabet books. Serving young people in a public library, I definitely learned to evaluate alphabet books for use of vocabulary and the quality of the illustrations. One of my outside highlights was visiting the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings homestead near Gainesville.”

For a peek at past winning Bechtel Fellowship topics, click here:

For more information about the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature’s Collection, click on the first link above or contact Suzan Alteri, Curator: For other questions about the Fellowship and application process, feel free to reach out to me at

We look forward to reading your application. Good luck!


Stephanie Bange
Chair, Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies:  VII.Professionalism and Professional Development.

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