Pete Ramsey, a first-year Master’s of library science student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS), has been chosen to receive the Baker & Taylor Scholarship.
The scholarship covers the registration costs for one SILS student per year attending the SILS/Oxford Bodleian Summer Seminar in Oxford, England. Baker & Taylor, a leading worldwide distributor of books, video, music and games, has funded the scholarship since 1998.
Ramsey said winning the scholarship this year was “a dream come true.”
“I was working at the Davis Library reference desk when I got an e-mail that the winner had been selected and there were letters in the applicants’ mail folders to let them know,” Ramsey said. “I was sure I hadn’t won and I would have to scrounge around for funds and possibly come up with summer plan B. I had to wait for the end of my shift and then I almost didn't go over to check. At the last minute I decided to go. I can remember getting very, very, very excited when I opened the envelope.”
Ramsey’s excitement turned out to be justified when he found a letter in the envelope telling him that he had been selected for the scholarship, which covers the costs of housing, food and instruction for the two-week international seminar. Ramsey said he might not have been able to attend the seminar if he had not received the scholarship.
Now that he can attend, Ramsey said he is eager to use the seminar to explore his interest in international libraries.
“Having grown up primarily in Latin America, I'm extremely interested in cultures and international work,” Ramsey said. “More recently, I've been examining the possibility of applying this interest to cross-border work in libraries and general academia. A major part of my interest in this seminar is to investigate the possibility of working overseas or in an internationally-cooperative library environment. I’m hoping this seminar will provide insights and networking connections to make that a possibility.”
The Oxford Bodleian Seminar is well-suited to help Ramsey explore these interests. First offered in 1992, the seminar gives attendees the chance to explore the history of librarianship through presentations and tours of sites like Oxford’s Bodleian Library, Oxford University Press and the British Library. The seminar is open to anyone interested, especially library students and professionals.
Ramsey said he is grateful to Baker & Taylor for giving him the chance to attend the seminar this year and that he looks forward to networking with the diverse crowd of attendees during the two weeks they are in England.
His time abroad won’t be all learning and networking, though, Ramsey said; his wife plans to join him at the end of the seminar for a few days of sightseeing.