SILS master’s student Casey Rawson is the recipient of the fall semester's Elfreda Chatman Fund Award, which is given to a master’s student who demonstrates creativity and vision in his or her research proposal. The proposals are submitted each semester as part of the SILS Research Methods course (INLS 780). The best paper proposal is then selected by a faculty committee with a representative from the SILS Alumni Association. The committee weighs each proposal based on originality, clarity, validity of methodology, and significance to the field.
Rawson's proposal is concerned with better understanding how public librarians can reappraise their collection development policies so they ultimately select the materials their patrons want. Rawson is particularly interested in collection development policies related to young-adult fiction. In her proposal, she outlines her plan to investigate whether or not award-winning young adult fiction is more diverse in terms of both protagonists and authors than teen-selected "Top Ten" titles or best-selling young adult fiction. As a recipient of this fall's award, Rawson will receive $150 to help fund her collection development research.
"I couldn't be more grateful for this unexpected honor," said Rawson. "My proposal topic is something I am personally passionate about, and I am excited that the committee also sees value in it."
The Elfreda Chatman Award was created by the SILS Alumni Association in 2003 to honor Dr. Elfreda Chatman's interest in original research. Chatman, who joined the SILS faculty in 1983, earned her Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley. Her dissertation, "The Diffusion of Information: A Study of the Working Poor," earned the American Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) Best Dissertation Award in 1984.
To learn more about the award, you can visit the "Awards and Scholarships" portion of the SILS Web site: http://sils.unc.edu/alumni/awards-scholarships