Students selected for international travel sponsored by Baker & Taylor

April 10, 2011

Thanks to a gift from leading worldwide book distributor Baker & Taylor, two students at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will have the opportunity to study in Europe this summer.

Elizabeth Davidson and Jacqueline Chapman are the recipients of the scholarships, which include funding to attend the School's two-week summer seminars, one to Prague and one to London.

Each of the scholarships, valued at $4850, cover the registration costs, fees and a stipend that may be used to defray travel costs of airfare and in-country travel for each student. Baker & Taylor originally established a scholarship to England in 2000, and recently reinvested in SILS' international program by making a $40,000 gift commitment over three years (2011-2013).  

In addition to the scholarships, both Davidson and Chapman have been invited to visit the Baker & Taylor headquarters located in Charlotte, N.C. and meet with George Coe, president of the international organization. 

"We are extremely grateful to Baker & Taylor for these scholarships that allow our students this once in a lifetime opportunity," said Dr. Gary Marchionini, SILS dean and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor. "Both Jacqueline and Elizabeth are interested in learning more about international librarianship and information science, and both have goals of pursuing positions that deal with an international focus. With the world getting smaller, the experience they gain through the seminars could lead to a career path with an emphasis on global information."

London will be the destination of Chapman who will attend the summer seminar, "British Libraries and Librarianship: Past, Present and Future." The seminar is hosted jointly by SILS and the Department of Information Studies, University College London. It will take place in Bloomsbury, the academic and literary heart of London and include tours of the British Library, the National Archive, the Imperial War Museum (including its library) and the Wellcome Library (including the History of Medicine Collection). Visits will also be made to other types of libraries including public libraries and a newspaper digitization project at the National Newspaper Library.

"I am absolutely thrilled to have been chosen for the Baker & Taylor Scholarship to the SILS London Seminar," said Chapman. "As a dual citizen of the U.S. and the U.K., this seminar represents a particularly fitting professional and academic experience for me. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of European and British perspectives on archives, libraries and information science, in the company of professionals and students from all over the United States and the British Isles."

Davidson will travel to Prague where she will participate in the "Libraries and Librarianship in the Czech Republic" summer seminar. SILS and Prague's Charles University have offered library students and professionals a chance to journey to the heart of the Czech Republic through this tour since 2002. Participants of the program enjoy lectures and tours related to librarianship in this culturally and academically rich country that deals with a history of monarchy, empire, Communism and the meeting of east and west. The series of presentations is supplemented by a walking tour of the Old Town, Charles Bridge and Wenceslas Square; a bus tour of historic Prague, including Mala Strana, Nove Mesto, Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral and the Jewish Quarter; visits to the Klementinum (National Library), the town of Kromeriz to see a castle library, the Parliament Library and a tour of Strahov Monastery and its libraries.

"I can't wait to have the opportunity to meet and connect with other students and library professionals, and to get to know better the SILSters who are also going," said Davidson. "I'm very grateful to have the support from Baker & Taylor; and I am looking forward to making the most of the experience. I'm absolutely thrilled about traveling to Prague," she added.

SILS students were asked to submit applications for consideration of the scholarships in January, 2011. A committee made up of Drs. Stephanie Haas, professor; Barbara Moran, Louis Round Wilson Distinguished Professor and director of the SILS international programs; and Barbara Wildemuth, associate dean for Academic Programs and professor reviewed the applications without seeing the names of those submitted. The selections were based on the students' work experience, previous courses that helped prepare them and an essay explaining their desire to attend the seminars.

The summer seminar to London will take place from May 15th to the 28th and will be led by Dr. Haas. The summer seminar to Prague is scheduled for May 22nd  to June 4th and will be led by Dr. Wildemuth. 

For more information about the international programs at SILS, please visit the Web site at: