Baker & Taylor scholarships to London and Prague go to two SILS students

April 4, 2012

Sara Suiter and Allyson Smally, graduate students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS), have been selected as winners of the 2012 Baker & Taylor Scholarship for summer seminars in Europe. The awards cover program registration fees, hotel, the fee for academic credit and an $850 stipend. 

Sara SuiterSuiter will travel to London to participate in a seminar titled “British Libraries and Librarianship: Past, Present and Future.”  In addition to attending the seminar in Bloomsbury during her two weeks abroad, she will have the opportunity to visit the university libraries at Oxford and Cambridge. There will also be tours of the British Library, the National Archives, the Imperial War Museum, Wellcome Library and the University College London. Experts in the field of librarianship in Great Britain are scheduled to make presentations, and the weekend will be free for students to tour Europe on their own. On her application for the Baker and Taylor Scholarship, Suiter explained why this seminar is an excellent opportunity for her.

“I am passionate about working towards global access to information,” said Suiter, “and I believe the key is international collaboration among library and information professionals in order to share best practices and promote the library’s changing role in the digital age.”

Suiter feels that the seminar will also serve as an opportunity for professional development. 

“The London seminar will provide an opportunity to continue developing my professional interests in international librarianship through discussion of best practices being implemented in the UK and their applicability to U.S. institutions.”

Smally’s seminar will take place in Prague, the heart of the Czech Republic. This seminar is titled “Libraries and Librarianship in the Czech Republic” and will also take place over the course of two weeks. This seminar is organized in conjunction with Charles University, the oldest university in central Europe.

In addition to attending presentations, participants of the Prague program will enjoy 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 Strahov Monastery and its libraries. Finally, there will be free time allotted for participants to explore the Czech Republic independently. 

“While in Prague, I would be especially excited for the opportunity to learn more about libraries that are literally surrounded by hundreds of years of history, such as those located in castles and monasteries,” said Smally. “I am very interested in how libraries and archives can bring the study of history to people outside the realms of academia, and I think the seminar in Prague would be an excellent opportunity to explore this question.”

The opportunities provided by the programs in London and Prague are made possible to Suiter and Smally through the Baker & Taylor Scholarships.  Baker & Taylor is a leading worldwide distributor of books, video, music and games. 

All participants in the London and Prague programs have the opportunity to receive three hours of graduate credit from SILS. Both programs will take place May 20th-June 2nd, 2012.

SILS offers the summer seminars in London and Prague to practicing library professionals and students from any LIS school. The seminars provide attendees a chance to explore the cultural heritage of two of Europe's most vibrant, historic and culturally rich cities.  Graduate students attending an LIS school can take these seminars for credit.