Students Mary Mellon and Peter Shirts receive Baker & Taylor Scholarships for Summer Seminars

March 6, 2013

Mary Mellon and Peter Shirts, 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 2013 Baker & Taylor Scholarships for summer seminars in Europe.

Shirts will travel to London for his seminar. The two-week program will include lectures and presentations at the University College London (UCL) as well as tours of libraries and cultural heritage institutions in England. There will be day trips to visit the university libraries at both Oxford and Cambridge, and participants will also tour behind the scenes at the British Library, the National Archives, the Imperial War Museum and the Wellcome Library. There will also be free time for seminar participants to visit places of interest in London, Great Britain and Europe. 

“The problems that face libraries are complex and far-reaching,” said Shirts. “Americans alone will not solve them. The London seminar will give me a more global perspective about the past and future of the information profession." 

Mary MellonMellon’s seminar will take place in Prague, in the heart of the Czech Republic. This program is organized in conjunction with Charles University, Central Europe’s oldest university at nearly 700 years old. This seminar will give participants the chance to immerse themselves in the libraries, culture and history of Prague and the Czech  Republic. In addition to attending lectures by library professionals, participants 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 a tour of Strahov Monastery and its libraries. They will also have the opportunity to take an evening cruise on the Vitava River.  

“I am extremely excited about this unique opportunity to observe information practices beyond the boundaries of UNC and the United States,” said Mellon. “Like my fellow SILSters, I love exploring, so I’m especially looking forward to visiting the area’s libraries and historic sites. I would not be able to participate in the program without financial support, so I am extremely grateful to Baker & Taylor for providing funding for this opportunity."

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 19th-June 1st, 2013. 

SILS offers the summer seminars in London and Prague to practicing library professionals, students and others who are interested. 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.