Baker & Taylor Scholarships enable master’s students to study in London and Prague

February 16, 2016

Bethany Greene and Kimberley Henze, two master’s students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science (SILS), will have the opportunity to study international librarianship in Europe for two weeks in May thanks to the Baker & Taylor Scholarships for SILS summer seminars. The scholarships cover the cost of program registration, academic credit, and housing, and provide a stipend to defray the cost of travel.

Greene is registered for the London seminar, offered by SILS in cooperation with the Department of Information Studies at University College London (UCL). The seminar will feature lectures and presentations at UCL, behind-the-scenes tours of the British Library, National Archives, Imperial War Museum, and Wellcome Library, and day trips to visit the university libraries at both Oxford and Cambridge.

Greene, a Carolina Academic Library Associate in E-Resources and Serials Management at Davis Library, said she was drawn to the London seminar because she hopes to work in the United Kingdom after graduation and wants to strengthen ties between librarians in the U.S. and abroad. Receiving the Baker & Taylor Scholarship is helping her move closer to her goals.

“I am very grateful for this amazing opportunity,” she said. “This scholarship allows me to pursue my dream of working in the U.K. and offers an invaluable opportunity to learn more about international librarianship.”

Henze will travel to Prague for the seminar that SILS administers in partnership with Charles University. She and other participants will observe firsthand how the democratization of the Czech Republic, formerly a communist state, has affected the accessibility of information in both print and electronic forms. In addition to visiting libraries and museums in Prague, the group will also make trips to visit two UNESCO World Heritage sites, Kroměříž and Český Krumlov.

Henze, a Research and Design Graduate Assistant at the R.B. House Undergraduate Library and Learning from Artists' Archives Fellow, is pursuing a dual degree in information science and art history. She said she wanted to be part of the Prague seminar because “Czech information institutions represent huge repositories of cultural knowledge, not only within their collections, but also in their cumulative wisdom of seeing those collections through centuries of social and political transitions.”

Henze said the Baker & Taylor Scholarship is helping to make a long-held dream a reality. “I had always wanted to study abroad in undergrad, but because of financial constraints, I was never able to make it happen,” she said. “This scholarship enables me to cultivate that global perspective, and I'm extremely grateful to Baker & Taylor for giving students like myself this amazing opportunity.”

Photos from left: Bethany Greene and Kimberley Henze.

The SILS summer seminar to London is full, but you can still register for Prague. The seminar is open to any student or professional interested in international librarianship. Students enrolled in a library science program can take the seminar for three (3) hours of graduate credit. Registration deadline is March 15.