Valley librarian will use award to study in Florida

Published on January 23, 2017

Librarian Angela Reynolds is looking forward to a month's study of a venerable fairy tale this spring due to an award she just won.

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BRIDGETOWN NS – Librarian Angela Reynolds can’t wait to get her hands on some old books – really old books.

That’s all because the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, and the Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship Committee have awarded the 2017 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship to Reynolds.

Her plan is to spend a month this spring exploring venerable texts about Little Red Riding Hood. Reynolds is the Community Engagement Coordinator at Annapolis Valley Regional Library (AVRL), but her background is as a children’s librarian.

She will explore the many different variations published about Little Red Riding Hood, and how the tale has been presented to an audience of children in different time periods.

“I have had this idea for a while,” Reynolds said, “and this just felt like the right year to apply.

I'm pretty excited - for a whole month, my job will be to read. That sounds fairly idyllic to me, though I know it will be hard work, but it will be reading.”

She’s already “briefly looked online at the catalogue of the collection I will be studying, and they have books from the 1700s.”

Reynolds will share her findings with Nova Scotia librarians on three occasions. She has plans to use her research to craft the tale of Little Red Riding Hood into a felt story, and possibly a puppet show to share with children in the Valley.

AVRL CEO Ann-Marie Mathieu says, “We are extremely proud that one of our librarians has won this award. Angela has a passion for children’s literature, as many people in our community know. She will be sharing her research with our patrons and with the Nova Scotia library community.” 

The Bechtel Fellowship is designed to allow qualified children’s librarians to spend a total of four weeks or more reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, a part of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

The Baldwin Library contains a special collection of 85,000 volumes of children’s literature published mostly before 1950. The fellowship is endowed in memory of Louise Seaman Bechtel and Ruth M. Baldwin and provides a stipend for the period of study.