The San Francisco Botanical Garden Society has announced an essay competition in memory of Barbara M. Pitschel, head librarian of the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture at the San Francisco Botanical Garden and a 1987 alumna of the UC Berkeley School of Library and Information Studies. Barbara died on August 3, 2010, two weeks after being diagnosed with pneumonia and five days after being diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer.
In addition to her 30-year tenure at the Helen Crocker Russell Library, Barbara also served as president of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) and on its board of directors, and was a popular conference speaker. She led CBHL's publications committee and served for many years as the west coast editor of CBHL's newsletter.
Barbara was a member of the Special Libraries Association, including their Natural History Caucus, a member of the Yerba Buena chapter of the California Native Plant Society, and a charter member of the Society for Ecological Restoration. She also led the Bernal Hilltop Native Grassland Restoration Project. Barbara received the 2006 Charles Robert Long Award of Merit on May 18 from the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries, and she and her husband Roland received the Trust for Public Land Award for 30 years of volunteer park stewardship.
The Pitchel Prize in Excellence in Environmental Writing is an essay contest open to all San Francisco high school students. Entries are due by March 31, 2011. For more information, see www.pitschelprize.org.