Contacts:   Larra Clark/Macey Morales
                                                                     ALA Media Relations
                                                                                                       312-280-5043/ 4393


For Immediate Release
January 31, 2006       


ALA mourns loss of civil rights pioneer Coretta Scott King


CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) wishes to express its deepest condolences to the family of civil rights activist Coretta Scott King.


“The Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of the American Library Association was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Mrs. King,” said Fran Ware, chair, Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee.   “For 36 years, she was an inspiration and positive influence on our committee. Her dedication to the Dream of her beloved husband Martin and the rights of suppressed people everywhere served as a model for our committee, which works to acknowledge and honor African American authors and illustrators of children’s books.


"Today is both our ‘Day Of Tears’ as we hang our heads low in sorrow, and our ‘Day of Jubilee,’ as we celebrate the legacy of our beloved Mrs. King. May she rest in peace."


Since the award’s inception in 1969, more than 175 titles have been honored with the Coretta Scott King Award. The award honors African American authors and illustrators whose books promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and the realization of the American dream. Educators, librarians and parents across the nation look to Coretta Scott King Award winners for quality literature to share with children.


To learn more about the award and winning titles, please visit