Coretta Scott King Book Awards: 50 Years Strong

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. The co-chairs are thrilled to unveil the festivities that will take place in 2019 and would love if you could celebrate along with us!




2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards which means that we have a lot of celebrating! The Coretta Scott King Book Awards has made a name for itself within the library and book industry and has numerous titles that celebrate the black experience for today's youth. Be sure to watch this space for updates and announcements from our team and we hope that you join us in celebrating an incredible 50 years.

Using the hashtag, #CSK50 on social media, share with us your favorite moments from past Coretta Scott King Book Awards breakfasts, Coretta Scott King Book Award titles that you and your library cherish, or what this award means to you as a library worker, educator, reader, or writer. If you plan on attending ALA Annual 2019 in Washington, D.C., you will then have the opportunity to celebrate with us in person so keep your schedules open!

Video produced by Los Angeles Public Library

Read about the 50 years of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards in this blog post by archivist Cara Bertram.

Virginia Hamilton ReceptionAuthentically Celebrating African American Culture with Coretta Scott King Nonfiction BooksCSK Anniversary Gala
CSK BreakfastRecognizing Children’s and Young Adult Books and Demonstrating an Appreciation of African American Culture and Universal Human Values 50 Years Strong - A CSK Celebration and Social

50th Anniversary Gala


A special invite-only ticketed event will serve to commemorate the power of African American children’s literature, as expressed through the enduring legacy of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards program, its winning authors and illustrators, and the books they’ve created. The one-hour program will feature a host of special guests in the fields of children’s and young adult literature. Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Jacqueline Woodson, are already confirmed to participate. A reception will follow in the Great Hall. Guests will have time to view the exhibits before the reception begins.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards 50th Anniversary Gala is sold out.

50th Anniversary Breakfast

Join us on Sunday, June 23 for the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast. The annual breakfast will take place from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and book honors and award winners will be recognized. This year, we celebrate Claire Hartfield, author of A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 and Ekua Holmes, illustrator of the Stuff of Stars. This event is sold out.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards will be celebrated all year, from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019. We encourage library workers and educators around the world to celebrate all year long. We have provided sample Public Service Announcements and Press Release template that can be adapted for any use. Please let our team know if your event/program was in the news, we'd love to share!

  • Fact Sheet [.PDF]
  • Press Release Template [.PDF] [.DOC]
  • Public Service Announcements Template [.PDF] [.DOC]
  • Talking Points [.PDF]

As this is a special anniversary for the Coretta Scott King Book Awards community, a special committee has been created to spearhead the celebrations. Please find the names of the committee members who have worked tirelessly to bring you the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards celebrations.

CSK 50th Anniversary Planning Committee

  • Chair, Dr. Claudette S. McLinn
    Executive Director. Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature (CSMCL)
    Inglewood, CA
  • Honorary Chair, Andrea Pinkney
    Vice President and Executive Editor Scholastic, Inc.
    New York, NY


  • Nick Glass
    Founder & Executive Director,
    Berkeley, CA
  • Carolyn L. Garnes
    Retired Deputy Director, Atlanta Fulton Public Library/ Founder & CEO Aunt Lil's Reading Room
    Atlanta, GA
  • Diane Foote
    Executive Director, Illinois Library Association
    Chicago, IL
  • Deborah Taylor
    Retired Coordinator of School and Student Services, Enoch Pratt Free Library
    Baltimore, MD

For any questions or comments related to the 50th anniversary, please contact the team at

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards Winner, Honor, and John Steptoe Award for New Talent seals are property of the American Library Association and cannot be used in any form or reproduced without permission of the ALA Office of Rights and Permissions.