For immediate release | January 23, 2017

Rudine Sims Bishop 2017 recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

ATLANTA– Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, Professor Emerita at The Ohio State University, is the recipient of the 2017 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The announcement was made today by the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits held Jan. 20 - 24, in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop’s critical assessment and cultural optic has had a profound influence on the ways in which generations of librarians, teachers, and scholars present books to children and young adults,” said Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Chair Dr. Darwin Henderson. “Her research, knowledge and compassion for readers has broadened the development of African American Children’s Literature.”

Dr. Bishop is a winner of numerous awards and has served as a respected member of many book awards committees over the course of her long and distinguished career. Her influential writing, speaking, and teaching articulates the history and cultural significance of African American children’s literature. Her globally cited work, ‘Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Glass Doors’, has inspired movements for increased diversity in books for young people, and provides the basis for the best multicultural practice and inquiry for students, teachers, writers and publishing houses.

The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement is named in memory of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. The annual award is presented in

odd years (i.e. 2013, 2015, 2017…), to a practitioner for substantial contributions through active engagement with youth using award winning African American literature for children and/or young adults, via implementation of reading and reading related activities/programs. The recipient may be a public librarian, academic librarian, school librarian (public or private), an educator (pre K-12 or any level therein, or higher education) or youth literature advocate whose vocation, work, volunteer service or ongoing promotion of books with and/or on behalf of youth is significant and sustained.

In even years (i.e. 2016, 2018, 2020…), the award is presented in to an African American author, illustrator or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults, and who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution.

Virginia Hamilton was an award-winning author of children's books. She wrote more than 35 books throughout her career, including “M. C. Higgins, the Great,” for which she won the 1975 Newbery Medal. During her lifetime, Hamilton received numerous awards including the Coretta Scott King Book Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Atlanta Globe-Horn Book Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Members of the 2017 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Award Committee are: Chair Dr. Darwin L. Henderson, University of Cincinnati, College of Education; Frances Martindale, Gordon School, East Providence, R.I.; Eboni R. Njoku, DC Public Library, Washington, D.C.; Deborah Denise Taylor, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore; and Martha M. Walke, Children’s Literature New England, South Strafford, Vt.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world with more than 57,000 members. Its mission is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

For more information on the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit



Macey Morales

Deputy Director

American Library Association