For immediate release | October 4, 2016

Nominees sought for 2017 Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) is accepting nominations for the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Practitioner Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award is named for award-winning children’s author Virginia Hamilton (1936-2002), recipient of the 1983, 1986 and 1996 Coretta Scott King Book Award, 1974 National Book Award and the 1975 John Newbery Medal. In 1994, she was awarded the prestigious Hans Christian Anderson Author Award for the body of her work and was named a fellow of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 1995.

The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of Hamilton’s exemplary contributions through her literature and advocacy for children and youth, especially in her focus on African-American life, history and consciousness.

Practitioners will be recognized in odd-numbered years, while Authors, illustrators or author/illustrators will be honored in even-numbered years. Previous recipients of the Coretta Scott King - Virginia Hamilton Practitioner Lifetime Achievement Award include Dr. Henrietta Mays Smith, Demetria Tucker, and Deborah D. Taylor.

The Practitioner Award honors practicing youth advocates whose productive activities, work, or career engages students in the reading of award winning African American literature for children and young adults, who have made significant contributions to champion youth reading and engagement with award-winning African American literature.

The nominee’s level of dedication to the promotion of reading and implementation of various reading /reading related programs, depth of involvement, impact of their work, and overall amount of time committed to such service will be continued. All nominees must be living at the time of the award to be considered.

The winning recipient will be announced during the ALA Youth Media Awards during the ALA Midwinter Meeting Monday, Jan. 23 in Atlanta. The winner will be honored at the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast during the 2017 ALA Annual Convention Conference in Chicago and will receive a medal and a $1,500 cash award.

Nominations will be accepted through Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. The winning recipient will be notified on Monday Jan. 23, 2017 during ALA Midwinter. To view the Award criteria and submit a nomination, please visit

The recipient will be selected by a five-member award jury from the Coretta Scott King- Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Committee of the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT). The award is administered by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of EMIERT and is supported by the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services.

The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award is part of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, which honor African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults that demonstrate sensitivity to "the African American experience via literature and illustration." The award is designed to commemorate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to honor the late Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination to work for peace and world brotherhood.


John Amundsen

Program Officer, Outreach and Communications

ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy & Outreach Services

(312) 280-2140