ALA literary awards build bridges to African American children's and adult literature

Contact: Larra Clark, Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations

312-280-5043 / 4393
For Immediate Release
January 3, 2007

ALA literary awards build bridges to African American children’s and adult literature

(CHICAGO) The American Library Association (ALA) will announce the winners of the 2007 Coretta Scott King Book Awards during its Youth Media Awards announcement on January 22 at 7:45 a.m. PT during its Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, January 19-24. The awards serve as a national resource for educators, librarians and parents who want to provide youth with the very best in African American children’s literature.

First awarded in 1970, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards commemorate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and honors Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination to work for peace and world brotherhood.

A seven member panel jury of librarians and children’s literature experts select an African American author and an African American illustrator whose books promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream.

"There was a time when it was extremely difficulty, or impossible to find children’s books with positive African American characters or historic themes," said Coretta Scott King Book Award Chair Fran Ware. "The Award provides an opportunity for black authors and illustrators to promote African American culture to mass audiences. It serves as a window into African American culture, and identifies excellence in children's literature for readers of all ages especially those looking for books that address the trials and joys of African Americans."

Award recipients receive a plaque and a cash award of $1,000 donated by Johnson Publications at the ALA’s Annual Conference from June 21 - 27 in Washington, D.C.

Other Youth Media Awards announced include the Newbery Medal, Caldecott Medal, Printz Award. To learn more about past Coretta Scott King Book Award recipients and other Youth Media Award winners please visit

The Black Caucus of the ALA (BCALA) also will announce its literary awards recognizing outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction by African American authors for adult audiences.

The BCALA Literary Awards encourage the artistic expression of the African American experience via literature and scholarly research including biographical, historical and social history treatments by African Americans. The awards recognize excellence in adult fiction and nonfiction by African American authors published in 2006, including the work of a first novelist, and a citation for Outstanding Contribution to Publishing. The recipients will receive the awards during the 2007 Annual Conference of the American Library Association in Washington, D.C.

The BCALA serves as an advocate for the development, promotion, and improvement of library services and resources to the nation's African American community; and provides leadership for the recruitment and professional development of African American librarians.

Information about the winners of Coretta Scott King Book Award and the BCALA Literary Awards will be posted on the ALA Web site immediately following the awards announcements at

The ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world, and the Midwinter Meeting is one of its two national conferences. More than 10,000 librarians are expected to attend the conference at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center.

To schedule interviews and/or register as press to attend the Midwinter meeting, please call Larra Clark at 312-280-5043 , or Macey Morales at 312-280-4393, .