Deborah D. Taylor 2015 recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

For Immediate Release
Mon, 02/02/2015


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations


CHICAGO – Deborah D. Taylor, coordinator of School and Student Services, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, is the recipient of the 2015 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Practitioner Award for Lifetime Achievement. The announcement was made today by the American Library Association (ALA) during the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held Jan.30 – Feb. 3 in Chicago.

“Deborah D. Taylor is an extraordinary youth librarian and literacy advocate,” stated Award Committee Chair Loretta Dowell.

Taylor’s career in public service began more than 40 years ago with the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, where she is currently coordinator of School and Student Services.  Her career has been spent as mentor, educator and literacy advocate for young adults.

As an inspiring young adult librarian, leader in national associations and university instructor, she has been distinctly effective in introducing young people and her professional colleagues to the outstanding work of African American authors.

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 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Members of the 2015 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Award Committee are: Chair Loretta Dowell, Winter Springs, Fla. retired, San Francisco Public Library; Rita Auerbach, retired Manorhaven School, Port Washington, N.Y.; Darwin Henderson, retired University of Cincinnati College of Education; Carolyn Garnes, retired Atlanta Fulton County Public Library, Atlanta; Henrietta Smith, retired, University of South Florida, Delray Beach, Fla.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world with more than 56,000 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
Media Relations Manager

Heather Cho
Media Relations Specialist