Literary Landmark: Vera's Story Garden - Vera B. Williams

Monticello, N.Y.

May 4th, 2019

Partners: Empire State Center for the Book, Ethelbert B. Crawford Library

Vera B. Williams posing with a smiling grade school student.Vera's Story Garden at Ethelbert B. Crawford Library was named a Literary Landmark in honor of children’s author Vera B. Williams, whose work often featured diverse characters in urban settings.

Williams, the acclaimed author of A Chair for my Mother, moved to the Bronx neighborhood of New York at a young age. There, she pursued a career in the Arts, studying dance, acting, and painting, and teaching at alternative schools throughout New York and Ontario. She moved to Canada in the late 1970s to pursue her goal of becoming a children’s author and illustrator.Vera's Story Garden Literary Landmark plaque.

Williams was awarded the Caldecott Medal and Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for A Chair for My Mother in 1983. In 2004, she was a U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest recognition for children's book authors. A Chair for my Mother inspired the chair in Vera’s Story Garden. Vera Williams returned to New York before passing at age 88 in 2015.

A dedication ceremony was held on Saturday, May 4th at 11 a.m. Speakers included EBCPL Board President Lynn Skolnick, Friends of EBCPL President Helen Rados, and EBCPL Youth Services Librarian Cheryl Jones. EBCPL Director Mary Paige Lang-Clouse invited community members to speak about Vera B. Williams and her impact on the community. Following the dedication, attendees enjoyed refreshments provided by the Friends of the Library. At noon, EBCPL’s children’s librarian lead a StoryWalk of A Chair for my Mother.