Pratt librarian honored with Coretta Scott King -Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement


— The Enoch Pratt Free Library is proud to announce that School and Student Services Coordinator Deborah Taylor is the recipient of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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 even years 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. The recipient of the inaugural award was Walter Dean Myers in 2010.

In odd years, the award is presented 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. Dr. Henrietta M. Smith was the recipient of the first practitioner award in 2011.

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.

“Deb Taylor is truly deserving of this prestigious national award,” said Chief Executive Officer Carla D. Hayden. “Deb is the consummate professional whose advocacy for diversity and inclusion for literature and services to young people has been extraordinary. She has never wavered in her belief that all young people need to see themselves in books and be free to explore the world.”

For more information about the School and Student Services Department, visit our website at