The Mighty Eight Wow Audience at the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Pre-Conference During NCAAL 10

Eight Coretta Scott King (CSK) Book award-winning authors and illustrators made an unprecedented appearance at a pre-conference during the 10th National Conference of African American Librarians (NCAAL) held in Atlanta, GA, August 9-13, 2017, at the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violet Social Change’s Freedom Hall.  The CSK Book Awards Committee provided funding for this event. Never before in recent years have this many CSK Award-winning authors and illustrators appeared together.  The prestigious panel included illustrators Jerry Pinkney, R. Gregory Christie, and James Ransome; authors Sharon Draper, Sharon Flake, Nikki Grimes, Carole Boston Weatherford, and Jason Reynolds.

Left to right Dorothy Guthrie (NCAAL co-chair and CSK member), James Ransome, Jerry Pinkney, Carole Boston Weatherford, Sharon Draper, Sharon Flake, Nikki Grimes, R. Gregory Christie, Joyce Mills, Lev Mills, and Carolyn Garmes (NCAAL co-chair and CSK member)

The audience was treated to statements by all about what happened when they got the call letting them know they had won the CSK Award.  The Award winners are announced during the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, usually held in January each year. The responses were both humorous and serious. Some did not realize they won the award until it was announced in the press.   Each shared an award-winning book and gave tips on using the book with children.  The presenters wowed the audience, which consisted of conference attendees, local librarians, teachers, and children’s book lovers. CSK Jury member LaKeshia Darden brought her children. They were attentive and engaged throughout the session.

Jason Reynolds (not shown in the group photo)

A video was presented revealing the legacy of Lev Mills, the designer of the CSK seal.  Mills talked about his career, his relationship with Glyndon Greer, and he explained the unique features of the seal. In a casual atmosphere, attendees were able to dine with the authors and illustrators as well as take away great ideas and leave enlightened about the history of the design of the CSK seal.

Post by Carolyn Garnes

Carolyn Garnes was Co-Chair of the 10th National Conference of African American Librarians. She is a longtime member and past chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee.