20th Anniversary Effie Lee Morris Lecture

Christian RobinsonTuesday, May 31, 2016
5:00 pm: Reception, Children’s Center Creative Center
6:00 – 8:00 pm: Lecture, Koret Auditorium, Lower Level
Join illustrator, Christian Robinson, special guest lecturer who will speak on the theme:
“You Are Here: Finding Yourself in Picture Books”

Among his other awards, Mr. Robinson is the recipient of a 2016 Caldecott honor and a 2016 Coretta Scott King honor for his illustrations in Last Stop on Market Street (written by Matt de la Pena). He is also the artist behind the graphics for SFPL’s 2016 Summer Stride program.

San Francisco Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association will sponsor a free raffle of Robinson’s picture books to be followed by book sales and signing sponsored by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

The 20th Anniversary of the Effie Lee Morris Lecture is a wonderful milestone for the San Francisco Chapter: Ms. Morris was our chapter’s founder in 1968. Past presidents of SF Chapter will join us to share memories of Ms. Morris’ legacy.

Effie Lee Morris, Our Founder The Story of the Effie Lee Morris Lecture 

Written by Mary Knippel, Past President of the SF Chapter

The SF Chapter of WNBA created the annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture Series lecture in 1996 to salute Ms. Morris for her outstanding contributions to the San Francisco Public Library and the children of San Francisco.

“The little lady who had the wisdom of the owls she loved to collect, as well as a heart full of love of books, and readers of all ages…”

Effie Lee Morris was a visionary, advocate, author, San Francisco civic leader, and honored as a Living Legend by the California Library Association. “I am proudest to have been a librarian,” she said, “a librarian who has made a difference.”

Work as a part-time library assistant in the Cleveland Public Library led to her first degree from Mather College in 1945 and a Master’s in Library Science in 1956. She was the first children’s specialist at the Library for the Blind in the New York Public Library. She was the first children’s librarian and first African American president of the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association. She was the first Coordinator of Children’s Services in the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL). In her long career, she became one of America’s leading advocates for services to children, minorities, and the visually impaired.

Ms. Morris’s awards were numerous, but she was particularly proud of the Silver Spur Award for Dedication to Enhancing the Quality of Life and Economic Vitality of San Francisco, and the Women’s National Book Association’s Award for Extraordinary Contribution to the World of Books.

The Children’s Historical and Research Collection was established in 1964 by Morris and officially renamed the Effie Lee Morris Historical and Research Collection of Children’s Literature in 1981. The collection was created as a research collection of out dated or out-of-print books deemed important to children’s literature and books containing ethnic stereotypes that are no longer acceptable in publishing, but which represent authentic literature of the era.

Our 20th anniversary speaker, Christian Robinson, is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Ms. Morris. Robinson spent many hours of his youth in the San Francisco Public Library inspired by books and encouraged by children’s librarians. Ms. Morris would be delighted.

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