Magazine article American Libraries

New Synergy Emerges with Move of Keats Book Award to De Grummond

Magazine article American Libraries

New Synergy Emerges with Move of Keats Book Award to De Grummond

Article excerpt

In a marriage of literary celebrity and scholarship, the de Grummond Collection of Children's Literature at the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries in Hattiesburg has become the host institution of the prestigious Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New illustrator Book Awards.

"The de Grummond is a natural partner for us to further Ezra's legacy," said Deborah Pope, executive director of the Keats Foundation, in announcing the change in venue from New York Public Library, which has been associated with the Keats Book Award since its inception in 1985. The transition is occurring just before the 50th anniversary of The Snowy Day, Keats's groundbreaking 1962 picture book that brought diversity to children's literature with a simple tale about a little boy who happened to be African American playing outside in the winter.

"This kind of collaboration is fairly unusual," said Ellen Ruffin, curator of the de Grummond Collection. While there are perhaps a dozen libraries that are associated with prestigious literary awards, there are few given by academic or research collections. …

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