Henrietta M. Smith

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Henrietta M. Smith
Born Henrietta Mays
May 2, 1922
Harlem, New York
Alma mater Hunter College, B.A, 1943; Columbia University, B.S. and M.S. in Library Science; University of Miami, Ph.D., curriculum and supervision
Occupation Scholar of African American children's literature, librarian
Employer New York Public Library, Florida Atlantic University, Broward County, University of South Florida
Spouse(s) Isiah C. Smith
Parent(s) Nettie Johnson, Henry Lucas Mays

Henrietta M. Smith (born 1922), edited the Coretta Scott King Award Book: From Vision to Reality (Chicago: American Library Association, 1994) and The Coretta Scott King Award Book: 1970-1999 sponsored by the American Library Association.[1] In 2008, she was selected as the recipient of the Association for Library Service to Children's (ALSC) Distinguished Service Award, which honors an individual ALSC member who has made significant contributions to library service to children and ALSC.[2] She is also the recipient of the 2011 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Practitioner Award for Lifetime Achievement. Dr. Smith was the first African-American professor at the University of South Florida, School of Information. She also taught at Florida Atlantic University.

Education[edit]

Henrietta Mays Smith was born on May 2, 1922 in Harlem, New York. She is the daughter of Nettie Johnson, and Henry Lucas Mays. Smith originally wanted to be a Latin instructor, but eventually studied English and history at Hunter College, and received her B.A in 1943.[3][4] Then she attended Columbia University, and earned her B.S. and M.S. in Library Science in 1946 and 1959. In 1975, she completed her doctorate degree in curriculum and supervision at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.[5]

Library career and contributions[edit]

After graduating, Smith began her library career at the Countee Cullen Branch of the New York Public Library as a children's librarian and storyteller under the mentorship of librarian Augusta Braxton Baker, telling stories at locations such as the Hans Christian Anderson Statue in Central Park. After marrying Isaiah Courtney Smith, a young civil rights lawyer, she wanted to come to the South "to see if what they said was true." She applied at libraries in historic black colleges, except for those in Mississippi, and accepted the highest paying offer, that of cataloger at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, a position she held for two years. She then returned briefly to New York City, but moved back to Florida, to reside at Pompano Beach, where she continues to live.[6]

Henrietta Smith at Hans Christian Anderson Statue in Central Park

After joining University Florida Atlantic University Smith became an instructor in the College of Education. She has also been a school media specialist and consultant for Broward County, where she built children's book collection for the Pompano Beach Branch Library. She retired in 1993, and remains at the University of South Florida, School of Information teaching as a Professor Emerita.[7] Classes Dr. Henrietta. M. Smith has taught include History of Children's Literature and Multicultural Materials for Children and Young Adults.[8] The University of South Florida Tampa Library has established the Dr. Henrietta M. Smith Residency at USF "for persons of African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, and Native-American descent who were recent graduates of library and information science Master's programs accredited by the American Library Association." Dr. Smith wrote "Poetry of the African Diaspora: In Search of Common Ground Between Anglo and Latin America" with Sonia Ramirez Wohlmuth, and in 2000, she wrote the introduction to "Lift Every Voice and Sing: A Pictorial Tribute to the Negro National Anthem.[9][10]

Dr. Smith has edited four volumes about the history of the Coretta Scott King Award and was Chair of the Coretta Scott King Task Force.[11] All of the proceeds from Smith's book "Coretta Scott King Awards Books: From Vision to Reality" were donated to the Coretta Scott King Book Award.[12] She worked with the Broward County Library to establish the Ashley Bryan Art Series at the Broward County's African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) in Fort Lauderdale.[13]

Smith has been an active ALA (American Library Association) member in many divisions for more than 40 years. She has been on the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Legislation Committee and Oral History Committee, the YALSA Quick Picks Committee and the AASL (American Association of School Librarians) Cultural Diversity Task Force, and has been a board member of the FAME (Florida Association of Media in Education) and the FLA (Florida Library Association). She is also involved with the Storytellers Association, which teaches and develops multicultural storytelling and the oral tradition.[14][5]

Awards received and professional memberships[edit]

In 2008, Dr. Smith was selected as the recipient of the ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) Distinguished Service Award.[12] She has also been the recipient of the Employment Service Human Resource Champions Award, the 2011 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Practitioner Award for Lifetime Achievement, and in 2014, the Carle Honors. The citation reads: "Dr. Henrietta Mays Smith is widely recognized for her contributions as an influential children's librarian, scholar, and author and as a strong advocate for quality and diversity in children's literature."[15][16]

Dr. Henrietta Smith has served on numerous committees, including the book selection committees for the Pura Belpré, Newbery, and Caldecott awards, served on the Caldecott Award Selection Committee (2010), and was a storytelling consultant in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She received The 2014 Carle Honors Mentor award from The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for her life's work as a champion of diversity in children's literature. [17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alma Dawson "Celebrating African-American Librarians and Librarianship," 2000 Library Trends.
  2. ^ Jenny Najduch "[http://www.ala.org/news/news/pressreleases2008/february2008/henrietta08 Henrietta Smith Named ALSC Distinguished Service Award Winner" ALA Library Association, February 26, 2008.
  3. ^ Smith, Henrietta M. An African-American's Path to Librarianship: Was It Worth The Trip? USF Media Resources, 2000.
  4. ^ Jenny Najduch "Henrietta Smith Named ALSC Distinguished Service Award Winner" ALA Library Association, February 26, 2008.
  5. ^ a b Henrietta Mays Smith Biography.
  6. ^ Smith, Henrietta M. An African-American's Path to Librarianship: Was It Worth The Trip? USF Media Resources, 2000.
  7. ^ Jenny Najduch "Henrietta Smith Named ALSC Distinguished Service Award Winner" ALA Library Association, February 26, 2008.
  8. ^ Personal interview with Dr. Henrietta Smith (March 18, 2013).
  9. ^ Sonia Ramirez Wohlmuth and Henrietta M. Smith, "Poetry of the African Diaspora: In Search of Common Ground Between Anglo and Latin America" Immroth, Barbara Froling, and Kathleen de la Peña McCook. 2000. Library services to Youth of Hispanic Heritage. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.
  10. ^ Henrietta Mays Smith Biography.
  11. ^ Smith, Henrietta M. The Coretta Scott King Awards Book: From Vision to Reality. Chicago: American Library Association, 1994; Smith, Henrietta M. The Coretta Scott King Awards Book, 1970-1999. Chicago: American Library Association, 1999; Smith, Henrietta M. The Coretta Scott King Awards, 1970-2004. Chicago: American Library Association, 2004; Smith, Henrietta M. The Coretta Scott King Awards, 1970-2009. Chicago: American Library Association, 2009.
  12. ^ a b Jenny Najduch "Henrietta Smith Named ALSC Distinguished Service Award Winner" ALA Library Association, February 26, 2008.
  13. ^ Gómez, E. (2012). "Broward County Library Celebrates Ten Years of the Ashley Bryan Art Series". Children & Libraries: The Journal Of The Association For Library Service To Children 10 (1): 18–19.
  14. ^ Coretta Scott King Book Award.
  15. ^ Employment Service Human Resource Champions Award Winners.
  16. ^ ALA | Coretta Scott King Book Award.
  17. ^ "Carle Honors - Carle Museum". carlemuseum.org. 

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