Effie Lee Morris Lecture Series

Join the San Francisco Public Library Main Children’s Center as we present the 25th Effie Lee Morris Lecture.

Jason Reynolds Speaks on “Transformation” February 25

Jason Reynolds, author of National Book Award finalist Ghost, the Newbery Honor Award-winning Long Way Down, and numerous other titles for middle grade and young adult readers, will appear in a special livestreamed SFPL lecture on Thursday, February 25, 2021, at 5 pm PST. This 25th Effie Lee Morris Lecture is free for all ages. Registration required. Learn more and register here.

Reynolds also collaborated with historian Ibram X. Kendi on Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism and You, a 2020 youth version of Kendi's definitive history of racist ideas, Stamped from the Beginning.

The winner of a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent, an 2017 NAACP Image Award and multiple other honors, Reynolds spent 2020 serving as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, sharing his transformative journey as a writer – and a reader – with youth during a year of previously unimaginable transformation. Prepare for his creative exploration of the theme of “Transformation” – and prepare to be transformed.

This lecture series – produced in partnership among the SFPL Main Children's Center, the SFPL African American Center, the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, the SF Human Rights Commission, Mo' Magic and the support of the Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco chapter – is committed to highlighting the lived experiences of writers, readers and communities of color through the words and images produced by some of today’s most talented and engaging authors and illustrators of books for youth.

Friends of SFPL logo

Author photo

Effie Lee Morris – A Woman Ahead of Her Time

The Effie Lee Morris Lecture series at SFPL honors the values embodied by Effie Lee Morris (1921 – 2009), the first SFPL coordinator of children’s services, the first Black president of the Public Library Association, and a co-founder of the San Francisco chapter of the Women’s National Book Association.

Ms. Morris was a tireless champion of diversity, inclusivity, and the rights of all young people to read, learn and create. She initiated the first annual celebration of Black history for youth at the Cleveland Public Library, and at the New York Public Library was the first librarian whose work focused on the needs of children who were blind or visually impaired. At SFPL, she was especially noted for her commitment to personally visit underserved communities to get books into the hands of all our youth.

Effie Lee Morris
Effie Lee Morris

Previous guest speakers and programs

2019   Isabel Campoy
Mi Voz Latina for a Choir of Diversity in Children's Literature

2019   Renée Watson
The Miracle of Joy: How Stories Heal

2018   Shane Evans
The Art of Dream

2017   Gary Soto
Too Much of a Good Thing: The Many Genres of Gary Soto

2016   Christian Robinson
You Are Here: Finding Yourself in Picture Books

2015   Chris Raschka
Remembering Books

2014   Yuyi Morales
Creating Children's Books: An Immigrant's Story

2013    Eve Bunting
Picture Books That Can’t Be Written: Social Issues in Children’s Literature

2012    Jerry Pinkney
A Sense of Place Real and Imagined

2011    Gerald McDermott
Tricksters: Gerald McDermott and the Art of the Folktale

2010    Ashley Wolff
Sunrise/Sunset: Exploring the Many Cycles of Life in Picture Books

2009    Pat Mora
The Zing of Writing

2008    Patricia McKissack
Storytelling, the Heart of Literacy

2007    Javaka Steptoe
On the creation of Swan Lake, the classic story retold by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe

2006    Tomie dePaola
What Haven’t I Done Yet

2005    Pamela Munoz Ryan
Dreams, Discoveries and Daring Women

2004    Nikki Grimes
Does the World Really Need Another Book

2003    Daniel and Robert D. San Souci
Creative Collaboration with the Picture Book : An Inside View

2002    Milly Lee
Hay Choy: A Feast for Readers

2001    Thacher Hurd
Art Dogs and Alligators: Bringing Books to Life

2000    Alma Flor Ada
One Life, Many Voices: An Author’s Journey

1999    Ashley Bryan
Deep Like the Rivers : African Tales, Black American Poetry and Spirituals

1998    Laurence Yep
Yes, Virginia, There Is a Godzilla: Talking About Children’s Literature

1997    A Celebration of Children’s Literature- Featuring treasures from the Effie Lee Morris Historical and Research Collection of Children’s Literature