Woman of the Month is a feature on my blog where each month I highlight a woman in the world who I think garners recognition. I started this mainly to increase Girl Power and empowerment, and because there’s a lot of women I feel are overlooked and I wanted to bring attention to them.
This month I’m highlighting Augusta Baker.
Augusta Baker was an African-American storyteller and librarian. She was the first African-American to earn a master’s degree in librarianship Albany Teacher’s College (now State University of New York at Albany). She originally was denied access to this college, but after advocacy from Eleanor Roosevelt, she was admitted and allowed to pursue her degree.
She was hired as the children’s librarian at the New York Public Library where she was tasked with collecting books that depicted African-Americans in a good light. After putting together that collection and encouraging publishers and authors to follow suit, she was appointed as Coordinator of Children’s Services, becoming the first African-American librarian in an administrative position in the New York Public Library.
She was also president of the American Library Association’s Children’s Services Division, chaired the committee that awarded the Newbery Medal and the Caldecott Medal, worked as a consultant for Sesame Street, and reviewed children’s books for the New York Times. She also received two honorary doctorates.
Thanks for reading! xx