New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

Jean Craighead George’s Empire State & Knickerbocker Awards to Have a Home at NYLA


The Empire State & Knickerbocker Awards that were awarded to My Side of the Mountain author Jean Craighead George by YSS and SSL, will have a permanent home at the NYLA headquarters.  The multi-award wining George passed away on May 15, 2012.  At a memorial service for George in November, Rocco Staino, Director of the Empire State Center for the Book and NYLA Past President discussed with George’s daughter the possibility of the awards being returned to NYLA for display.  The family thought that this was an appropriate request and has had the awards delivered to NYLA.

George was the first recipient of the Knickerbocker Award in 1991. The Section of School Librarians (SSL) established the Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature. It recognizes a New York State author who has demonstrated, through a body of work, a consistently superior quality which supports the curriculum and the educational goals of New York State Schools.

The award is named for a group of 19th century New York State authors who wished to nurture a national literature. It is presented annually to a living author/illustrator currently residing in New York State.

Tiffany and Company designed the crystal award for which Beverly Choltco Devlin designed the graphic.

In 1998, George was again honored by NYLA when the Youth Services Section (YSS) selected her for the Empire State Award. The medallion award is given annually and was first presented in 1990. It is a one-time award presented to a living author or illustrator currently residing in New York State. The award honors a body of work that represents excellence in children’s or young adult literature and that has made a significant contribution to literature for young people. Youth Services librarians through out the state submit nominations to an awards committee. The committee makes a decision that is then approved by the YSS Executive Board.