Henrietta M. Smith: In Memoriam

Dr. Henrietta Smith

Dr. Henrietta Smith

Dr. Henrietta M. Smith, Professor Emerita, School of Information, was a scholar, librarian, and storyteller. She passed away April 21, 2021 at the age of 98.

Dr. Smith was a beloved professor who taught in the School’s East Coast program and online from 1985- 2014. Her specialties were Children’s Literature, Multicultural Literature, and Storytelling.

Among Dr. Smith’s many publications were four volumes documenting the Coretta Scott King Awards given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. You can find out more about The Coretta Scott King Awards, 1970-2009 published by the American Library Association.

Dr. Smith was instrumental in establishing the Ashley Bryan Art series at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center of the Broward County Library. She also coordinated the School’s 10th Alice G. Smith Lecture when Ashley  Bryan was the Lecturer.

She was a nationally known storyteller who participated in storytelling events in New Mexico and on a medical trip on the Amazon River.

She received many professional awards and recognitions.

  • Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Distinguished Service Award for significant contributions to library service to children (2008).
  • Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement for her body of work as a significant and lasting literary contributions. (2011)
  • Carle Honors Award from Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for her life's work as a champion of diversity in children's literature. (2014).

Dr. Smith’s Wikipedia page provides a full account of her many accomplishments.

The faculty and staff of the School of Information is grateful to Dr. Smith for all of her contributions to the department and we send our thoughts and condolences to her family and friends. 

You can support Dr. Smith's legacy by making a gift to the Dr. Henrietta M. Smith Youth Services Fund.