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Effie Lee Morris

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Information about Effie Lee Morris

Profile image of Effie Lee Morris

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Library Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
Barbecue (Ribs)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
It Is Only With The Heart That One Sees Rightly; What Is Essential Is Invisible To The Eye.

Birthplace

Born:
4/20/1921
Birth Location:
Richmond, Virginia

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Library Administrator

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
Barbecue (Ribs)
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
It Is Only With The Heart That One Sees Rightly; What Is Essential Is Invisible To The Eye.

Birthplace

Born:
4/20/1921
Birth Location:
Richmond
See how Effie Lee Morris is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Public children’s library administrator Effie Lee Morris was born on April 20, 1921, in Richmond, Virginia, to Erma Lee Caskie Morris and William Hamilton Morris. Morris is the eldest of two daughters. She grew up in Richmond until the age of eight when her family moved to Cleveland, Ohio for her father’s job as head chef with the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company. Morris can trace her family history back to slavery and owns the slave papers of her paternal great grandmother. Morris loved to read at an early age and grew up trading books with her friends and family members. She attended Robert Fulton Elementary School and John Adams High School in Cleveland. Morris was her high school class's co-valedictorian with three other students. Morris earned her B.A. and M.L.S. degrees at Case Western University.

Morris began her career as a public librarian at the Cleveland Public Library in 1946. There, she specialized in working with children and children’s literature. Morris moved to New York in 1955 after working for the Philadelphia Public Library in order to work for the American Library Association. That same year, she went on to work for the New York Library for the Blind and served as the first female chairperson of the Library of Congress. Morris also served as president of the National Braille Association for two terms. In 1963, Morris moved to San Francisco, California and became the first Coordinator of Children’s Services at the San Francisco Public Library. In 1964, Morris established the Children’s Historical and Research Collection at the Children’s Center of the San Francisco Library. In 1968, she founded the San Francisco Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association, and in 1971, Morris became the first African American president of the Public Library Association. She officially left her position as Coordinator of Children’s Services of the San Francisco Library in 1977, and in 1981, the children’s literature collection that she started was officially named the Effie Lee Morris Historical and Research Collection.

Morris continues to be an advocate for children and children’s literature. Morris and the San Francisco Public Library hold an annual lecture series that features a children’s literature author and illustrator. Some of the lecturers have included children’s book authors Nikki Grimes, Milly Lee, Pamela Munoz and Tomie dePaola. Morris has received several awards for her work and contributions to children’s literature, including the Silver Spur Award for enhancing the quality of life and economic vitality of San Francisco; the Women’s National Book Association’s Award for Extraordinary Contribution to the World of Books; and the Grolier Foundation Award.

See how Effie Lee Morris is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Effie Lee Morris's interview, session 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris describes her mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris describes her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her father's brothers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris describes her maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her generation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Effie Lee Morris shares her family's artifacts
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Effie Lee Morris describes her sister's family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Effie Lee Morris describes her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Effie Lee Morris describes her early family life in Richmond, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris describes her neighbors in Richmond, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris remembers Maggie Lena Walker and visiting Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris describes her childhood community in Richmond, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris remembers visiting Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris remembers Richmond's Third Street Bethel A.M.E. Church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris recalls moving from Richmond, Virginia to Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Effie Lee Morris describes her educational experiences in Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Effie Lee Morris describes her educational experiences in Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris describes the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris remembers John Adams High School in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris describes her activities at John Adams High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris recalls the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris recalls being unfairly banned from a pool in Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris recalls being unfairly banned from a pool in Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris remembers her high school experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Effie Lee Morris describes notable personalities from Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Effie Lee Morris describes notable personalities from Cleveland, Ohio, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Effie Lee Morris describes her freshman year at the University of Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris describes her experiences at the University of Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris recalls studying at Cleveland's Flora Stone Mather College for Women
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her interest in children's literature
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris describes her work at the Cleveland Public Library
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris recalls her experiences as a teacher at Atlanta University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris describes her transition to New York Public Library
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris recalls her work at New York City's Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris remembers Helen Keller
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris describes her work for the Library of Congress and the National Braille Association
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris recalls Cardinal Francis Spellman's support of her pioneering work with blind children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris describes the challenges she faced as a librarian
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris recalls her move to San Francisco, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris recalls Negro History Month at the San Francisco Public Library
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris explains why owls are significant to her
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Effie Lee Morris describes her work at the San Francisco Public Library
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris describes the Effie Lee Morris Historical and Research Collection of Children's Literature
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris recalls leaving the San Francisco Public Library
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris describes her involvement with the Ohio Library Association
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris talks about New York City
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris describes the Women's National Book Association Award
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her M.A. thesis and the Coretta Scott King Award
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris describes the Women's National Book Association and Grolier Foundation Awards
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Effie Lee Morris recalls her community involvement in San Francisco
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her awards
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris remembers her appearance on 'What's My Line'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris describes her husband, Leonard Jones
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Effie Lee Morris describes her husband's career and legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her favorite books and authors
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Effie Lee Morris reflects upon the significance of hip-hop
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Effie Lee Morris reflects upon the impact of technology for children's libraries
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Effie Lee Morris describes her international travels
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Effie Lee Morris talks about her future plans
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Effie Lee Morris describes how she would like to be remembered