STATEMENT ON EFFIE LEE MORRIS
(Extensions of Remarks - June 10, 2010)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1063]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                     STATEMENT ON EFFIE LEE MORRIS

                                 ______
                                 

                           HON. NANCY PELOSI

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, June 10, 2010

  Ms. PELOSI. Madam Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to a longtime 
literary advocate and community leader, Effie Lee Morris, who died in 
San Francisco last November 10. On June 14, family, friends and San 
Francisco dignitaries will gather at the San Francisco Public Library 
to celebrate her lifetime of work as a librarian and advocate for 
underserved children and the visually impaired. They will pay tribute 
to her life as a visionary who recognized the power of literacy and 
education in overcoming racism, inequality and poverty.
  Morris began her life's work as a literary activist as a public 
librarian in Cleveland, Ohio more than 60 years ago. Recognizing that 
education is the most important investment we can make in our future, 
she focused primarily on children's literacy in African American 
communities and low-income urban areas, and helped to establish the 
first Negro History Week. In 1955, she moved to New York City where she 
worked for the New York Public Library. There she continued to work 
with children and began advocating for the rights of the visually 
impaired, eventually becoming a children's specialist at the New York 
Public Library's Library for the Blind from 1958 to 1963.
  In 1963, San Francisco was blessed when Morris arrived in our city 
and became the first Coordinator of Children's Services at our Public 
Library, where she established the Children's Historical and Research 
Collection. It stands in tribute to her today. The children's 
literature section that she created is named in her honor.
  In 1968, Morris helped found the San Francisco Chapter of the Women's 
National Book Association and served as the first African American 
president of the Public Library Association.
  Upon retirement, Morris continued to serve the San Francisco Bay Area 
community, and taught courses on children's literature at Mills College 
and the University of San Francisco. Morris served as the first female 
chairperson of the Library of Congress as well as the President of the 
National Braille Association for two terms. She also served on the 
California State Library Board, and was a lifetime member of the San 
Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society.
  We grieve Effie Lee Morris' passing, but celebrate her legacy, which 
will live on in the many lives she touched.

                          ____________________