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Broward County's AARLCC Creates "The Ashley Bryan Project" Online Guide
- New resource offers info on authors/illustrators of African descent -

BROWARD COUNTY, FL Broward County Library is proud to announce the launch of the Ashley Bryan Project: A Resource of Exceptional Children's Books and Book Art by Authors/Illustrators of African Descent, a part of the Special Collections of the African American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC), 2650 Sistrunk Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311.

The Ashley Bryan Project offers useful information for scholars, students, parents, art aficionados and those who simply love great children’s books. It also includes video interviews, annotated reading lists, digital images of original children’s book art, themed book lists and career guidance.

The Ashley Bryan Art Collection, Annual Ashley Bryan Art Series Conference, and Ashley Bryan Project are an outgrowth of the work of author/illustrator Ashley Bryan, an early advocate and champion of diverse representation in children’s literature and the late Dr. Henrietta Smith, professor and  librarian whose research elevated scholarship on diversity in children’s literature.  

Through Dr. Smith’s advocacy, Bryan's work became the cornerstone of the annual Ashley Bryan Art Series Conference in which the featured illustrator donates a piece of original book art to the library’s permanent collection. From its inception in 2002 to date, the Ashley Bryan Art Collection has amassed a rich collection of original artwork from Coretta Scott King Book Award winners, which include Kadir Nelson, Javaka Steptoe, Charles R. Smith, Jr., E.B. Lewis and most recently, Laura Freeman.

The art collection is supplemented by a growing Coretta Scott King Award and Honor book collection, which can be viewed at the African American Research Library and Cultural Center with a Broward County library cardFor additional information, contact the Youth Services at 954-357-6209 or email

The Ashley Bryan Project is funded by a prestigious 2020 American Library Association Carnegie-Whitney Award of $5,000. The grant provides funds for the preparation of popular and/or scholarly reading lists, webliographies, indexes and other library resources. The Ashley Bryan Project currently makes available such material for fifteen exceptional author/illustrators who are represented in the library’s Ashley Bryan Art Collection.

About Broward County Libraries
Broward County Libraries Division, named 2020 and 2015 Library of the Year by the Florida Library Association, was founded in 1974 and is the largest library system in Florida by square footage and one of the busiest, with more than 7.5 million walk-in customers visiting its 38 locations annually. Broward County Libraries Division provides convenient access to a full range of innovative and cost-effective services that satisfy the changing needs of the people of Broward County for information, education and recreation. Visit our website,, or follow Libraries on Facebook and Twitter.

DATE: May 28, 2021
Catherine McElrath
Libraries Division