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Augusta Baker

Augusta Baker’s Dozen

Augusta Baker's Dozen: A Celebration of Stories, Richland Library's annual storytelling festival, cosponsored by the University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science and the Richland Library Friends, occurs every April and brings to life the world of storytelling and children's literature. The celebration honors the works and achievements of nationally-known librarian and storyteller Augusta Baker.

Who was Augusta Baker?
A gifted storyteller and nationally influential librarian, the late Augusta Baker (1911-1998) left behind a legacy of storytelling, inspiring others to introduce children to the magic of literature and stories. She promoted quality literature for children and was a pioneer in producing bibliographies of children’s literature. She spent most of her professional career serving as Coordinator of Children’s Services at the New York Public Library.

Ms. Baker captured and conveyed the melody and power of the written word, establishing herself as America’s First Lady of traditional storytelling. Her inspiration has enabled generations of storytellers to introduce children to the magic of books and stories.

Augusta Baker was introduced to books and storytelling at an early age. As she grew, so did her love of words, language, literature and stories. She became a librarian and eventually was named Coordinator of Children's Services for the New York Public Library system. Her ability to capture and convey to others the melody, beauty and power of the written word made her America's First Lady of Storytelling.

After retiring from the New York Public Library, Mrs. Baker moved to Columbia in 1980 and was appointed the Storyteller-in-Residence at the University of South Carolina. Her reputation and influence in the fields of storytelling and literature are unparalleled.

Augusta Baker’s Dozen: A Celebration of Stories continues Mrs. Baker’s mission of opening the world of other cultures to children, crossing racial, social and geographical boundaries.