In 1969, while attending the American Library Association Meeting in New Jersey, Mabel McKissick and Glyndon Greer, two school librarians, had a chance meeting at a booth when both were trying to get a poster of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was a time of great turmoil in the country. Both women loved children's literature and were discussing that African American authors and illustrators had not been distinguished with awards for their work. John Carroll, publisher at the booth where the two were vying for the poster, asked them why they didn't start an award to do so. From that seed of an idea, the Coretta Scott King Award was born.