1983 – Sheila Egoff

Sheila Egoff was a widely respected authority on children’s literature. She was educated at the University of Toronto, graduating from library science in 1938. Her career included the Toronto Public Library from 1942, and the University of British Columbia faculty beginning in 1961, as a professor of librarianship and the first professor in children’s literature. Egoff’s many initiatives to increase the quality of children’s literature in Canada and abroad include the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books at the Toronto Public Library, and the University of Toronto’s master’s program in children’s literature. She was the first Canadian on IBBY International’s Hans Christian Andersen Awards jury, and the first professor of children’s literature to be named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Many of her books are considered standards in the field, including The Republic of Childhood: A Critical Guide to Canadian Children’s Literature (1967) and Worlds Within: Children’s Fantasy from the Middle Ages to Today (1988). Born in 1918 in Maine, Sheila Egoff died in 2005 in British Columbia.

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