Friday, February 7, 2014

Librarians Hold Up Half The Sky


David Handler, who writes children's books under a certain citrus-y pseudonym, has teamed up with the American Library Association to create the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity.  This annual award comes with a three thousand dollar prize, which pretty much any librarian could use, and is to be presented to a librarian who faces adversity and emerges with integrity and dignity intact.

This is such a good idea that, once done, one wonders why it didn't occur long ago.

Librarians are the guardians of civilization.  Bruce Coville once told me, in the wake of one of his delightful children's books being threatened with removal from a town library, that the censorious prefer to work in darkness and anonymity.  Once the story hits the papers, the evil is as good as undone.

And who contacts the papers?  Nine times out of ten it's the librarian.  So every opportunity we have to celebrate them should be seized with both hands.

You can read about the prize here.

Above:  The Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, Vermont.  I spent half my youth in that building.  A truly great public library.


HANNAH'S DAD said...

Typo: "three thousand prize" -> "three thousand dollar prize" I imagine.

David Stone said...

Holy cow, are people are still suing to get books removed from a public library in this day and age? Do they even know about the Internet?

Anyway, in most places simply being a librarian in a public library these days is already pretty dang heroic. I'm sure competition will be fierce.

Michael Swanwick said...

Correction made, HD. Thanks.

They don't actually sue -- they DEMAND. They THREATEN. And all you have to do is read JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER to see how easily, irrationally, and pointlessly offended they can be. They're like villains in a children's book.

Luckily, there are "pretty dang heroic' people to stand up against them.