News & Opinion

The Puzzling Prize for Loyal Librarians

by on March 10, 2014

Have you ever been at work and wondered, “How do I get a nationally regarded prize if I’m not an author, illustrator, or sassy wordsmith?” Well, friend, your day has finally come. At the end of January, during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference, it was announced that popular children’s novelist Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) started his own award to honor “librarians who have faced adversity.” Librarians must be nominated before May 1st and winners will be announced at ALA Annual in June. The purpose of the award is to recognize librarians who have faced and overcome adversity in their field, whether through fighting for banned books or speaking their mind on any controversial topic. (In this case, “controversial” means any topic that can conversationally irritate or incite a riot among librarians and or library paraprofessionals such as ebooks, teenagers, and the First Amendment.) According to Snicket, “The Snicket Prize will remind readers everywhere of the joyous importance of librarians and the trouble that is all too frequently unleashed upon them.” Each winner will be awarded a strange and unique prize from Snicket’s own collection as well as $3000 and a certificate “which may or may not be suitable for framing.” If you’re the type of librarian who will defend a book until your last breath or a librarian who just really enjoys awards, here’s something new for you to strive towards. For more official information on how to enter, visit ALA’s webpage on the topic.

If, at the end of this article, you’re still unsure whether or not Mr. Snicket cares about libraries, there’s always this.


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