Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cool Opportunity Alert: ALA approves new "Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity"

Via ALAnews, an announcement that needs to be shared far and wide - a new award aimed at recognizing the hard work and dedication of children's/youth [correction: i don't see this qualifier in the press release, so i was likely mistaken about that part] librarians committed to defending intellectual freedom: The Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity." The award is sponsored (funded?) by children's author Daniel Handler who writes and does most things under the nom de plum/twisted persona of Lemony Snicket. Here's an excerpt from the ALA press release:
The award, which ALA intends to present at its Annual Conference in Las Vegas, recognizes a librarian who “has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact.” It will be given annually to a deserving librarian. If a suitable candidate is not found, the award will not be presented that year.
The $3,000 prize will be given from Snicket’s “disreputable gains, along with an odd, symbolic object from his private stash, as well as a certificate, which may or may not be suitable for framing.”
I've read some of the text (that appears to come) from the award proposal, which is itself delightful and hilarious, written in the usual Lemony Snicket style. Handler often gives interviews in character, and the quotes included in the ALA announcement are no different:
According to Snicket, it is his hope that, “The Snicket Prize will remind readers everywhere of the joyous importance of librarians and the trouble that is all too frequently unleashed upon them.” About his sponsorship of the award, Snicket said, "This seems like a better way to channel money to librarians than my previous strategy, which was incurring exorbitant late fees."
Here are the nitty-gritty details about applying for the award itself:
The award jury will consist of five people: a chair and four jury members. The members of the jury will consist of ALA members with at least one member from any of the youth divisions (ALSC, AASL, YALSA) and at least one member from the Intellectual Freedom Committee or the Intellectual Freedom Round Table. 
The nominee must be a librarian. The deadline for candidates to be nominated for the first year is May 1. In subsequent years, the deadline will be Dec. 1
The following information must be addressed in the application: 

  • A narrative describing the adverse incident the librarian faced and a description of their response, result and resources utilized; 

  • Name and contact information; 

  • If applicable, name and contact information of the nominator Other supporting documentation, if applicable. 
To find out more information about the award, including how to nominate candidates, visit

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