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ALA Introduces Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity

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The American Library Association (A.L.A.) Council, at a Tuesday approved the new Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Philadelphia late last month. The award, which ALA intends to present at its 2014 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas, recognizes a librarian who “has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact.”

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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.” Lemony Snicket is the nom de plume (pen name) of American novelist Daniel Handler, who has written several highly acclaimed children’s books.

The books often feature the author appearing as a fictional character, a writer falsely accused of crimes and sought by his enemies as well as the police. Snicket himself believes that, in much the same spirit, librarians have suffered enough. Therefore, he has established the annual prize honoring a librarian who has overcome adversity.

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." Lemony Snicket’s latest book, File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, will be released on April 1, 2014.

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 1st.

In subsequent years, the deadline will be December 1st. 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; the nominee's name and contact information; if applicable, name and contact information of the nominator; and other supporting documentation, if applicable.

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