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Lemony Snicket sponsors Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity

Lemony Snicket, with the help of the American Library Association, sponsors a prize for Noble Librarians who "have suffered enough."

By Kristen Butler
Award-winning children's author Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) is sponsoring a Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity with the help of the American Library Association. (UPI Photo/Laura Cavanaugh) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/f51a220d03b3b8b1c3ae36510bc5420b/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Award-winning children's author Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) is sponsoring a Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity with the help of the American Library Association. (UPI Photo/Laura Cavanaugh) | License Photo

CHICAGO, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The American Library Association (ALA) has announced The Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity, sponsored by the award-winning children's author and funded through his own "disreputable gains."

Lemony Snicket is the pen name of acclaimed novelist Daniel Handler, under which he writes the A Series of Unfortunate Events books, which have faced challenges in schools and libraries across the country.

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Snicket has said that he, too, is often "falsely accused of crimes and sought by his enemies as well as the police" and that "librarians have suffered enough." The prize will honor a "librarian who has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact."

"The prize will be a generous amount of cash from Mr. Snicket's disreputable gains, along with an odd, symbolic object from his private stash, and a certificate, which may or may not be suitable for framing," the author wrote in a statement.

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"This seems like a better way to channel money to librarians than my previous strategy, which was incurring exorbitant late fees," he wrote.

The award will be $3,000 plus $1,000 for travel to the ALA's annual conference where the prize will be given. The winner will be selected by ALA members and a member from the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF).

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Snicket initially proposed the award for children's librarians, but the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) thought it should be available to all librarians.

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"ALSC thought it would be better opened up to all librarians -- not just children’s librarians who face adversity. They contacted the Office of Intellectual Freedom because usually when people think of adversity, they think of librarians facing challenged books," Nanette Perez, program officer at OIF, told the School Library Journal.

The Kids' Right to Read Project reported 49 censorship attempts in 29 states for 2013, a 53 percent increase over 2012.

The deadline to nominate a Noble Librarian this year is May 1, while in subsequent years it will be December 1.

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[American Library Association] [School Library Journal] [Kids' Right to Read Project]

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