Librarians Gather in Sharjah; Lemony Snicket Prize Awaits

SIBF_logo_libraryconf_webThis week, the American Library Association presented its first conference in conjunction with the huge Sharjah International Book Fair. Sharjah is largest city in the United Arab Emirates. Its annual 11-day book festival, in its 33rd year, is one of the largest in the world with over 900 publishers and visitors from 62 countries. The festival reportedly logged two million visitors this year, including some 700 librarians participating in the ALA’s bilingual conference. Participants shared ideas for engaging community members of all ages, languages, and backgrounds.

Meanwhile, back in the States, the ALA announced the nomination period for the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity.

“Librarians face adversity every day, whether they are defending a book that has been challenged or fighting to provide services on a limited budget,” the ALA writes. “If you know a beleaguered librarian, now is your chance to give that person some much needed recognition by nominating them for the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity.” How to Apply

The deadline for nominations is Monday Dec. 1, 2014.  The prize consists of $3,000 along with a $1,000 travel stipend to ALA’s Annual Conference in San Francisco, a certificate, and “an odd, symbolic object from Snicket’s private stash.”

The inaugural award was given in 2014 to Laurence Copel, youth services librarian and founder of the Lower Ninth Ward Street Library in New Orleans. Copel who moved from New York City to New Orleans in 2010 saw a need to provide age appropriate books to neighborhood youths.  Known to the children in the Lower Ninth Ward as the “Book Lady,” Copel opened a library in her home through self-funding and small donations while living on $350 a week.  She also converted her bicycle to a mobile book carrier allowing her to reach children and families that could not travel to her home. 

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