Tuesday, June 10, 2014

ALA: 1st Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity

ALA announces winner of the first-ever Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity
ALA News: 6.09.2024 by Macey Morales

Laurence Copel, youth outreach librarian and founder of the Lower Ninth Ward Street Library, New Orleans, is the first recipient of the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity. Daniel Handler, also known as Lemony Snicket, will present Copel with the prize on June 29 during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas. Copel will receive a cash prize along with an odd, symbolic object from Handler’s private collection.

“Copel is recognized for her extraordinary efforts to provide books to young readers of the Ninth Ward,” said ALA President Barbara Stripling. “Copel is a brilliant example of how librarians can serve as change agents. Her leadership and commitment show the vital role that librarians and libraries play in energizing and engaging the communities that they serve.”

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.

In her efforts to serve her young readers she has had to overcome much adversity, including a burglary and significant weather damage to her home that destroyed many of the books she planned to give to children, limited financial resources and empty promises of assistance from local politicians. Despite local challenges, Copel has provided more than 7,000 books to children in need.  READ MORE !

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