Together with the American Library Association, he is therefore setting up a new $3,000 (£1,800) award, The Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity. “The Snicket prize will remind readers everywhere of the joyous importance of librarians and the trouble that is all too frequently unleashed upon them,” said Snicket.
“This seems like a better way to channel money to librarians than my previous strategy, which was incurring exorbitant late fees,” said the author. The winner will also receive “an odd, symbolic object” from Snicket’s “private stash”, he said, “as well as a certificate, which may or may not be suitable for framing”.
One way in which librarians have been challenged in the US over the last year is through attempts to ban books. One incident involved a vote to ban Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower from middle-school classroom libraries. After two months of negotiations, the book was reinstated.
Snicket’s new Noble Librarians prize will be judged by members of the American Library Association, including at least one member from its Intellectual Freedom Committee Candidates – who must describe an “adverse incident” they faced and “their response, result and resources utilized” – need to be nominated by 1 May this year.