A New Orleans-based librarian known as “the book lady” for her dedication to her community has won the inaugural Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity.
Laurence Copel will receive $3,000 in prize money for her efforts, which include setting up a library in her own home and riding her bicycle to reach families in need of books. The award, announced Monday, is co-sponsored by the American Library Association and Lemony Snicket author Daniel Handler. The ALA and Handler cited Copel as a librarian who managed difficult times with “integrity and dignity intact.”
First of all, how awesome of Daniel Handler is it to offer this prize? Congratulations to Ms. Copel!
Pair with the latest Lemony Snicket gem, illustrated by Handler’s wife, Lisa Brown, then complement with this photographic love letter to public libraries and librarians.
My mother was in the habit of drying tea-towels (a dry wash-cloth) above her gas-cooker in the kitchen. One day when I was about 16 she did this, leaving the gas on low. Then she went upstairs for a shower. As she was drying herself, she smelled smoke, so she wrapped herself in a towel and dashed downstairs. She discovered that the tea-towel was on fire, and had set fire to the Styrofoam ceiling tiles. With great presence of mind, she whipped off the towel and beat out the flames.
As soon as the fire was out, she heard a round of applause, and turned to see a row of trash-collectors staring in at the kitchen window, admiring her bravery and curvaceous form.
I am thinking of you.Margaret Atwood
What else can I say?
"It’s important to forgive."
"Who do you have the hardest time forgiving?"
Recently I stood in front of my class, observing an all-too-familiar scene. Most of my students were covertly—or so they thought—pecking away at their smartphones under their desks, checking their Facebook feeds and texts.
As I called their attention, students’ heads slowly lifted, their eyes reluctantly glancing forward. I then cheerfully explained that their next project would practice a skill they all desperately needed: holding a conversation.
Several students looked perplexed. Others fidgeted in their seats, waiting for me to stop watching the class so they could return to their phones. Finally, one student raised his hand. “How is this going to work?” he asked.
My junior English class had spent time researching different education issues. We had held whole-class discussions surrounding school reform issues and also practiced one-on-one discussions. Next, they would create podcasts in small groups, demonstrating their ability to communicate about the topics—the project represented a culminating assessment of their ability to speak about the issues in real time.
Even with plenty of practice, the task proved daunting to students. I watched trial runs of their podcasts frequently fall silent. Unless the student facilitator asked a question, most kids were unable to converse effectively. Instead of chiming in or following up on comments, they conducted rigid interviews. They shuffled papers and looked down at their hands. Some even reached for their phones—an automatic impulse and the last thing they should be doing.
Read more. [Image: Adam Fagen/Flickr]