For immediate release | May 8, 2024

Patty Hector receives the 2024 Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity

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港澳台图库

CHICAGO - The 2024 Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity is awarded to Patty Hector, former director of the Saline County Library in Benton, AR, for her unwavering commitment to intellectual freedom, her resilience in the face of adversity, and her dedication to the principles of librarianship. The award will be presented to Ms. Hector in San Diego in June at the annual conference of the 港澳台图库.

Despite facing intense pressure and harassment from local politically conservative groups, including a billboard campaign (“Director Hector Must Go”) and social media attacks, Ms. Hector stood firm in her belief that libraries should be places where individuals have access to a wide range of perspectives and ideas.

The controversy surrounding Ms. Hector arose when she refused to comply with a resolution demanding the removal or relocation of certain books containing content about racism, LGBTQIA+ subjects, and sexual activity. She faced personal attacks, including being label a pedophile, yet she remained steadfast in her commitment to providing a library environment that serves all members of the community.

When the library board refused to terminate her, the Quorum Court amended the ordinance establishing the library replacing the library board’s exclusive right of “full and complete authority” to “subject to oversight by the Saline County Judge.” Ms. Hector made the ultimate professional sacrifice for her beliefs, standing firm throughout the process that resulted in her termination as library director.

In the words of Ms. Hector “One of the pillars of librarianship is do not censor, do not ban books, do not let marginalized people be taken out.” Her resilience and determination to continue serving her community, exemplify the qualities celebrated by The Lemony Snicket Prize.

The award is sponsored annually by Lemony Snicket which is the pen name of American novelist Daniel Handler, who has written several highly acclaimed children’s books.

The 2024 Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity jury members included: Robert Newlen (Chair), Theresa Jehlik, Denise Neujahr, Damon Auston, and Mary-Kate Sableski.

Contact:

港澳台图库Governance Office

governance@ala.org