Life-Changing Places

In every library there is a sense of possibility, a potential for wonder.  For all our orderliness and organization, for all the stillness and quiet, just below the surface there is the anarchic impulse that keeps us believing that at any moment our lives may be changed.

— Michael Gorman, Our Singular Strengths:  Meditations for Librarians, p. 181

Realistic Books

Neither my mother nor my dog dies in this book.  I’m rather tired of those types of stories.  In my opinion, such fantastical, unrealistic books — books in which boys live on mountains, families work on farms, or anyone has anything to do with the Great Depression — have a tendency to rot the brain.  To combat such silliness, I’ve written the volume you now hold — a solid, true account.  Hopefully, it will help anchor you in reality.

So, when people try to give you some book with a shiny round award on the cover, be kind and gracious, but tell them that you don’t read “fantasy,” because you prefer stories that are real.  Then come back here and continue your research on the cult of evil Librarians who secretly rule the world.

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians, by Brandon Sanderson, p. 50

A Noble Profession

With the firestorm and controversy out of which The Higher Power of Lucky emerged unscathed, I am more than ever confirmed in my belief that librarianship is a noble profession, essential to free speech and free access for children.  It is crucial to children’s ability to make sense of this fragile, battered world — the world we’re handing over to them.  I’m grateful to have spent thirty-five years promoting children’s books.  It’s work you can look back on and know you made a difference in people’s lives, and as cliched as that sounds, I believe it profoundly.

— Susan Patron, Newbery Medal Acceptance Speech, June 24, 2007.


“We were there to celebrate some of the rare intelligence capabilities that our country can actually be proud of–those of librarians.  I see them as healers and magicians.  Librarians can tease out of inarticulate individuals enough information about what they are after to lead them on the path of connection.  They are trail guides through the forest of shelves and aisles–you turn a person loose who has limited skills, and he’ll be walloped by the branches.  But librarians match up readers with the right books:  ‘Hey, is this one too complicated?  Then why don’t you give this one a try?'”

–Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually), p. 153


“To be a librarian, particularly a librarian for young adults, is to be a nourisher, to share stories, offer books full of new ideas.”

–Madeleine L’Engle, Margaret A. Edwards Award Acceptance Speech, June 27, 1998.

Quoted in Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, Volume 12, no. 1, Fall 1998.