The Guardian Children’s website has some absolute gems on it, certainly worth a regular check. But on Friday the link to the MP3 recording of Patrick Ness’s speech to the occasion of Julia Donaldson (Gruffalo) being awarded the Children’s lauriate for 2011 was posted on the Australian Listserve. I’m a fan of listening to great speeches while covering books or doing one of the really mundane jobs in the library. This was certainly a rewarding thing to do. The link is here. But if you aren’t an MP3 kind of person you can read here the edited version of his speech.
Anyway, Patrick is a bit annoyed and that is putting it mildly, with the attitude of folks in local government and schools who cull their library staff . He is peeved at the fact that in England (and it isn’t just there) libraries and librarians are being cut and closed. His speech is so great! He speaks as a reader, a writer and as an avid library user for all his life. He passionately advocates for librarians both public and school, and he talks about having great conversations with librarians about books and reading.
Patrick Ness is such a wonderful writer, boys at my school love the books once they get used to the unusual style. Even those who resist my insistence that they will love it are being drawn into the books as they are encouraged by their friends to read them. Read or listen to the speech and you will see his passion and you will cheer for him and for libraries!