Neil Gaiman to speak about libraries and censorship as part of National Library Week

Contact: Megan McFarlane
Campaign coordinator
The Campaign for America’s Libraries
ALA Public Information Office

For Immediate Release
March 25, 2010

CHICAGO – Libraries and their communities are invited to a live Internet event, “An Evening with Neil Gaiman,” from 6 to 8 p.m. (EDT) April 12. This event, which kicks off National Library Week (April 11-17), is coordinated by the American Library Association’s Campaign for America’s Libraries and the Jessamine County (Ky.) Public Library (JCPL).

As Honorary Chair of National Library Week, Gaiman, the 2009 Newbery Medal winner for “The Graveyard Book,” will speak to his lifelong love of libraries and the role they play in a democratic society by supporting intellectual freedom and privacy. Gaiman will virtually join a live audience at JCPL from the University of Minnesota using high definition videoconferencing technology supported by Internet2 to enable an interactive discussion with the author.

Librarians across the country who would like to project a live stream of the talk for an event at their library are encouraged to register at OARnet, the regional Ohio research and education network, will provide the ability for up to 1,000 locations to access the high definition stream. Libraries interested in projecting the event will also require an LCD projector, screen and audio speakers.

Library lovers and Gaiman readers across the country who are interested in watching are encouraged to join in the event live via and will need a 1 Mbps Internet connection and Flash player. Internet2 will also multicast the event on its national network enabling any of its connected research and education members that are multicast-enabled to broadcast the event to their campuses. Multicast information can be found at

The event will be archived on ALA’s public awareness web site following the event.

The program will be hosted by JCPL in collaboration with ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries, Internet2, HarperCollins Children’s Books and the University of Minnesota. For more information visit

In the fall of 2009, JCPL received international media interest regarding their stance against censorship. In response to questioning about the appropriateness of some materials in the collection, library director Dr. Ron Critchfield defended the library’s censorship policy by stating, “We as a library are charged with making a collection that serves multiple constituencies with multiple interests, and what might interest one person wouldn't necessarily interest someone else.” When this incident was brought to Gaiman’s attention, he wrote in support of JCPL’s stance.

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels “Neverwhere,” “Stardust,” “American Gods,” “Anansi Boys” (#1 NYT bestseller), and “Good Omens” (with Terry Pratchett); the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the short story collections “Smoke and Mirrors” and “Fragile Things.” He is also the author of books for readers of all ages including the #1 bestselling and Newbery Medal winning novel “The Graveyard Book,” the bestselling novels “Coraline” and “Odd and the Frost Giants;” the short story collection “M is for Magic” and the picture books “The Wolves in the Walls,” “The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish,” and “Crazy Hair,” illustrated by Dave McKean; “The Dangerous Alphabet,” illustrated by Gris Grimly; and “Blueberry Girl,” illustrated by Charles Vess. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy Awards, and the Newbery Medal. Originally from England, he now lives in America. Visit him online at

The Jessamine County Public Library, originally known as Withers Memorial Library, was established in 1896 in Nicholasville, Ky. Jessamine County is in the very heart of the Bluegrass, just 10 miles south of Lexington, and boasts lush vegetation, rambling creeks, and considerable Kentucky River frontage. Within this environment of such natural beauty, JCPL seeks to enrich the community of over 45,000 residents with free access to ideas, information, and cultural opportunities.

HarperCollins Children’s Books is one of the leading publishers of children’s books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many timeless treasures— Charlotte’s Web, The Chronicles of Narnia, Goodnight Moon, Where the Sidewalk Ends, the Ramona series , Where the Wild Things Are; and popular new classics— The Graveyard Book, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Warriors, and Fancy Nancy. HarperCollins Children’s Books has published some of the world’s foremost authors and illustrators and has won numerous awards including the Newbery Medal, the Caldecott Medal, the Printz Award and the Geisel Award. HarperCollins Children’s Books is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, one of the leading English-language publishers in the world and a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NCP, NCPDP). Consistently at the forefront of innovation and technological advancement, HarperCollins is the first publisher to digitize its content and create a global digital warehouse to protect the rights of its authors, meet consumer demand and generate additional business opportunities. Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has publishing groups in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia/New Zealand, and India. You can visit HarperCollins Children’s Books at and HarperCollins Publishers at

Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. An exceptional partnership spanning U.S. and international institutions who are leaders in the worlds of research, academia, industry and government, Internet2 is developing breakthrough cyberinfrastructure technologies that support the most exacting applications of today—and spark the most essential innovations of tomorrow. Led by its members and focused on their current and future networking needs since 1996, Internet2 blends its human, IP and optical networks to develop and deploy revolutionary Internet technologies. Activating the same partnerships that produced today’s Internet, our community is forging the Internet of the future. For more information, see

Founded in 1851, the University of Minnesota has a presence throughout the state with its five campuses and numerous research and outreach centers. The University serves Minnesota’s families and businesses, while contributing knowledge and innovations to help build a healthier, sustainable world. Life-changing work, like the recent creation of a beating heart and stem cell transplant to cure recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB), a once-fatal skin disease, shows the caliber of the University's research. The University was established as a land-grant college, meaning the federal government gave it land to use or sell to provide an education for students of all incomes. Being a land-grant institution meant you also had a commitment to your state's agriculture. Today, through myriad scholarships, the University helps its students afford tuition, housing, and books, and agriculture is still a focus of its teaching, research, and outreach. As the U grew, so did the city around it, and the University has adapted its historic land-grant mission to fit its surroundings and has dedicated itself, through programs like the University Northside Partnership, to resolving complex contemporary issues in the urban age. For more information, see

The Campaign for America’s Libraries ( is ALA’s public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe - use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible by ALA’s Library Champions, corporations and foundations.