Libraries and their communities are invited to a live Internet event, “An Evening with Neil Gaiman,” from 6 to 8 p.m. 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 http://gaimanatjcpl.org. 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 UStream.tv 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 below.
The event will be archived on ALA’s public awareness web site www.atyourlibrary.org 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 http://gaimanatjcpl.org.
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.