Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Hello from Alaska

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I'm writing this from Fairbanks, Alaska, where I've been speaking at a conference for Alaskan Librarians. It's been great meeting these folks and learning from their experiences. As one librarian said to me yesterday, "Sometimes we are the most dangerous people in the village, since we are ways people can get information."

It's wonderful to be up here, and I'm sorry to have to leave again this morning. Being around all these librarians reminds me of a library I visited in Jakarta last spring. It was a tiny space carved out of one of the slums that's been built up under the freeway overpasses - thousands of people crammed into this space. A woman decided that the community needed a library, so she negotiated with the local gamblers and others, and managed to create a safe, bright space where children can go after school and learn and play, and where adults can come to read and escape from the difficulties around them. The world owes a lot to librarians.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Related item from our archives

Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis is the acclaimed author of over 18 books and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Vicky Metcalfe Award for a body of work, the Governor General’s Award, the Africana Book Award, the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Honour, and the Red Cedar Award. She has traveled the world to meet with and hear the stories of children marginalized by war, illness, and poverty, and has recorded their stories for others to read and learn from.

Go to Deborah Ellis’s Author Page