"Without librarians, we'd be dumb!"
So begins the chorus of a song sung by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman as they accepted a 2012 Michael Printz Honor for their book, Why We Broke Up.
Handler and Kalman performed their deadpan ditty before an audience of several hundred librarians gathered last night to hear the speeches of this year's Printz winners. The Printz Award is given annually to the best-written book for teens; several Printz Honor -- or runner-up -- books often are chosen as well.
In their song, Handler and Kalman underlined the importance of librarians “from cradle to grave.” Handler, also known for writing A Series of Unfortunate Events under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket, played the accordian and sang, while Kalman provided "percussion" by tapping shoes on a tabletop, popping a plastic bag, etc.
Here’s the chorus:
"Without librarians, we’d be dumb,
We wouldn’t know our elbows from our bums,
Librarians are our friends
And we should take good care of them
Because without them, we’d be D-U-M!"
In his speech, John Corey Whaley, who won the 2012 Printz Award -- the top honor -- for his book Where Things Come Back, gave a moving, funny tribute to the people and places, including libraries, that have influenced him.
Whaley concluded by urging those present to help ensure the survival of libraries by tweeting about them at #savealibrary.
More on the Printz Award can be found here: The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature | Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)