Neil Gaiman is Awesome

Neil Gaiman writes a wonderful blog. I love most of the things that he stands for and supports- and very much amongst the things he supports and discusses are libraries.

Imagine my surprise to read that “librarians” were upset over his speaking fee (former link mysteriously moved). Basically, it seems that some people- presumably at least one anonymous librarian- were very upset by his $45,000 speaking fee at a public library. Gaiman’s response, however, is incredibly enlightening– and I certainly question why the newspaper with such a problem *didn’t just ask him or the library to explain what was going on.*

So. I was asked if I’d come and talk at Stillwater, and be paid $40,000. I said, “That’s an awful lot of money for a little library.”

“It’s not from the library. It’s from the Legacy Fund, a Minnesota tax allocation that allows the library to pay market rates to bring authors to suburban libraries who otherwise wouldn’t be able to bring them in. They have to use the money now as it won’t roll over to next year and expires next month.”

“Ah.”

And he gave the freaking money to charity. His blog post talks about the situation a bit more, but the stories and a number of the more pointed comments are just silly. I’d be amazed if people in the library community were seriously upset by his actions, and in my opinion they really shouldn’t be- Gaiman does a lot of libraries, not the least of which is writing some pretty amazing works.

Comments (1) left to “Neil Gaiman is Awesome”

  1. Patrick wrote:

    I’ve found this whole situation amusing too; seems like Neil’s fee was only targeted because it was very public knowledge (one nice thing about the brouhaha is that it got me to read his FAQ!). I think people would be astounded with the fees that are paid to bring ANY speaker to an event like this, and I think the general assumption is that writers always appear for free. They don’t! And most of them do only about 1% of what Gaiman does for libraries.

    The best part about this whole thing is that it unfolded while he was on the cover of the current American Libraries for being so awesome.

    If people want to be outraged at someone for about making libraries poorer, I can think of hundreds of candidates more qualified than Neil for whom some public attention might actually make a difference.

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