Alan Sitomer

Alan Sitomer: "The beauty is they're free"

"When I walk into a library I recall the fact that books saved me."

You know when I walk into a library I recall the fact that books saved me... I had a troubled childhood. I can't put it any differently and yet the library was the place where I found my heroes, I found safety from the chaos of my world. I found inspiration and hope and and I found a world of people I could believe in and characters that seemed to believe in me.

Libraries fostered my love of reading by perpetually feeding me new ideas, new information, new characters... creations of other people's imagination new worlds uh... and they still do that same thing. I shouldn't be talking in the past tense about this, because I still walk in the libraries and I just can wander it stretches me, it intrigues me, it sort of opens things up and I never leave a library without a book, without multiple books, but the beauty is, they're free.

I mean who does that for you? Who really cares enough about you just to "here you go" "You want to read it, you want to learn ,you want to stretch, grow, enjoy... have at it just please return it in good shape" I think that's probably the best bargain I have going on in my life right now. I just feel a kinship with librarians that if i have a question.

They're knowledgable adults who can help lead me to some answer.

[On budget cuts] You know, these buffoons who want to cut the libraries, who want to devalue the importance. They're more important than ever. If you walk into our nation's libraries where...

I'm in libraries all the time, they're almost more vibrant than ever. They're filled with people who are utilizing the resources and it just kills me to hear people trying to make political hay out of bashing libraries as unnecessary.

They're the foundations of democracy and nothing less than that.

[On censorship] Banned Books Week. Yeah, I love Banned Books Week. I think some of my books are banned. The truth of the matter is that, you know, only closed minds sort of revert to banning a book... there's only... and the grand irony is you're only feeding more power to that which you're trying to withhold.

You're trying to X-out knowledge about one little thing, when the best way is to instead of showing a kid one book, give him ten books on the subject and they can articulate and form their own ideas about it.

But when you say no ban, ban, ban, you're only... if you know anything about kids today, you understand that you might as well just build a little path for them to go find that. Not only the book, but the activity that you're probably trying to prevent in the first place. It's pretty backwards. I'm...

My latest project, well I just mentioned "Daddies Do it Different," the first... which could be a series of children picture books, which I have a lot of fun with. I have "Nerd Girls," which just published the second book in that sort of oeuvre, I guess. These are some comedies. I also sort of have this gritty teen drama with an urban slant. I was a high school teacher for quite a long time in inner city L.A., and I've got a new book of fiction, sort of, which is really sort of some raw meat type of stuff that I'm working on now and you know just keep going and going and going.

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Book Title: 

Nerd Girls