Ally Condie

Ally Condie: 'I know how essential those school libraries are'

"The school librarian let books in the school library, even though I wasn't supposed to be in there."

We had a little public library in Cedar City, Utah, which is a very small where I'm from. And I was in the day of the card catalog and your old yellow library card, which was laminated, and every summer I got to choose two books every two weeks.

My mom didn't want to bring me to the library more often than that. And so I chose very, very wisely. I loved choosing those books. They always knew what I would like. It only took a couple of visits before the librarian there knew what I would want to read.

And there is a special little reading nook, and all the kids in town loved to read there. It was a really great place. I really liked the school librarian, actually. I loved our public librarian also, but the school librarian let me come out through lunch and read books in the school library, even though I wasn't supposed to be in there.

Ya, so I'm lucky because I live by the Provo Library, which is a beautiful library. Gene Nelson and Courtney Lowe are wonderful directors, so I do a lot of events there, and that's close by, but my home library is the Aurum Library 0 and they have a great storytelling festival and I take my kids here, and also I write there, from time to time, when I need to get away from the house.

[On budget cuts] It worries me a lot, because I used to teach high school and I know how essential those school libraries are. And to have a true librarian there is paramount. They know the books. They know the kids. They're invested in the community and the school, the same way the teacher is, more so, sometimes, they stay longer. Teachers have a little bit of turnover, so I think it's essential and I'm very worried.

[On censorship] I think it's often ignorance, because... ignorance on the level that they haven't read the story. They're hearing the sensational part, but don't know the build up or the consequence. And often, I think, those books...if we could get people to read's different. I think people also like to exert control and it's easier to exert control over a book you see in your child's hand. than in what they're listening to, what they're finding on the internet. I think people are afraid and so that's where they've found a spot they can try to restrict. Well, I'm working on the third book to the Match trilogy, which is "Reached." We're just polishing it up for release in November. It's been a lot of time to finish the series.

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Cedar City, Utah