I love libraries. All shapes. All kinds. And what better time to shout about this to everyone cause this week is National Library week. The celebration, which was first sponsored in 1958, is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. During this annual event, we celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and promote library use and support.
One of the biggest reasons I love libraries is because it's job security. See when I'm not writing books as Francesca Hawley, I'm spending my day in the library answering reference questions, putting up displays, writing a weekly newspaper column and planning library programs. Yep, I confess it. I'm a librarian. But even if I weren't a librarian, I'd love to hang out with all the books.
When I was a kid, I remember going to the library with my parents and my sister. I'd go to the children's section and pick out books to read. As I grew older, I continued to read. I used my public library and my school library...a lot. My school librarian was great at helping me find just the right book when I needed to write a book report or do a history paper or something like that. Do you have special memories of a library or librarian from your youth?
Even after I left school (but before I became a librarian), I spent time talking to librarians about what they were reading and I asked for help if I was doing any personal research.
Librarians became even more critical for me after started writing. Who better than a librarian to help me with research for my book? And how better to get all my research books (without going broke) than to request them through interlibrary loan?
And I'm not the only author to praise librarians. I used to live in the Iowa City area and so did cartoonist Berke Breathed. When he moved away from Iowa City, he drew up an original Bloom County strip to thank the librarians for their awesomeness.
My fellow librarians know what I write and are very supportive. We have copies of my books at my library and the books were cataloged by our technical services librarian. I've had a lot of readers find me because my book is held by the library. It's a great secret every author should remember. When a reader might be unwilling to cough up money to buy your book if you're new to them, they may check it out of the library. And once they do that, they may just BUY your next book.
Also, libraries are always looking for programming and author book signings to support local authors are definitely on my radar as a librarian. Now, I haven't booked myself at my library (just seemed tacky to me), but I have booked other local authors and it's gotten them some nice exposure. Librarians also read, write reviews (which we blog and tweet to others), and recommend books to readers all day long.
It's fun to help a reader find just the right book to read and it's one of the reasons I enjoy my job as a librarian. I love having those conversations with readers about what they enjoyed about a book and if they'd recommend it to others.
And finally, well librarians are just freaking cool. Check out the video below if you don't believe me and yes, it's safe for work. It was make by librarians! LOL
So share what you love about your library or your librarian. Do you have any great stories about books and reading from when you were a kid? Please comment so we can all celebrate libraries and library staff this week. And by all means, go and check out a book this week!