Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Love of Libraries


I love libraries.

That’s partly because I love books, of course.  But there’s more to it than that.

Libraries are so wonderful about doing things for their patrons.  These days, in a large library system like we have in Los Angeles, you can order a huge number of books from the branches that aren’t close to yours and they’ll show up at the ones that are your neighbors.  That’s how I do so much of my research that I can’t find online or in person--through books.  I do go out and buy some that I particularly like, but it’s fun to get to check them out of the library first and check out their contents!

Plus, so many of libraries give programs for their patrons.  That’s another reason for my love of libraries.  Lots keep inviting me to talk about writing and my books, sometimes by myself and sometimes on panels with other authors.

For example, last week I gave a talk on how to write cozy mysteries at a branch of the Burbank Library.  Next weekend, I’ll be on a panel of romance authors at the Downey Library on Saturday, and will be on a panel with other mystery authors at the El Segundo Library on Sunday.

Do I, as an author, feel any sense of irritation that people can borrow my books without paying for them?  Heck, no.  I’m just glad when they’re available for people to read.  After all, even people who buy my books might lend them to friends or family, or even resell them as used.  No, I don’t make any additional money that way--but I might get a new fan or two.  And besides, to be lending my books out, the library has to have bought a copy or two.

How about you--what’s your opinion of libraries?

9 comments:

Lexie said...

I adore libraries having utilized them since I started reading. My Mom created three bibliophile speed readers by challenging us at the library since a very young age. Today I still enjoy the library every week, to me they are sacred places of quiet,respite intelligence and expansion of the mind. To me with such a great love of books nothing is more relaxing then walking the stacks and finding a treasure. I love the old fashioned libraries but do not like the new modern loud unruly libraries that are taking over cities. Its unfortunate that politics of cities are running libraries now, where they used to be for the public. One side note my local library does not carry any paperback cozies, so only cozy mystery released in hardback are bought and seldom so.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I'm sorry to hear that some libraries are getting loud and unruly, Lexie. I haven't seen that around here, fortunately. They do seem to be changing to keep up with modern technology, with computerized catalogs as well as computers available for patrons who visit the branches. Also sorry to hear about the lack of cozy mysteries in your local library, especially paperbacks.

Betty Hechtman said...

It was very exciting to go to the main branch of the L.A. library downtown and see my books available for lending.

I do love libraries. I loved the one in my elementary school and spent most of my lunch hours in the one in my high school.

Linda O. Johnston said...

How fun, Betty! I used to volunteer at our library in junior high.

llk10 retired said...

I love libraries. For the most part, the Carnigie libraries are gone replaced with modern ones. As much as I miss the old libraries, I sure like that I can have access to material from the whole state. I sometimes need a whole shelf of my own for all the books I have to pick up at the library.

Thanks for answering a question I have had about how authors feel about us taking books out of the library rather than buying them.

llk10 retired said...

Thanks for answering a question I had about how authors feel about readers taking books out of the library rather than buying them. I do both, but I am happy to discover the books the libraries buy also make an author appreciated.

Linda O. Johnston said...

We Killer Hobbyists have to approve comments to prevent spam, llk 10 retired. I saw that you had two similar ones pending and liked them both, so I approved both of them! I grew up in Pittsburgh where Carnegie libraries were prevalent since Andrew Carnegie had been part of the area's steel industry a long time ago. I haven't tried accessing books from systems any bigger than that in L.A. but love the idea that you can get books from anywhere. And I think most writers are fine with libraries, since they are a great way to introduce people to our work.

Barb S said...

I used to love libraries; I was even president of our local friends of the library group in the 1980's. Now that I have my kindle, I actually let my library card expire. A library near our city actually closed for 5 days when they discovered an outbreak of bed bugs! No more libraries for me but I still love reading library/librarian mysteries.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Your experience with libraries is certainly different from mine, Barb S. Bedbugs??!!