Thursday, April 16, 2015

Loving Libraries

Woodland Park Library, Teller County, CO
This is National Library Week. Do you love libraries? I know I do. When I was a child, my parents told everyone we had to move because I'd finished the local library. Okay, so maybe only the children's section, but I was an avid reader and loved our trips to the John C. Fremont Library in Los Angeles. We were allowed to check out ten books, and it was all I could do to carry them.

Sadly, our new home wasn't as close to a library, and I was busy with school—but the school did have a library, and in junior high I chose "library service" as one of my electives. I got to spend an hour a day surrounded by books.

Years later, we moved to Florida, and I instilled the library habit in my kids. I can still remember how they'd arrive home with their piles of books and say they'd already finished some of them. And yes, they were little, and the books were mostly pictures, but all of my kids seemed to emerge from the womb able to read.

In Orlando, our library system actually delivered requested books to your door. Their reasoning was that one car out making deliveries was more efficient than ten cars driving to the library to pick up books. My husband used to open the door in the morning and say, "The library threw up on our porch again."

Now, living in the boonies, our library system is much smaller, but with the beauty of computerized catalogs, I can request a book here in my county and have it delivered to my library (not my front door, sadly) from anywhere else in the state.

One of my publishers, Five Star, targets the library market and the books I publish with them are available to readers at no cost. I love that people can meet my Blackthorne team that way.
All they have to do is request that their library carry it, or borrow it through an inter-library system.

Libraries are also a great way to try out new authors. Check out a book, give it a try, and if you like it, you can come back for more. Plus, libraries have so many wonderful programs. They're a place to learn, to meet authors, to use computers, for kids to learn to love books … so many opportunities.

Libraries, like so many other institutions, have to deal with budgets, and they need our support.

What about you? Do you use libraries? Do you have fond memories of libraries?

Terry Odell is the author of numerous romantic suspense novels, mystery novels, as well as contemporary romance short stories. Most of her books are available in both print and digital formats. She’s the author of the Blackthorne, Inc. series, steamy romantic suspense novels featuring a team of covert ops specialists, the Pine Hills Police series, set in a small Oregon town, and the Mapleton Mystery series, featuring a reluctant police chief in a small Colorado town. To see all her books, visit her website. You can also find her at her blog, Terry's Place, as well as follow her on Twitter, or visit her Facebook page.

13 comments :

  1. Although rarely going to the library in recent years, I once visited it much more frequently. An avid reader of Nancy Drew, Beverly Gray, and other books (often, though not always) in the mystery genre, I did check out library books as a child. Then years of editing devoured my time and made me a critical reader. Retirement, happily, is restoring that original love; and I now can head back to the local library for books to read just for pleasure.

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    1. And today, libraries are much more than places for books. Glad you're returning to the fold.

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  2. Without the free services of the library and bookmobile I could not have spent my childhood and young adulthood with my nose in a book every free moment. The closest library was in the next town over and it was located in a donated Mansion with room after room of books. I thought it was the most beautiful, magical place on earth.

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    1. That sounds like a wonderful place to visit! I remember reading about bookmobiles as a child, but never encountered one until I had kids of my own. We made a point of visiting it often.

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  3. We have 7 libraries in my county, one for each district, and they are all good ones. I get audio books and books that would be too expensive to buy. I can't wait to take my granddaughter to a library. Right now, she puts them in her mouth as soon as she loses interest. But she's only a year old. She'll learn.

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    1. She puts books in her mouth, not libraries. (Read posts before publishing.)

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    2. I was the Gram who sent books, not toys or clothes, to our grandson.

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  4. For several years, I photographed libraries wherever we traveled. I love them but don't patronize them anywhere near as much as in the past. As a book reviewer I get many books from publishers or from Kirkus, and many of those wind up as donations to the library.

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    1. I'd love to see a collection of those pictures!

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  5. Unfortunately, Terry, I've been banned from libraries since 1964 ... I just never could get the 'lending' part of the equation into my feeble little brain.

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    1. Thanks for the smile, as always, Chris.

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  6. When I was 7, I ran away from home. Down the block, around the corner with a stop at the local library to stock up. About four hours later, the librarian called my mother to see if she was missing a kid. I was an only child, so after she looked around, she said yes. She walked to the library, fetched me home with my load of books and never said boo-squat about my escapade.

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    1. Betsy, that's a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. And how nice you spent all that time at the library! (Better than the local pool hall!)

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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