Category Archives: Libraries

The Top Five Awesome Things About Libraries by Louise Clark

Starting with number five and moving to number one as my favourite awesome thing about libraries, here goes.

Number 5 – Diversity

Libraries don’t discriminate. Check out the collection of any library or library system. You’ll find novels in all genres from literary through romance, popular non-fiction on subjects you didn’t even know books were written about, instructional manuals, magazines, newspapers—and that’s just a sample of the print material. Most also carry movies, TV shows, audio books, music CDs and even computer games. Libraries are a treasure trove of entertainment fun for everyone. How awesome is that?

Number 4 – The Catalogue

Libraries take all the materials they own and codify them so that each item is easily findable by even the most hopelessly disorganized patron (like me). This is an enormous task considering that libraries are constantly adding to their collections. When I want to find a new author in a particular genre? Easy. The library puts all the data together through keywords and makes it easy for me to search and find. Awesome. A new favourite is found.

Number 3 – Accessibility

Where, but in a library, can an author be discovered by hundreds of people over dozens of years? My first Silhouette Special Edition, Second Generation, was, like all Harlequin/Silhouette books, available in a bookstore for a month, then it was gone. It’s been out of print for years. But it’s still available at a library. Awesome!

Number 2 – Research

Authors can’t write without information. And if the information we use isn’t accurate, you can bet that someone will notice. So finding sources for good, solid information is important.

Before the Internet produced Wikipedia’s instant info and reams of webpages on every topic, libraries collected books about anything you wanted to know about. Visual books with more pictures than words, wordy books with single paragraphs that spanned a page and more, fun non-fiction that was as much story as detailed information. If you wanted to know something about a subject, you could go to the library to find out about it. And still can. A library’s non-fiction collection will run from the kind of historical information that provided the background and setting for my time travel, Ridgeway in the Swept Through Time anthology, to travel books like the ones that supplied maps and photographs of the city of Boston where Fighting Fate is set.

Libraries may also have access to digital journals and databases. For someone researching family history, the local library can be a treasure trove of digital connections. Many libraries will also have archives of local newspapers, photographs, and collections of private and local government papers.

For inspiration through information, the library is an awesome place.

Finally, the number one reason that libraries are awesome – librarians

Without librarians, libraries are just repositories for books and other materials. Librarians bring their collections to life. They are skilled at finding things. Even the most obscure, hardly used chap book can’t hide from a librarian determined to hunt it down. Librarians know how to help you search the catalogue to find what you want. They will suggest a book or tow you over to a spot in the stacks so you can browse through books on the subject and find that perfect one. Moreover, librarians love to talk about books. They want to know which books you love too and why you love them, because, you know what? They’ll add those books to the collection so more people can fall in love with them. Librarians love authors too. Find a librarian who has read your book and wants to read more by you? Look out. Chat time.

Librarians have people skills too. Every day they deal with confused people, grumpy and frustrated people, bored people, inarticulate people, and just plain nutty people. And they help, or try to help, each and every one. Cheerfully. Pleasantly. Productively.

Yup, libraries have got it all. Fun stuff to entertain you, useful stuff you don’t know you need — yet, a way to discover it when you want it, and best of all, the people who hold it all together.

How awesome is that?

FIGHTING-FATE-COVERLouise Clark is a romance author who writes historical, contemporary and time travel romance. Her latest book for Lachesis Publishing is a contemporary romance with a “paranormal twist”. It’s called Fighting Fate. You can get Fighting Fate at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon.

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The magical world of libraries

Harper Collins

Harper Collins

I first fell in love with libraries when I was in elementary school. We actually had “library period”. We were taught the Dewey Decimal System and how to use card catalogs (before the computer!). I still love those old card catalogs. I wonder where you can get them? Then we’d have time to peruse the shelves and take out books. That made me happy. I discovered Dr. Seuss, the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary and the Choose Your Own Adventure books by R.A. Montgomery. Yay! We actually had a “pit” in our library. An area where we could sit and read. It was cool. I think “pits” were very popular in the 1970s – if it was “sunken” it was considered cool.

Current Publisher: Chooseco Original Publisher: Bantam

Current Publisher: Chooseco
Original Publisher: Bantam

I also loved the city library’s bookmobile. Oh, boy that was fun. The bookmobile would show up at our school once a week – usually after school or on the weekend. And we would go inside and find lots of great books to take out. I discovered Judy Blume there and books about travel and animals in far off places. My older sister loved all the biographies about kings and queens.

My high school library was where I first discovered historical romances. Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower and The Wolf and the Dove. I was hooked from that point on.

My university library was where I spent a ton of time. That didn’t give me as much pleasure. More angst than anything else. But I was always glad I could find a little nook to study.

I still love libraries. I visit my local branch at least once a week. The librarians know me and they ask how my work is going. They know I used to work in TV and now they know I work in publishing. At one point I wrote for a reality show – called The Letters, which was kind of like The Bachelor, only the bachelors and the bachelorette never saw each other (until the end!). Instead, they had to write love letters to each other. I had to do a ton of research for that. Reading romantic poetry by Byron and sonnets by Shakespeare. I had to create challenges for the guys that referenced those writers. That was lots of fun.

Libraries are places to discover and escape, learn and imagine. Libraries show us how much potential we have. They are full of ideas that other people have written down and shared with us. How wonderful is that?

Do you have any fond memories of libraries growing up? Or libraries you’ve encountered on your travels?

I know that our Lachesis authors love libraries too, but why not look up their books here? 🙂

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100_4277Joanna D’Angelo is Editor in Chief at Lachesis Publishing Inc. She loves Cinnamon Dolce Lattes, a good book, and libraries!

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