Writers and Libraries

I think one of the most important things a writer can do is support their local library.

Libraries are the first place our love of reading is fostered and fed, and where we discover what we really like to read. As we take our first tentative steps as writers they are where we first find the books that inspire us, that lead our way, that guide our first manuscripts.

When we get serious about writing, they are an invaluable resource. They have all the books – including the Writers and Artists Yearbook – that we need – or if not, that nice person behind that counter can help you. Use that nice person – they have an encyclopaedic knowledge of books, they can recommend books you’ve never heard of, and when you ask in a faltering voice ‘Umm, I’m not sure what I need but I think maybe I need to know…?’ they will know exactly what you want, and point you there.

And there is wifi for your computer, and computers to use if you don’t have one and that computer system has access to a massive pile of online resources that are only available to libraries.

And when you are published, they will buy your books, and recommend them if they like them, and introduce them to book groups.

Libraries are invaluable to writers. But I’m ashamed to say I live in a country where libraries are being closed, or reduced to two shelves in the corner of a gym. Where their stock is decimated and their knowledgeable staff are replaced by unpaid volunteers. Where they are degraded and denigrated and destroyed by politicians who can afford to buy all the books they need, and rarely read.

So, as a writer, support your library, you need them as much as they need us.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad


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