Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I've been feeling a bit feisty lately. The other day on Facebook I posted the question "Do you have a library card?" and almost instantly received 34 comments. One well-meaning friend wrote that he doesn't use the library because he likes to support starving authors by paying for their books. I responded with the following rampage:
*Authors love librarians. We help them with their research and offer them a quiet place to work. We host author talks and book signings which sell a lot of copies. We also fight off censors and enforce copyright laws. Publishers love us, too. They give us tons and tons of advanced copies for free so we can help promote their books by writing book reviews and nominating them for awards.
*Don't you care about us starving librarians? I have 18+ years experience, a Master's Degree, I'm fluent in Spanish, and my salary is embarrassingly low. I can't complain, though, because I know I am very fortunate to have a job. Hundreds of school library media specialists throughout the country are losing their jobs, and small branch public libraries are closing their doors (and laying off their workers) due to lack of funds.
*Most libraries buy or lease multiple copies of popular titles.
*Public libraries are all about serving everyone--not just people who can afford to buy books.
*Even if you never use your card, it's still a good idea to get one. We need the statistics. Also, think of all the money you can save by borrowing our videos, books, and music CD's.
The poor guy. He apologized and wrote that he was going to get a card the next day. He also explained that his wife and kids already have their own cards.
ps. Do you have a library card?
pps. Check out the Save Libraries website to learn how you can help your local library.