Saturday, February 20, 2010
Librarians are the best!!
I learned early in life that Librarians are good people. A librarian saved me from my mean and evil second-grade teacher who happened to be her sister. Then she opened up the vault, what seemed like access to unlimited books.
When I started promoting my book, I found suggestions from all kinds of sources. One smart blogger said to follow the advice of Willie Sutton the bank robber. When asked why he robbed banks, he said, "because that's where the money is." So I should sell my books to libraries, because that's where the books are. That might seem counter-intuitive as a way of making money since people read library books for free. But libraries buy more than one copy and when those are worn out, they buy more.
Getting my foot in the door with the library was another matter. But at the same time I was hunting down local book clubs. When I found two local black book clubs at branches of the public library, I struck gold, in the person of the librarian. It was her practice to select books for the book club, and purchase them for the library. She liked my book and went to her board with the request to purchase six books. She told me later what she was always up against. There were board members who mumbled, "They don't return those books." Which was contrary to the other one who said, "They don't read."
That wonderful librarian stood her ground and got those books. I won't name names, for fear of getting her in trouble. You never know what might come up in a Google search.
After her book club finished reading my book, the six books were distributed across the system. I check periodically to see if they are getting checked out. Yes they are, and they are being returned...sometimes late, but returned nonetheless. And those two librarians also make sure local black authors are invited to the annual Black History Month event, and given the space to sign books.
I also managed to get my hometown librarian to purchase a couple of books. When I grew up in Petersburg, the public library was segregated. Today the head of the Petersburg Library system is a black man.
So next time you see a librarian, give her/him a big hug for all they do.