Today I’d like to extend a very warm welcome Mary Ann Rivers, who recently published her terrific first book, The Story Guy (reviewed here). Her guest post topic is particularly near and dear to my heart, so let’s get right to it, shall we?
Why I Love Libraries and Librarians by Mary Ann Rivers
Libraries are the very best effort of society. The very best. Humans are very good at falling in love and at making libraries and precious little else. Everything else we do, is basically the business of filling libraries—with stories, with information about the human project. The very tiniest towns have some kind of library, and big cities have libraries that are glorious expressions of architecture and media.
I had a difficult childhood, and libraries saved me. I could be just exactly who I was in a library, or I could be someone else entirely. Physically, libraries are beautiful and safe; inside the mind they’re dangerous and illicit. As a child, the combination of that, of being safe with a free mind, was completely irresistible. Is still irresistible. I go every week, sometimes every day—even though I borrow most of my library books as digital media on my ereader (I love digital borrowing—it means the library is open 24 hours a day).
Librarians dedicate their work to the service of the very best of what it is we do as humans. It’s difficult schooling, and so librarians are obviously gorgeously smart; but also librarians have to negotiate the whole world and their community at the same time. Digital engagement is huge, but what if you serve poor rural or urban patrons? How do ereaders get in your community’s hands? If you’re serving in a world class library, you have the challenge of trying to represent your patrons, AND all other librarians.
Librarians help us ask questions, not just find the answer. They look at their community and try to fill the holes in it. They read to our kids, sometimes when no one else does. They figure out how and why we read so that the most perfect book is right in front of us when we explore the stacks. Carrie asks Brian if he has a librarian fetish. His answer is the same as mine, “who doesn’t?”
Mary Ann is giving away a NetGalley review copy of The Story Guy to ten lucky winners! To enter, use the Rafflecopter below: