Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Halifax Public Library Has So Much to Offer

I just got back from an educational session about what my public library can do for us authors/readers. I have to say it was very educational. I go to the library a lot - think at least twice a week and I also browse the on-line catalogue a lot to place holds for items I want to borrow. I had no idea that under the Readers section - which is located on the top header of the library page - the library has a tweet button and you can see what they are posting, which is anything to do with writing/authors/author readers etc. There is also a blog. And you as a reader can post reviews from what you've read from the catalogue. I also learned how to refine by search. And for me learning how to search for local authors - is under Subject - again, had no idea. This is all very helpful because I love finding local YA authors and I always try to promote them, after I read the book. Case in point I'm loving reading Don Aker's The Fifth Rule,which is set in Halifax. Aker is a local author and I only found out about him by chance while browsing Chapters.

I found today very educational and wanted to do a shout out to stress how important local libraries are. The best thing about libraries is they are free! We need to continue to champion our local city councillors to not cut library funding. This week I was appauled to learn that the Hfx Public Libraries Bookmobile funding is gone. I know less than 200 families use this service but now 200 families won't be using it and I just wonder what impact that will have on the children/teens who are in need of escaping to a good book. I grew up in a rural community and the bookmobile was essential. Without that bookmobile I'm sure my love of reading and now writing would not have been fostered. I was also lucky because my local elementary school, Robert Jamieson had a great librarian. Every week she asked me what I was reading, what I liked about the book etc and then the next week she'd have a list of new books she thought I might like to try. She opened my very lonely world (don't forget I didn't have many friends in this community because I was a newcomer) to the joy of books - so, thank you!

I can't stress enough how much I love my own local library! The staff are always helpful and after learning how limited their funding is I'm even more amazed.

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