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Why Libraries are Critical to Authors and Readers

Vassar Library - Study (Not the Sudbury Library)
I'll be flat out honest here:  This post is mostly geared to my fellow authors and those who just love to write in general.  Granted, readers will also love to note why these halls of knowledge are literal lifelines to anyone involved with writing.

They're our social centre.

I'm dead serious here.  A writer is not, by nature, a social creature.  We spend much of our time in front of whatever device it is we prefer to use slamming down words onto that device that we rarely poke our heads up and into real life.

This is a problem because, perversely, we need to keep connected with real life in order to be able to come up with things to write about.

As a side note, this is why my blog tends to have roller coaster moments of activity and then death.  I've run out of things to tell you outside of begging you to either sign up to my mailing list or buy my books.  Frankly, I don't like spamming people so I stop blogging until I find something (anything) to write about.
Interior - Stockholm Public Library.  Also not located in Sudbury,
I think I died and went to heaven, though...

My novel writing also suffers for it.  How can I create a fully fleshed out character, unique from another one, if all I have to base said character on is the same neighbour I see day in and day out?  How can I write about new and far off places if all I have to look at is the same wall and same set of pictures (which leads to the other writer obsession--the constant need to rearrange our furniture to breathe some new life into our writing...)

A library solves all of this and adds a certain social aspect to it.  We don't have to talk to the people there, but we give each a nod and friendly hello because we know another writer when we see one.

There is truth to that old saying, "It takes one to know one."

Trust me.

I can tell from where I sit who is here studying for an exam, has to be here for homework, is here for the coffee machine (because the coffee here comes in almost as many varieties as the local cafe), and who is here because this is the local PokemonGO PokeStop and Ingress Portal... and, hey, there's the other writer doing some research on an article he needs to write to make his deadline for the Sudbury Star.

You can tell the writers because they constantly tug on their hair and make it stand on end.

Maybe it's just me.

(It's just me)

A.D. White Reading Room
Uris Library
Libraries are where writers head to be social without being sociable, refresh the eyes, look for inspiration and talk shop when we aren't in the middle of something.  It gives us a chance to people watch and breathe life into our writing.  We do most of our research here (the internet is great, but sometimes you need to lay your hands on that history book physically!).  We come to talk to the librarians and see if anything new has come in... if the other writer's book is more popular than your own and see if your book is even in right now or if people have been reading it.

The library is an author's mission control.  It's our office and personal archive where our achievements are celebrated... no matter how small they are.

More than that, for the readers and members of the community, a local library is literally a community hub.  While an author comes for what I've listed above, others come because the library is more than just the books.  When I say the library is a hub, I mean that.

In my library, there are workshops and... Jesus, I could go on forever, frankly.  It's shorter to list what it doesn't do.

Toronto Public Library - Lillian H. Smith Branch
I can tell you from personal experience that the interior matches the entrance!
And the one thing I've noticed is that this is a trend that I hope keeps going.  Toronto has done this forcentres around the world.  On a more local level, the smaller libraries are at least starting to.  Honestly, I think it's great.  It makes the library (not that it ever wasn't) a critical hub in a community and far more useful than some others.
years, as has the New York Library and numerous big libraries in the huge

The thing is, though, I think libraries always have been.  There's a reason a library seems to follow the town office--it's a critical part of running a town, let alone a city.  Libraries are that archive of everything that makes the city, past or present--and in many cases leading the way into the future.

I digress.

Or do I?

If an author thrives on fresh perspectives and research, as well as keep a finger on the pulse of their community, then the library is exactly where they need to be,.. and that's why the library is critical to an author.


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