Ray Bradbury says, “Libraries raised me.”
And if you’re a writer, I’ll bet you can say the same thing. I know I can. When I walked into my hometown library after being gone for 30 some years, I explained to the new librarian, “this is my natural habitat.” Over the past twelve years she’s placed dozens of inter-library book orders to help with my research and even shelved a few China related titles she might not otherwise have purchased.
She helped immeasurably when she steered me to the children’s section. Children’s non-fiction is an amazing resource. Easy reading too. One personal aside, collections of adult non-fiction tend to be a bit outdated in California public libraries. Friends of the Library funds often go to buy the latest best-selling novels and although our Governor’s proposed budget allows library funding to continue at present levels, our present levels have taken a 75% cut over the past few years.
Ray Bradbury recently appeared at a fund raiser to help a library in Ventura, California, threatened with closure. Libraries are particularly vulnerable during economic down turns. Ironically, it’s during these times that they are most valuable. Families rent books and videos they can’t afford to buy. People swarm the free computers. So, say a prayer for us in California and do what you can to protect your own dear public library. They are fundamental in getting it right for kid’s books.