Last year I had read somewhere that in the United Kingdom, public libraries were taking a beating. With access to the Internet and ebooks, apparently the number of people using libraries was down. The government began to rethink the need for libraries and many were slated to close.
When I read this, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had to search the webpage to see if this indeed was current news. It was. Not only were libraries being reduced in number, the government defended the closures by saying the public wasn’t interested in the old system any longer and preferred to learn and find information from the Internet. On top of that, fewer libraries meant tax payers would save millions.
The other day a friend asked if my youth novel, Mystery Light in Cranberry Cove, could be borrowed from the library. It was then I remembered I didn’t promote the availability of my book through this public location.
The writing world is filled with pleasant surprises, disappointments and moments you may want to remember and forget. Sometimes you can expect that something different will happen. Other times, when you’re doing something for the first time, you’re caught off guard by something that is done to you or something that you must do.
One of those ‘strange to me’ moments happened Monday when I hand-delivered a copy of Mystery Light in Cranberry Cove to my daughter’s school. It all began quite innocently enough. While picking her up for an appointment, I thought it’d be a great time to donate my book to her school library. The office secretary pointed me in the right direction and asked if the book she carried was of special importance to me.
“Yes,” I said with way too little confidence. I hesitated to say more, hoping I’d escape without fanfare. See, I really don’t like fanfare, being the centre of attention. I know it’s something I should get used to. After all, this business dictates that I meet others and show off what I’ve done.
Taking the plunge, I said, “I wrote it.”
That’s where a simple drop off turned into something more. I was introduced to the librarian as the author. She produced a camera and wanted to take a picture of me and my book.
Gosh, I know I said I like old photographs of me, but I really don’t like getting my picture taken. Still, I took a deep breath, pulled my daughter under my arm and smiled. I smiled as though the librarian wasn’t going to steal my soul with that digital device. I smiled as if I had just been handed an award for my book. I smiled like I was never going to see that picture . . . ever.