My first memory of a library was a small room, about the size of a broom cupboard, at the Mt Isa Mines State School. It was grade 3, I didn't have friends to play with during the breaks. A teacher introduced me to the library, and I took to reading like silverfish to paper. By the time I left that school at the end of Grade 4, I think I'd read every title on the shelf, including The Last of the Mohicans. (My school reports often suggested that I needed to read more to improve my atrocious spelling, much to the amusement of my mother, who had limited me to reading one book a day).
These days, I frequent our local library, putting books on hold or browsing the return shelves for great books to read. I not sure I could manage the Popsugar Reading challenges without the library's help. I've even been thrilled to find copies from authors I know personally on the shelves - Helene Young, Rosanne Hawke, Adele Jones, Paula Vince. Libraries help with my book budget. They mean I can walk into my bedroom with only a few (okay four) groaning bookcases and (five-ish) to-read book piles on my floor and desk.
Libraries are great for authors too:
Unlike second-hand and thrift shop books, libraries pay royalties to authors. While this isn't as much as royalties through the sale of the book, for some authors it can be significant as a book may be borrowed many times.
Readers can also request the librarian get in books and even take suggestions for book club sets. By requesting books by our favourite Australasian Christian authors - we then make those books more visible and available to other readers.
Writers may also approach libraries with their books, either as a potential sale or as a donation. Generally, the book will need an ISBN, and be registered with NLA and preferably be with a library distributor - but a many indie authors have had success in approaching local or regional libraries.
In Australia, the National Library of Australia (NLA) keeps a copy of all books published in Australia and/or Australian Authors. Your local State Library will expect a copy as well.
|Charis Joy Jackson, Lynne Stringer and Jeanette O'Hagan at BOBY 2015|
I'm not sure if there is anything similar in other States - but in Queensland, the Queensland Writers' Centre (QWC) and State Library of Queensland (SLQ) produce a catalogue of all Queensland books published in the year - Books in Our Back Yard (registrations are currently open until the end of the month for 2016 publications). They hold an event to launch the catalogue, with the books in the catalogue displayed on the SLQ shelves.
Libraries often hold book clubs meetings, meet-the-author or book themed events. They often have rooms available for hire that can be used for writers' groups, book launches and author talks. Holding a book event in a library has obvious advantages, especially if the librarians help promote the event - as most people who frequent libraries also love books. (Some may be be there to level up their pokemon.)
I think we are blessed in Australia and New Zealand to have so many free council libraries, as well as the State and National Libraries.
What about you? Do you use your local library? What do you like about it?
I know that some of you have had experiences with book launches and events at libraries and would love to hear about your experiences. Have you any advice on how best to approach libraries?
Images © Jeanette O'Hagan
Jeanette O’Hagan first started spinning tales in the world of Nardva at the age of nine. She enjoys writing fiction, poetry, blogging and editing.
Jeanette is writing her Akrad’s Legacy Series—a Young Adult secondary world fantasy fiction with adventure, courtly intrigue and romantic elements. She is about to launch Lakwi's Lament: a short story next week and she recently launched Heart of the Mountain: a short novella and The Herbalist's Daughter: a short story. Other short stories and poems are published in a number of anthologies including Glimpses of Light, Another Time Another Place and Like a Girl.
Jeanette has practised medicine, studied communication, history, theology and, more recently, a Master of Arts (Writing). She loves reading, painting, travel, catching up for coffee with friends, pondering the meaning of life and communicating God’s great love. She lives in Brisbane with her husband and children.
You can find her at her Facebook Page or at Goodreads or on Amazon or on her websites JennysThread.com or Jeanette O'Hagan Writes .