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marthawells

Martha Wells

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marthawells

Libraries and Oxygen

Thinking about libraries, and how incredibly vital they were to me as a kid. There was a library relatively close to our house, but it was tiny, run by River Oaks which was a small town/suburb of Fort Worth. It wasn't until we started driving across town to one of the large branches of the Fort Worth Public Library that I really got access to a lot of books. I did not have a very good time as a kid, and books kept me from going crazy, made life bearable. For me, having access to books was like having access to oxygen. I remember feeling the terror that I might run out before I could get my parents to take me back to the library.

Even today, walking into a library, I still get an echo of that feeling of relief and escape.


The Guys Lit Wire Book Fair for Ballou SR High School Library is still going! Lots of books left on the wishlist that are on sale or at 9.95. That's pretty cheap for a book that's going to be read over and over again by lots of different kids. The school has requested lots of manga, too.

Links:

There's a review/guest post about the Raksura books on Diana Pharoah Francis' blog

What She Might Think: Summer Library Series: All Sorts of Freedom by Juliet E. McKenna
What I read was up to me. This wasn’t the school library with its teacher-approved selection or English class limiting me to the latest books in the reading scheme.

Juliet E. McKenna has also just reprinted her first novel, originally published in 1997, as an ebook. It's The Thief's Gamble, the first tale of Einarinn.

Booktrust: The (literary) heroes who saved me
For Children's Book Week, author Stephanie Burgis writes about the fictional heroes who helped to see her through even the most difficult times

Photography Fundraiser: 10-4-2012 Update: Photos for sale Buy a gorgeous photo and help someone raise money for a replacement camera.

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Even today, walking into a library, I still get an echo of that feeling of relief and escape.

You'd be surprised how quickly that feeling goes away when you work in one. ;-)

Just after I started working at the library, we had a seminar on customer service, and the woman giving it said, when confronted by an abusive patron, take a minute and imagine you've gone to your happy place, I said, "But the library is my happy place."

Yes, I have a lot of friends who are/have been librarians, and the horror stories are pretty bad. It's funny that most patrons never see the problems.

I'm not a children's librarian, but I love hearing stories like yours. And seeing a group of teens with wild piercings hanging out, or a family of new Canadians taking out language learning books in my library. It makes me feel so satisfied to know that libraries really can be an escape or a help.

That's awesome.

Just looking at the books chosen for the Ballou library book drive makes me feel hope for humanity.

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