How To Love Your Local Library

My local libraries have been very generous in helping me with author signings and events. I’d like to suggest the sooner you start loving your local library (and the people who work there) the better your relationship and the more help they’ll give you in your marketing goals.

(This post was written and scheduled before Covid-19. If your local library is not open, save this. Perhaps it will come in handy in the future.)

1. Bring them a treat.  Showing up with cookies or donuts just to say thank you would almost always be welcome.

2. Donate your books. Libraries differ on their donations policy, so it’s better to ask first. But many times books in good condition are welcome.

3. Show up for their events. The libraries in my area work very hard to educate and encourage the arts and learning in the community. If your library has events, and you attend, you’re making a great impression. And you may learn something in the process.

4. Volunteer. If you have the time, ask how you can help reshelving books or moving furniture for events.

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5. Chit chat! Take the time to speak to your librarian! Get to know them! They will be far more likely to help a friend rather than a stranger.

6. Visit regularly. Libraries receive their funding through their circulation. The more people who visit and use the resources, the more resources they have. Your regular trip to the library is good for you, the library and the community.

7. Ask questions. Librarians are trained to help their patrons. Most librarians are very willing to suggest titles, help you locate materials and show you how to use resources.

8. Give them your information. Besides being a place to borrow books, local public libraries are also a great place to start marketing your book. Even if you aren’t published, your local librarians need to know you’re a writer. They may very well help you when your big day arrives and you have a book or two to donate to them.

9. Suggest events. (And then offer to help!) Many libraries are short staffed or need good ideas for events and activities. They may appreciate new ideas for their branch. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

10. Sign up for their newsletters and social media. This is really important. Libraries often don’t have the funds to fully advertise their events. You can share and retweet their calendar events and help get the word out.

Do you have any ideas on how you could love your library?

Katharine Grubb is an author, poet, homeschooling mother, camping enthusiast, bread-baker, and believer in working in small increments of time. She leads 10 Minute Novelists, an international Facebook group of time-crunched writers. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.

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