Today I am pleased to feature author Sally Rippin. Sally loves libraries and librarians, so of course you have to read her wonderful post!
Sally Rippin is the author of the YA novel Chenxi and The Foreigner. She also is the author and illustrator of numerous children's books (she's super busy and super talented!) Be sure to check out her blog as well!
So, being a complete novice, I asked Joanna, my lovely blog-tour co-ordinator at Annick Press, for some tips and she suggested I might have a few words to say about what I like about libraries. Well, that’s an easy one. Librarians are what I like about libraries! (Note: GreenBeanTeenQueen squeels in delight! YAY for librarian love!) I can tell you, librarians are every author’s best friend. I may write the best book I’ll ever write but if it doesn’t get into the hands of a reader, as far as I’m concerned it may as well have never been written. And how many times have I bought novels for my own three sons for them to turn up their nose in disgust at my poor choice in literature? But if their school librarian hands them that very same book – well, that’s a different thing. Then I won’t see them for hours until the book is finished - while their own pristine copy waits hopeful on the shelves! I don’t even bother trying any more.
You see, my two teenage sons have the extraordinary advantage of having not one, but two, incredible teacher-librarians at their high school. These two amazing people have turned a place that from my memory of high school years was a fusty unattractive room that no teenager with half an ounce of dignity would ever voluntarily visit, to the central hub of a whole school! It’s the place kids hang out. At lunchtime, the library is full. Some kids lounge around on beanbags reading books and magazines or chatting, others play on the old upright piano or sit on the computers in the glass-enclosed computer lab. (I never cease to get a kick out of hearing my sons tell me they spent their whole lunch time in the library – and not on detention either!) Not only do my sons’ two librarians and their staff organise school literary festivals, excursions and reading competitions, I have the distinct impression that they know every child in the school and what book they’ll want to read next! (And this is a school of 1,250 students!) Amazing, I know.
However, I don’t know about the US or Canada, but sadly this is certainly not the case for all government run schools in Australia – my sons are particularly lucky. Unfortunately more and more Australian schools are replacing libraries with information technology centres and qualified teacher-librarians are being replaced by technicians or parent volunteers. One author friend of mine told me how he’d visited a school in Melbourne that had a small portable building for a library that was unlocked by a parent volunteer for only one hour a week. And this is the same generation that laments that our children are not reading! To me, it’s simple: librarians and good libraries are the lifeline of a thriving reading culture. And so, to me it’s obvious that a librarian is an author’s best friend.
Now, if I could just get my sons’ librarians to recommend my books to them… :)
If you’d like to read more on these two wonderful librarians, go to: http://www.aeuvic.asn.au/publications/files/Library_Feature.pdf
Thanks Sally! That library sounds awesome (a piano in the library? I'd love to visit!) And yes, the US is having the same problem with librarians being cut out of school. So listen to the wonderful Sally Rippin and GreenBeanTeenQueen and be sure to visit your school (and public) library!
Be sure to check out the rest of Sally's blog tour:
Monday, August 31: Tea Time at Annick Press (http://annickpressblog.blogspot.com/)
Tuesday, September 1: The Book Muncher (http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com/)
Wednesday, September 2: Cindy’s Love Of Books (http://cindysloveofbooks.blogspot.com/)Thursday, September 3: Green Bean Teen Queen (http://www.greenbeanteenqueen.com/)
Friday, September 4: Hey! Teenager of the Year (http://heyteenager.blogspot.com/)
Saturday, September 5: Into the Wardrobe (http://peteredmundlucy7.blogspot.com/)
Note: the dates are based on North American time zones; if you’re following along from Australia (like Sally!), just move everything one day later!