I know, I know. I work for a publisher, so it seems a little counter-intuitive for me to be telling you to visit your local library. But Iâ€™ll do it anyway, because we value libraries both as loyal customers of our products, and as an important bridge in getting our books to the widest possible audience, regardless of a readerâ€™s ability to pay. More than that, they offer public services which we feel benefit all of society. As the American Library Association (ALA) puts it, â€śIn tough economic times, libraries give free access to books and computers, homework help, assistance with resumes and job searches, accurate financial information, adult education courses, assistance for new Americans, CDs, DVDs and much more.â€ť
This week is National Library Week 2010 (April 11-17), so there are plenty of interesting programs going on in local libraries across the country. Check out your library branch for details, or just drop by and check out a few books or movies you might not have ever considered spending your hard-won cash on â€“ because itâ€™s always good to learn something new, or to escape into a riveting story. Or check out the witchcraft and magic section and see if there are any new Llewellyn books you havenâ€™t read yet. You might be surprised!
Nationwide, the ALA has lots of interesting things going on this week as well â€“ yesterday ALAâ€™s Office for Intellectual Freedom released the â€śTop 10 Most Challenged Books of 2009â€ť list (wherein the witches and sorcerers of the Harry Potter series have been supplanted by the sparkly vampires of the Twilight series) and today is YALSAâ€™s Support Teen Literature Day. (If you’re interested in teen literature, I suggest you check out our teen imprint, Flux. Lots of cool books over there.) So get together with friends, kids, and your community, and support your local library, please!