My librarian pal and co-worker, Virginia, and I have been working on a National Library Week celebration event for the past several months. Actually, the date falls outside the official week proper but libraries deserve more than a one-week celebration, I'm sure you'll agree.
Putting together library programs is a big part of my job and PR is a big part of Virginia's. Between the two of us we do our best to keep the gears and widgets running smoothly. In fact, the job's so big the library may be considering adding a third person to our ranks, expanding our adult programming and events even further, as part of our bid to keep our library relevant in the times ahead. Because things are changing and I do mean quickly.
Thursday evening's event is sponsored by our Friends of the Library group, to whom we owe so, so much. They contributed money to my tuition costs, while I was studying for my Master's at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Several others have received stipends as well, to help fund higher education. We've purchased furniture and various other collections through their generosity. They're a big part of the reason we're able to bring this year's authors to our area, and why we're already looking forward to another, equally big event next year. If your library has a Friends group take them bagels and coffee one day and thank them. If it doesn't, what are you waiting for! Get it together, people!
For my part, I booked writers Elizabeth Berg and Betsy Woodman, for a two-fer author extravaganza. Actually, I should say I booked Elizabeth, and Elizabeth knows and would like to promote Betsy, so there you have it. We were thrilled. And Bob's your uncle.
Meanwhile, Virginia ran about like mad (I mean that literally) (not the mad part) pulling together venue details, and working with our multi-talented graphic artist to give it the splash it needed to get attention. The three of us are now attached at the brain, that's how much effort this has taken. And it's Virginia who's been behind the bulk of it, to give credit where it's due. And our graphic artist, Deb! Oh, how sophisticated the event will be.
May I also just say, Elizabeth Berg's willingness to work with libraries, institutions of much culture but small finances, is stellar. She's also willing to use her fame to help other writers along, as clearly illustrated in our case.
In short: she's a wonderful, wonderful human being.
Elizabeth's bringing author Betsy Woodman this Thursday evening, to our event at the Golf Club of Illinois here in Algonquin. Betsy's first novel, Jana Bibi's Excellent Fortunes, will be published this July. It's along the lines of an Alexander McCall Smith novel, so if you've enjoyed him you'll likely want to check her out.
This amazing woman lived in India for ten years. She's also studied in France, Zambia and the United States. From MacMillan's author page:
"She has contributed nonfiction pieces and several hundred book reviews to various publications, and was a writer and editor for the award-winning documentary series Experiencing War, produced for the Library of Congress and aired on Public Radio International."
Do credentials even get better than this?