I was recently in the library collecting a book I had reserved before going to my writing group meeting when a thought occurred to me: What would I do without my library? And this thought made me realise how important the library is to me as a writer and book lover.
Sadly, I’ve heard a lot about libraries closing, and it upsets me to think that libraries may one day be a thing of the past. So, today, I have decided to write a post to encourage writers to use their libraries more. Why do writers need libraries? Well, I have listed five reasons below:
- Libraries can help you with your research – As you all know, writing does require a lot of research even if your story is set in the present. Now, while it is easy to find information online, it can be hard to find reliable sources, and that’s where a library can help. You have free access to many books that can help you with your research. And not only can you borrow books, but many libraries also have websites that allow you to have access to eMagazines, eBooks, and reference resources.
- Libraries enable you to read more – When I started writing, I read that I needed to read widely to improve my writing skills, so I used to visit the library and borrow four books a month from authors I have never read before (I miss being able to read so much). Now, if it wasn’t for my library, I wouldn’t have been able to read so many books, especially if I had to buy them. And I’m still using the library to borrow books. I’m currently doing a novella reading challenge, which is made easier by the fact that I can borrow the books to read for free.
- You can work in libraries without distraction – It can be difficult to find quiet time to work on your writing when you’re at home. There are so many distractions that you’ll often find yourself using up your precious writing time doing stuff other than writing. This is where a library can help. Many libraries have quiet areas where you can sit and work in peace. All you have to do is make sure the books don’t distract you.
- Libraries are a great place to house a writing group – My writing group is based in my local library. We are allowed to meet up in the community room for free every Saturday. Now, without the library, it would likely cost us to have our weekly meetings, and for many, an extra expense isn’t something we can afford.
- Libraries can be a perfect location for writing-related events – In a library, you can have book launches, book readings, writer networking mornings, poetry open mics, and you can even meet authors, plus so much more. If it wasn’t for one of the libraries in my area, I would have never met Sharon Bolton, who was kind enough to sign my three books. And my writing group has even used libraries for our own book launch and readings.
So, as you can see, libraries are important to us writers. I know that without libraries I wouldn’t have joined my writing group, met Sharon Bolton, read so widely, gone to a writing networking event, plus so much more. So, if you want to read books written by an author you haven’t read before, then instead of buying them, you should head to your nearest library, and see what they have to offer. If you want to join a writing group, see if your library has one, and if they haven’t, then do what Angela (our Oldbury Writing Group founder) did, and set one up.
Libraries are an important part of our community, and we must use them before we lose them, and this is for everyone, not just writers. So the next time you are near your library, instead of walking passed, pop in and see what treasures hide inside.
Keep writing, folks!