Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Guest Blogger: JANE K. CLELAND

I Love Librarians
by Jane K. Cleland

All of my nieces are librarians. Isn’t that odd? Any family can have a librarian in it... heck... I bet some families have two... but all? Okay... we’re a small family... I only have three nieces... but still... all of them are librarians. Lucky me. Librarians are a remarkable breed of people. They’re curious, knowledgeable, smart, and helpful. No wonder I love librarians.

One of my nieces is a communications expert, researching ways and means of framing and disseminating her clients’ messages. Another is a cognitive expert, assisting scientists in researching issues surrounding thinking and assimilating information. My third niece is an elementary education expert, working with youngins to instill a love of reading and learning. I’m in awe of all three.

I come by my attitude of respect and appreciation honestly; my mother loved librarians, too. When I was a mere slip of a girl she taught me that if you wanted to know something you could always consult a librarian because they either know everything or they know where to find out everything.

When I was in sixth grade, I consulted a librarian as to whether Paul Revere’s horse was a mare. (I needed it as a rhyme in a poem, and being an honest girl, I couldn’t just say it was a mare if it was, in fact, a stallion. Note of interest: She found a contemporary reference stating that Paul Revere’s horse was a mare; I thought you’d want to know.) When I was in eighth grade, a librarian held me enraptured as she discussed the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. (Yes, you read that right. Twenty-one people died a gruesome death, asphyxiated by molasses.)

To this day, I love working with librarians as I work to introduce readers to my protagonist, antiques appraiser, Josie Prescott. As an author, I’m in the enviable position of getting to do just that—a lot. As many of you know, I tour extensively [Jane's tour schedule] as I work to introduce readers to Josie.

I also work with Deborah Hirsch, a principal librarian at the New York Public Library to coordinate a series of monthly programs for the Mid-Manhattan Branch in my role as chair of the Library Committee for the Mystery Writers of America/ New York Chapter. [http://www.mwa-ny.org/library.php#events]

In fact, even when I’m traveling overseas, it’s not uncommon for me find myself in a library, like this one I just visited in Grenada. I love the buildings. I love the books. I love the reverence implicit in the hushed conversations. But mostly, I love the librarians.


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