Thank You for Librarians

Book Cover; The Most Beautiful Libraries in the WorldBack in May, inspired by this rant from librarian Censored Genius,I created a set of shirts perfect for badass librarians, including one that reads, I'm the Fucking Librarian, Motherfucker.

When I created the shirts, I promised to donate the proceeds to the American Library Association.

I also greatly underestimated the allure of a t-shirt for badass librarians.

After doing some careful math and rounding up, I'm firing off a donation for $110.00 to the American Library Association in your honor.

It's Thanksgiving, so time for the typical squishy message of thanks and gratitude.

I'm enormously thankful this year for librarians, who help me and so many others find more books to read, and who do so much with an ever-shrinking budget. Thank you for being patient with my dumbass questions, and for asking me how to welcome more romance readers into your libraries.

And thank you for you. Yes, you. I'm grateful that you come here every day to talk about books with me. And I'm grateful that there are books for all of us.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. Hope you're reading something awesome.


General Bitching...

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  1. 1
    Beth says:

    As a library student, I want to say thank you for being awesome and for all the work you do! Following your blog, as well as following you on twitter, has provided me with SO much information. For example, I used the romance-friendly bookstores map as an example of information visualization. Plus, practically everything I know about e-publishing and e-readers has come from you. Thanks!

  2. 2
    Tina Chaney says:

    Thank you, Sarah, for putting so much time and effort into one of my favorite websites.  If it wasn’t for your hard work, I never would have found this place where I can talk/read about books I love with like-minded people.  Also, thank you for adding “man-titty” and “alphole” to my vocabulary.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and to all of us here who celebrate it.

  3. 3

    I’m also thankful for libraries and this site. Keep up the good work. :)

    I’m also a bit thankful I somehow missed the post that led to that t-shirt. It’s old, so I can justify not trying to rip him a new one… I mean educate the idiot.

  4. 4

    I’m thankful for this site, where all the cool kids hang out, and I’m thankful for librarians (InterLibrary Loan, bitches!) and I’m thankful for robber barons like Andrew Carnegie who woke up one morning and said, “Huh.  Maybe I should take my gazillions of dollars of tainted money and use them to fund public libraries in the US.”  Thank you, Mr. Carnegie.  Your funds were the seed money for our local library and many others that still stand today.

  5. 5
    MissB2U says:

    I am thankful for the librarians and books that kept me sane during an insane childhood.  I’m especially thankful for that pokey little library at my elementary school and for my third grade teacher Mrs. Greenfield who let me spend part of my day working there.  It was nothing short of refuge for me.  And I’m thankful for this website and all the cool folk that work and post here.  I’ve read so many good books based on your comments and recommendations – they have added peace and humor to my days.

  6. 6
    susannakearsley says:

    Sarah, I join you in being hugely thankful for librarians. And libraries.

    And if you’ll permit me to dust off my armour, I’d like to stand up for a moment in defense of Andrew Carnegie’s honour :-)

    Robber baron he might have been, but he didn’t exactly just wake up one morning and think, ‘Huh.’ His love of libraries was heartfelt and lifelong, and came from his own early years when, working as a “bobbin boy” in a factory, he was granted access, along with other working-class boys, to the library of Colonel James Anderson, a man he paid tribute to here:…

    Carnegie wrote: “It was from my own early experience that I decided there was no use to which money could be applied so productive of good to boys and girls who have good within them and ability and ambition to develop it, as the founding of a public library in a community which is willing to support it”.

    He also, rather scandalously for his time, pronounced: “This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of Wealth: First, to set an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent upon him; and after doing so to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds, which he is called upon to administer, and strictly bound as a matter of duty to administer in the manner which, in his judgment, is best calculated to produce the most beneficial results for the community”.

    He put his money where his mouth was. By the time he died, he’d given away more than $350,000,000, and his final $30,000,000 was given away to charities and pensioners after his death.

    Over 2500 Carnegie libraries, with their familiar architecture, were built around the world with his support.

    One of them was in the little town (one stoplight, at the time) where I grew up. When I was young, I read my way around the whole length of its children’s section. Stories I found there forever shaped the person I am now.

    So yeah, I’m kind of grateful for a man like Andrew Carnegie.

  7. 7
    Franziska says:

    Thank you that made me cry, I just love libraries and this was great

  8. 8

    I’m with you, Franziska. MissB2U and Susannakearsley both made me get a little teary. Libraries were my favourite place when I was a child and I still get a thrill going into one today. And when I see one of my books on the carousels…well, it’s pretty much as good as it gets for a little girl who always dreamed of being a writer. Here’s hoping that there are more Carnegies out there in the world who understand that sharing knowledge is one of the most generous acts anyone can perform.

  9. 9
    lisa pomales says:

    Libraries to me are a place of magi and where the world makes the most sense.  It where people like me go to read about , learn about and study about our world.

  10. 10
    brandy mire says:

    That’s so sweet.  As a catalog librarian, I really appreciate the gratitude.  Thanks for this awesome site and for making the romance genre cool again to so many readers:)

  11. 11
    SonomaLass says:

    I love my library, and the librarians who make it so wonderful. From my childhood in California, to grad school and raising kids in the Midwest, to life back in Cali, libraries have been essential to my happiness.

    Also, my hometown Carnegie Library (long since superseded by a bigger building) has been expanded and renovated into a fabulous arts center, run by my sister. The community has embraced the project, at least in part because of the fond memories we all have of the building from our youth. Just super all around, especially in tough budget-cutting times. So thanks, Mr Carnegie!

  12. 12

    Okay, I am a little excited because I just learned that we have a Carnegie library right here in Melbourne in the inner north suburb of Northcote. There’s another in Mildura on the Victorian/New South Wales border, and another one in Tasmania and Western Australia. That’s four in total, incredible generosity from a man who didn’t call Australia home. Next time I am in town, I will be doing my best to check out the library (which is sadly no longer a library, having been replaced by a modern, new fangled, bigger and better one reasonably recently.) Thanks again, Susanna, to opening my eyes to something I had no idea about.

  13. 13
    Evelyn Ryan says:

    Libraries keep me sane with their selection of audio books- I listen while driving. First to keep my lead foot off the pedal (who wants to hurry when they are hearing a good story) and secondly, to keep me awake on the drive home from where ever we were since hubby always falls asleep because it’s too dark to read.

  14. 14

    Thank you so much for that, Susanna!  All joking aside, I didn’t know the full backstory of Carnegie’s commitment to public libraries.  He is an example to today’s wealthy of the right way to show thanks and leave a legacy.  I’m encouraged that people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are following his philanthropic example.

  15. 15
    cleo says:

    I am thankful for this site too, and for libraries and librarians and books and authors and readers.  A couple years ago my husband and I returned to my hometown for my high school reunion.  We went walking around the downtown, me pointing out all of the “historic sites” from my youth, and when we got to the library, I completely choked up.  And I choke up every time I tell this story.  Not only were books and reading a refuge for me, but the library and especially the librarians were my refuge.  Doing summer programs at the library gave me a place to belong, a place where being smart and awkward and bookish was ok.

    And about Carnegie libraries.  My mother worked at a Carnegie library – she retired this spring.  She did pre-school story times for 15 years (wherever she goes in her town, kids recognize her as the story lady).  I went with her to see her give her last story time at her last preschool and it was incredibly moving.

  16. 16
    DianeN says:

    Just a note to remind everyone not to take their libraries for granted. Libraries and library systems all over the US are in deep trouble. I’ve worked for 23 1/2 years at a system in upstate NY doing interlibrary loan, which has always included facilitating loans between all of our member libraries and also borrowing books not owned in the system from libraries all around the country. Sadly, last week I was informed that my job is going away at the end of the year. I’ve been offered a choice of either taking early retirement or accepting another job at the system. I’m heartsick that it has become necessary to cut this essential free service to the thousands of patrons of our 42 member libraries. The reason it has happened is that we are primarily funded by the state of NY, which has withheld $750,000 of our funding over the past 3 years. And I’m very afraid this is only the first of many cuts in service to come. Is there anything anyone can do? Perhaps not, but it wouldn’t hurt if NY residents contact their local legislators and let them know that libraries matter.

  17. 17
    MERRYDAY73 says:

    On behalf of school librarians, thank you!  One of my favorite things about working with my middle schoolers is when I get to say, “You know what?  You so DON’T have to like every book or every genre.  You have every right to have a preference for one over another, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.”  For our girls, it often turns out out to be romance or paranormal romance.  They are often amazed to find out there are blogs and websites dedicated to just their reading interests.  (No, I’m not sending middle schoolers to THIS site, but I do love sharing it with my online book club.)  Thanks again for your support of “bunheads”.  We love what we do.  If only the rest of the world would agree and quit stripping us of dollars and pestering us with attempts at censorship…

  18. 18
    Susan/DC says:

    I love my local library and visit almost every Saturday.  I also work with the Friends of the Library to do what we can to support the library, both our local branch and citywide.  Living in Washington, which is a city of readers, we get thousands of books donated each year.  The Friends have a permanent UBS, open every Saturday and staffed entirely with volunteers.  We first offer the donated books to the librarians but they are limited in what they can accept (not quite sure why), so mostly we sell the books and use the money to fund various projects.  We’ve supported a librarian’s book fund, carpeted the childrens’ reading room, redone the garden, paid for books for children in a summer reading program, and such.  As nice as this is, the funding cuts to the library budget far outweigh anything we volunteers can provide selling trade PB at $2 each. 

    Whenever a customer comes in who has a question about romance or when the romance novels need to be organized for our annual big blowout sale in February, I’m the go-to person.  I enjoy it, and one of the main advantages is that I get first pick before the books go on the floor for sale.  I’m one of the few romance readers in the neighborhood, but there are others, including someone who reads categories, because every year just before the February sale someone donates 100+ Harlequins, Silhouettes, etc.

  19. 19

    As a public librarian, I thank you and I need to get one of those shirts or, at the very least, a button. :-)

  20. 20
    Tandis says:

    How did I totally miss those shirts?! I *so* wish I was the type of librarian who could wear the “I’m the f*cking librarian…” shirt, because it’s just full of awesome. But alas, I’m the squeamish type and could never wear it to work. :( Thanks Sarah!

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