The Importance of Librarians: The Alexandria Still Burns Project

libraryWhen I was growing up, the Chicago Public Library on Narragansett, the West Belmont Branch, was my library. It wasn’t a large branch; I quickly graduated to adult books in my early teens, and then devoured the reference section for anything I had questions about, from ghosts to WWII, mythology to cooking.

As a curious kid, I had a lot of questions, and the librarians were kind and patient, pointing me to the right sections, giving me the space to explore or helping me when I was short on time. They recognized a love of words and a desire for knowledge in a bespectacled, geeky little girl, and they didn’t dismiss it, they helped to nurture it. That is something that people, not the internet or search engines, can do. They can meet our gaze and point us in the right direction.

I’m so grateful. Next to teachers, librarians were my favorite grown-ups because they held the keys to the worlds I wanted to explore, AND they took me and my questions seriously.

alexandria

That is one of the many reasons I love the Alexandria Still Burns kickstarter project by Kyle Cassidy. Kyle is a brilliant photographer, and he has a way of finding and telling stories about transformational people and moments, stories that may go unnoticed or discounted. Kyle notices.

He did this with engaging photographs and words in his documentary photo books “Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in their Homes” and “War Paint: Tattoo Culture and the Armed Forces,” as well as with his projects about the women of roller derby, portraits of science fiction and fantasy writers in their writing spaces, and so many others.

Librarians are gatekeepers, and they introduce people to worlds. Kyle wants to introduce the world to them and share their stories and experiences. I’m a proud backer.  If you’d like to help Kyle to share the stories of librarians and why libraries are still important in this world, you can become a kickstarter backer with  $1. There are only a few days left! Every backer will get a link to a digital download  of the short documentary about why libraries are important, narrated by award-winning novelist Neil Gaiman. Check it out:

Numbers

Yesterday I happened to peek at the ranking for The Silence of Trees on Amazon, and I saw that it had jumped up to the top 40 in Historical Fiction for Kindle!

By midnight tonight, these were the rankings:

How exciting to be in the top 20 Kindle Bestsellers in Historical Fiction! For small presses and “new” authors, one of our greatest challenges is getting attention. Luckily the internet and e-books have helped!

Thank you to everyone who has purchased a copy  The Silence of Trees, and many thanks to those who have reviewed it on Amazon, Goodreads, and spread the word on blogs, facebook, and twitter.

A special thank you to those of you who have ordered it for your local libraries. This makes me especially happy! Anyone can request a copy for their branch. It doesn’t cost you anything, and it helps the book to read an even wider audience.

Every little bit helps, and I am so grateful!