How and why authors should get involved with National Library Week April 9-15

By Andrea Kiliany Thatcher, Book Publicist and Social Media Strategist

Did you know April 9-15 is National Library Week? If you're an author or publisher - you should! We all know the tremendous benefits of libraries to communities they serve and to the book community at large. To name just a few:

  • Libraries are community hubs - In addition to connecting people to information, libraries connect people to people. They are safe havens for kids when school is not in session, offering after school homework help, games and book clubs. Libraries offer computer classes, enabling older adults stay engaged in a digital world. 
  • Libraries provide access and level the playing field - Information should not be a privilege. As great democratic institutions, libraries serve people of every age, income level, location, ethnicity, or physical ability, and providing the full range of information resources needed to live, learn, govern, and work.
  • Libraries promote literacy - Libraries are committed to helping children and adults develop the skills they need to survive and thrive in a global information society: the ability to read and use computers.
  • Libraries innovate - The way people are using our libraries is changing as fast as technology is changing society. Increasingly, libraries are becoming a place for creation and collaboration.

While all this is wonderful, it can be harder to see the affect libraries can have on book marketing and sales. Sometimes authors ask "if a library will only order 1 or 2 books, and possibly keep interested readers from buying the book, why are they important to sales?" In fact, I asked this very question of a sales manager when I worked in house as a marketer for a small, independent publisher.

I learned that most local libraries are part of larger regional library systems, and so those "1 or 2" books add up to constitute significant orders. A library system in a robust metro could place an order to rival that of a regional chain of bookstores like Books a Million.

Libraries are also advocates for writers and their community - so when you're a writer in a library's community you've really got some support! Most local libraries will be happy to host an event for a writer in their town - either pairing with a local independent bookseller for sales or coordinating sales with the author. Many libraries also spotlight local authors in displays, newsletters or other ways. Libraries are often hosts to book clubs, which may or may not involve club members purchasing a book but will certainly result in conversation and visibility for a title. Library patrons are engaged and enthusiastic readers who are likely to make book recommendations to their friends either on social media or through word of mouth.

Which brings us to National Library Week 2017, the theme for which is "Libraries Transform." First sponsored in 1958, the week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.

Celebrations during National Library Week include:

Monday, April 10: State of America's Libraries Report released, including Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2016.
Tuesday, April 11: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.
Wednesday, April 12: National Bookmobile Day, a day to recognize the contributions of our nation's bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities.

See what events your local library is hosting and how you can get involved as part of your book publicity efforts. You can find a local library here. As a local author, if you're involved in your library's celebration, you're likely to get a special mention or recommendation from staff. But it's best to look at this as a way to reach readers and get involved with your local bookish community, not a chance to get a commitment for a specific order. 

Questions? In the words of Hermione Granger, "when in doubt, go to the library."

You might also enjoy: How to Get Your Book Into Your Local Bookstore

46 Responses

  1. A fantastic cup of coffee is the only thing that could make this blog better.
  2. I've never ever read anything better!
  3. I came to the same exact conclusion as you did.
  4. I'm not a big fan of sauce.
  5. Don't ever quit blogging!
  6. Do you know someone named Fred?
  7. Don't forget the grilled onions!
  8. Way to go Edward. This blog is amazing!
  9. No one can ever say this site is boring!
  10. Would you like some popcorn?
  11. I'm still learning from you, while I'm trying to reach my goals. I absolutely liked reading everything that is posted on your blog.Keep the aarticles coming. I enjoyed it!
  12. These two are some real messy eaters!
  13. "This is one awesome post. Fantastic."
  14. "Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback."
  15. "Hey, you're the goto expert. Thanks for hanging out here."
  16. I am so grateful for your blog post.Much thanks again. Great.
  17. "Incredible points. Sound arguments. Keep up the amazing effort."
  18. Really enjoyed this blog post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.
  19. Thank you ever so for you blog article.Really looking forward to read more.
  20. A big thank you for your blog article. Will read on...
  21. "Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic article post.Thanks Again. Really Great."
  22. "Hi, after reading this awesome piece of writing i am as well happy to share my knowledge here with mates."
  23. Very neat article post.Thanks Again. Great.
  24. "obviously like your web-site but you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I’ll surely come back again."
  25. Really informative blog post.Thanks Again. Want more.
  26. Very good article post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.
  27. Thanks for the blog article.Much thanks again. Cool.
  28. Really enjoyed this blog article.Thanks Again. Much obliged.
  29. "My programmer is trying to persuade me to move from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using WordPress on a variety of websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform. I have heard very good things about Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!"
  30. Say, you got a nice blog article.Thanks Again. Keep writing.
  31. I cannot thank you enough for the blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on...
  32. "I intended to send you that very little observation in order to give thanks again with your extraordinary tricks you have provided on this website. This is really tremendously generous with you to provide extensively all that most of us might have sold for an ebook to earn some dough on their own, especially seeing that you could possibly have tried it in the event you wanted. The advice as well worked like the fantastic way to be sure that many people have the identical dreams the same as my personal own to find out good deal more in respect of this problem. Certainly there are millions of more pleasant situations up front for individuals that looked over your site."
  33. A round of applause for your article post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.
  34. Im grateful for the blog.Really looking forward to read more.
  35. Hey, thanks for the article post.
  36. A big thank you for your post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.
  37. Major thankies for the post.Much thanks again. Really Great.
  38. Thank you for your blog.Much thanks again. Will read on...
  39. Really enjoyed this article post.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.
  40. "Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site thus i came to return the favor.I am trying to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!"
  41. Im obliged for the post.Thanks Again. Fantastic.
  42. Carpet Cleaning Springfield IL 1101 Kingshighway Springfield, IL 62702 +1 217-441-2563
  43. I really like and appreciate your post. Really Great.
  44. "Im thankful for the article post. Cool."
  45. I am so grateful for your blog article.Much thanks again. Keep writing.
  46. Say, you got a nice article. Really Cool.

Leave a comment