Write Now: Library Is An Essential Tool In Writer’s Kit

I have another confession to make.

I love the library.

You may be shaking your head and saying “Didn’t he say he didn’t like reading books when he was younger?”

I don’t waiver from my answer. It was then as it is now — yes I didn’t like books when I was younger.

But, like I had written before, that changed in college.

You know about my Persell Elementary School background, but I think again, the school may have also planted a seed for me liking the library. I used to like going to the library as a class. We learned how to use the library tools – card catalog, Dewey Decimal System, encyclopedias or encyclopediae, and yes bookmarks.

Back then there wasn’t the Internet or smart phones connected to it. If you were researching something, you had to copy the information by hand writing it on a index card. Oh how fun that was. In that library, which was across from the auditorium back then, in the mid 70s, we learned how to use the tools. I used those tools at Lincoln Junior High School, and at Jamestown High School.

While in high school, I also used those tools at The Prendergast Library.

When I enrolled at Jamestown Community College, I used the tools there, and then when I was a student at SUNY Fredonia.

So now you know about my library history. Great.

But in my adult life, I have gone back to using the Prendergast Library. The Prendergast or Library as it is known as, is an indispensable tool.

For people who love to read, well, those readers can stay for hours.

And if you are a seasoned writer, or an aspiring writer, it may be one of the best tools in your bag. For a writer, the library can serve as a source of inspiration. And yes, writers too, can stay for hours.

And here is the details.

Say one is trying to begin a novel or is midway through writing a novel, the library can help. One can research and write one’s novel at the library.

If one wanted to see how other authors attack the craft, then all one has to do is take a walk, and find a familiar author and look at one of the author’s books.

For example, I have written about Stephen King’s book “On Writing: A Memoir of The Craft,” and I can probably find it at the Library. I remember going to the Library and venturing into King’s section. I didn’t move for about half an hour because I was busy looking at all of his books on the shelf. I wanted to see if he wrote like he wrote about in “On Writing.” Sure enough he did.

And a side note about King: his books are usually very long. I don’t care now about book length because I got over that bad habit years ago in college. I read King’s books for pleasure and I’m glad I do. Like me, he cares about the craft of writing.

I like taking a note pad or even my iPad to the Library because I can get ideas to use for writing. Unless you are in a bookstore, where would you see an author’s printed works. Granted, some of the author’s works may not be on the shelf because some other person had the same whizbang notion I had about going to see what books were at the library. And that other person may have used a library card to check out one of the author’s books.

To me the Library was the Internet before the Internet came into the existence in the early to mid 90s.

It has been trendy for some time to carry one’s laptop computer to a library and use its wifi. One can stay on top of all the latest news. But even before the dawn of the Internet, one could always stay on top of all the latest news at the library. It stored all the information.

Here’s another cool fact about the Library: it also has newspapers, magazines, CDs, DVDs, computers, and even, maybe a typewriter for someone who may not have access to a computer.

I urge you to spend a day at your local library to see what it has to offer. You may just find out that you want to go back — often.


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