Romance in the library

Now don’t get hot under the collar. This post isn’t about a nympho librarian seducing her male customer. But stick around, you never know!

Those of you who know me well know I am not just an author. I also work in a library. In fact, this week I am very excited to start a new role at my library. That’s right! I got a little promotion, and couldn’t be happier. ๐Ÿ™‚ I get to dust off my pearls because I’m going to be a proper librarian!

My two careers are very complimentary. They’re both about books, the most awesome invention ever. They both celebrate knowledge and the written word. There are a ton ofย materials at my fingertips, making research a breeze. And for me to be surrounded by books all day is pretty much a dream job, even when I’m admonishing folks for their late fees. (Pay your fines, people!) Only downside I see is the dust, which often gets up my nose and makes me suffer massive sneezing fits.

Another reason I appreciate library work is because it allows me to gauge audience response to romance lit. Every day, people pass my counter and I get to see what sort of books they are reading. I see a lot of romance pass by. Yes, people are still a little shy when checking out their sexy books, but I usually do my best to reassure them. I’ll give them the old “I’ve read that one. Amazing book!” They then look at me with a grateful smile, happy to know they’re not the only ones reading this literature. If we strike up enough of a rapport, I let them in on the secret that I also write the stuff. Most of my customers have been so supportive and wish me well. It’s a good feeling. One of my elderly patrons calls me “J.K.” with a sparkle in his eye. I tell him, “From your mouth to God’s ears.”

So, what are readers checking out these days? Highlanders remain big, as do vampires and rakes and Regency rogues. I wish I had a nickel for every time Nora Roberts and Heather Graham and Janet Evanovich crossed my path at work. And every last person (and their granny – literally) has checked out 50 Shades of Something or Other. I love those patrons…I target them for my speech, the one that begins, “If you like this, you’ll LOVE this one!” I try to recommend authors who may be less well-known. Some customers are open to it; others just want that little bit of titillation, and then they return to their cozy English mysteries.

It’s fun, mixing my two worlds. One is filled with dusty papers and old tomes. The other is peopled by dashing heroes, lively heroines and the odd villain or two. Surprisingly, these worlds work well together, and thrive off each other. I’m inspired at my library. I walk into the stacks and sigh in contentment because I know I’m home there.

When was the last time you visited your library? In this day of electronic devices and Google, many assume the local library to be redundant. However, did you know today’sย librarian is an expert in technology and social media? They pin images and tweet. They read voraciously and can recommend not only the hottest romance, but also books on philosophy and knitting and how to train your puppy. They can help you. And most libraries offer ebooks for free now! It’s a wonderful resource and unless you have trouble with keeping your date dues straight, it’s generally free of charge! Talk to your librarian. Use her knowledge. She’s only too happy to help you find what you need. And while you’re there, check out some romance books. The more you do, the more the library will buy them, which supports all your favorite romance authors.

Thank you.

21 thoughts on “Romance in the library

  1. From experience I can tell you that most people are surprised to learn that most librarians have a Master’s degree in either Library Science or Information Science, and that many of the positions in a library require that degree. I have the degree but haven’t worked as a librarian for almost 10 years now due to circumstances and reasons. I salute you for keeping the love of reading alive for people and for fanning the romance fiction flames as best you can in your position ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • I didn’t know that about you. Michelle! Life does sometimes walk us down another path, doesn’t it? And thank you. I do my small part to promote romance where I can. Not everyone buys into it, but I get such a tingle when I turn someone on…uh, to books, that is. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    • Thanks very much, Jan! I’m nervous…I start tomorrow! But this is an exciting time. Only problem is it may take away from my reading time…sigh! Can’t have it all. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for popping by today.

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    • Thank you so much, Michelle! I was amazed to see that too, but I believe the choices made by “print” customers and “ebook” customers are different sometimes. Ebook folks are a little more daring, from my experience. The print folks like their traditional stuff a little more! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  2. I do alot of promo with different people at the library – although I am “simply’ a volunteer there – I’m always giving the librarians new books to check out and making suggestions as I’m in there… they just started to open up a larger ‘electronic’ book selection on loan for patrons -so that’s opened up a whole new world to the readers who are trying it out.

    I always wanted to work in a library – but I get to do the next best thing by helping out…

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    • Hi Gaele! You are not “simply” a volunteer at all. Our library has a ton of wonderful volunteers. We call them “The Friends of the Library” or “The Friends” for short. They are our lifeblood, and they LOVE the place! I’m sure your librarians really value your suggestions and look forward to them. Thank goodness for kind people like you who volunteer their time for such a worthwhile organization. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Is it a bad thing that I got all kinds of naughty images when you described dusting off your pearls and becoming a proper librarian? ๐Ÿ˜‰ In all seriousness, big hugs and congrats on your promotion! I’m so proud for you! The readers at your library are lucky to have you there to guide them. I love this post. It reminds me how much I adore the library, whether it’s to find a quiet corner to write in or to search the stacks for that perfect book. Way to go, baby girl! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Congrats, Rosanna! I’m a former school librarian myself. I still miss the kids and the books.

    I’ll always be proud to have ordered four copies of the recently released Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for my library. I knew it was going to be big! (buffs nails)

    Sounds like you’ve worked your way into a perfect fit!

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    • Hi Karin! Thank you! Go figure…there are a lot of us out there! And you were a school librarian…much braver than me! Hee hee. Looks like we do have a lot in common with “J.K.”, huh?

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  5. Congrats on the promotion — and like Parker I had an image when you mentioned the pearls and the proper librarian — time to play proper librarian and naughty school boy, eh? I love the library.

    I wanted to be a librarian when I grew up – then I got married and sort of got diverted.

    My sister in law is a Technical Research Librarian (she worked for Pillsbury in that capacity for many years maintaining vertical files for the researchers — now it is both computer and print material maintenance). So, you know I love librarians.

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    • Thanks Moni. I think we all have a soft spot for librarians, except maybe for the ones who get stern about our fines! LOL Your sister-in-law must have had an interesting time at Pillsbury. My dream is to work in one of these old, musty archives…well, when I’m not writing, that is!

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  6. Great post, Rosanna. Sadly, our library isn’t functioning right now. It was housed in one of the oldest buildings on St Thomas, then it got moved to a huge new building that they don’t have the funds to open. So sad. My wonderful MIL is getting her library to order my book. I’m so excited!

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    • Hi Ella! That is sad…a non-functioning library. It sounds as if the old building was a good one. There’s nothing like a beautiful old library. It is exciting that your MIL’s library is ordering your book- congrats!!

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  7. I so need to learn to write about vampires and highlanders…But frankly the naughty pearl wearing librarian just appeals more. Congrats!

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    • Hi Td! Frankly, I wish I had a Highlander in my canon too! I have written a Scottish vamp (unpublished) and my selkies are Scottish but that’s the best I can do! Oh, and I do love that naughty librarian cliche…I love it a lot.

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