A Monday afternoon blog post is rare, but I thought this was important.
Last week, The Washington Post ran this story.
Nora was appalled and asked me to find a way for her to help them bridge the gap — personally, not through the Nora Roberts Foundation. I contacted the WaPo reporter who provided me with the GoFundMe information.
Yesterday, Nora made a donation that will make all the difference to the Fund Patmos Library campaign.
Ron French at Bridge Michigan reached out to me after Nora’s donation. Bridge Michigan ran the original story about the Patmos Library being defunded along with several follow-ups on the fundraising campaign.
Ron’s most recent piece went live today: https://www.bridgemi.com/talent-education/romance-author-nora-roberts-helps-save-mi-library-defunded-over-lgbtq-books
I have many emotions about the vote to defund and Nora’s determination to help. When I was 9 years old, the first place I was allowed to talk to on my own was the Brooklyn Public Library. Eight blocks down Fort Hamilton Parkway to the magical place where I could choose my own adventure. Where I could fill up summer days with stories. I went pretty much every day.
My first paying job was working as a page at the South Orange (NJ) Public Library Children’s Room — spent all my college years earning $2.25 (might have been $1.75) an hour so I could be around books. My mom decided after raising seven kids that being a librarian would be a good second career. She was a Children’s Librarian, then the director of the Florham Park (NJ) Public library for over 25 years.
So libraries are in my blood. And the thought that access to the services a library offers and the shelves full of interesting stories could be voted away because people don’t agree with all the information in those books is a nightmare.
I’m grateful Nora stepped up. Thank you emails from librarians have been streaming in.
And lesson learned, I will pay better attention to the salvos fired at the libraries around me so I’m prepared to fight for their right to remain open with access to all.
For those who would like to donate, the link is https://www.gofundme.com/f/fund-patmos-library-for-2023