My wife and I recently moved back to our beloved North Carolina after a ten year hiatus, and before we even had a house of our own I had a library card with the New Hanover County Public Library system. Kipp, a librarian at the Myrtle Grove branch, must’ve seen the desperation on my face when she allowed me to use my in-laws’ mailing address as my temporary residence. My wife and I were staying in her old bedroom at her parents’ house while our new home was being built, and Kipp understood that my need for the library went beyond a need for reading material and internet access; I had those things at my in-laws’ house. What I needed was a place to go. And that’s what I did. I went to the library every single day and spent hours in a dedicated study space, writing essays and blog posts and responding to email interviews about my new novel, This Dark Road to Mercy. I also found plenty of time (and peace and quiet) to get some serious work done on a new novel. None of this would’ve happened if the library hadn’t been there when I needed it.
Libraries give many of us a place to go, and librarians like you offer us much needed assistance once we arrive. Kipp and her colleague Laura gave me a tour of the library, told me about the research databases, and explained how to use my iPad to check out e-books, something I never would’ve figured out on my own.
Libraries and librarians have always been invaluable to me. In my family, my siblings and I all got our first library card the day we turned 6. It was one of the defining moments of my life. I got my New Hanover County Library card a few days after turning 36. It was one of the defining moments of my life.
I wanted to write this note and say how much I appreciate the support you’ve given me not just as an author, but also as a reader and a community member. I hope to have the opportunity to one day thank you in person. Until then, Happy Holidays and my best to you and yours.