Friday, February 29, 2008

Local Authors in my library

I've been bugging the powers-that-be at my job to let me put up a book display for local authors for months now. It's something I feel that libraries should support more, and I think people would be surprised by all the authors who actually live in the area.

After two days off, I came in yesterday to find someone else had one set up.

It's not bad, I guess, just a little disappointing for me. There are several things by David Baldacci, VC Andrews, John Grisham---he's apparently bought himself a house somewhere near Charlottesville, Va. But the list they're working off of is very focused on Mystery/Thrillers. It's missing key figures, people like John Edgar Wideman, Neal Stephenson (who grew up in the Maryland suburbs and wrote his first couple of novels while living in Alexandria), Brenda Clough, and Henry Rollins. It's even missing historical folks with connections to the D.C. area like Walt Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe.

So, of course, I volunteered myself to help expand their list. I'll be basing it largely on the lists C.M. Mayo shared so graciously on her own blog here, but including a few of my own as well. Of course, I'll have to cut things based on what our library actually carries. I'm looking forward to it, and hope I have some actual time to work at the library instead of doing it all at home. But we'll see. Either way, it will be a labor of love. I'll post the final list here when it's done.



C.M. Mayo said...

So glad to see support for local authors! I hope you'll be able to display Richard Peabody's three (count 'em, three!) fiction anthologies of Washington women writers.

Hebdomeros said...

Sadly I couldn't. The only RP-edited book my library has is Mondo Barbie. Which I did display and was checked out almost immediately. It's hard to pass up that cover. I've suggested the Washington Women Writers titles, but the powers above don't have quite the commitment to local authors that I have. That and they don't think short story collections circulate. Granted they'll never check out as much as a new John Grisham novel but they can do well if they are worked into the collection in the right way.

If I can remember to bring my camera to work soon, I'll take a photo and post it early next week. It's worked out well, considering what we had to work with. I think people have been surprised with the diversity of authors in the area.