So, in case you don’t get it from the title or the link in the sidebar —>, I am a fan of Maureen Johnson. No. Not the character from Rent (though I do enjoy her crazy antics as well). I’m talking about the author/blogger/substitute vlogbrother/Queen of Twitter Maureen Johnson. Don’t worry, Maureen. I’m not a stalker fan, I promise. I have read all of her books because they’re awesome and I’m working to be a teen librarian. (You can’t be a teen librarian and not know Maureen Johnson.) I also follow her tweets and giggle at her updates.
However, the reason I am making this fangirl post right now is because of a few specific tweets that she posted earlier today. She was responding to a question:
“@AndreaMarsland Do you ever feel resentful towards libraries or people who lend out books because it doesn’t make you money?” NEVER!!!
“Libraries are critical to a healthy society. They MAKE readers. I HOPE people go to the library.”
“Libraries are how I became a writer. That’s where I did all my reading. Now I buy LOTS OF BOOKS.”
“True, I make money writing books. I like to eat every day. But I’m IN this business because I love books, period.”
“People have asked, “Isn’t an illegal download the same thing as borrowing from the library or a friend?” The answer is no. Here’s why . . .”
“The copy you borrow from a library or a friend is a legal purchase, which you can share. Illegal downloading CREATES a new, illegal copy.”
(I would also add that the 9,000+ library systems in the country buy a few copies each of the more popular books. By increasing the popularity at the library, you’re still adding to the author’s paycheck.)
I think Maureen made a great statement- “critical to a healthy society.” We talked in some of my classes that there are 3 conditions necessary to have libraries: political stability, economic stability (not riches- stability), and centralization of population (it’s hard to have a big library collection when you’re nomadic). As libraries across the country are losing funding and closing, we blame the economic stability piece of the puzzle. However, a lot of those places are going to have a harder time recovering without libraries offering job help or tutoring services or a place to do research for your small business. Because it’s not just critical to have a healthy society to have libraries, “libraries are critical to a healthy society.”