Wednesday, September 13, 2017

We Love Libraries!

I started a new volunteer position recently with Sisters in Crime. It’s been about 6 years since I completed 6 years on the board of the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime. During those years I served in several positions, including a brief stint as chapter president, and co-chaired the 2011 California Crime Writers Conference. To say that I was tired after all that would be an understatement. Still, I wouldn’t change anything. I learned a lot and met a lot of great people.

This last year I decided it was time to get involved once again. This time with SinC National as the We Love Libraries! coordinator. I’m taking over from Andrea Smith who has spent the last 4 years in the position. She’s done a spectacular job and has been a wonderful support in this transition period.

When the opportunity came up, I thought this is the perfect job for me. I love libraries. I have ever since I got my first library card in grade school. My local library opened the world to me and was my refuge growing up. I thought it would be great to play even a small part in giving back to an institution that has given me so much over the years. Which means, of course, that I was very excited when I was selected for the job.

I did my first notification this last week to the Riverside Public Library in Riverside, Illinois. That was a wonderful moment, to hear the excitement in the voice on the other end of the line. I look forward to many more such moments.

August 2017 WLL Winner, Riverside Library in Riverside, IL
I’m not sure how many people know about the Sisters in Crime We Love Libraries! program. Basically, SinC gives $1,000 every month to a library in the United States. Libraries enter the lottery on the SinC website. At the end of every month, a library is randomly chosen to win the grant, which must be used to purchase books and may not be used for general operating expenses. Book purchases are NOT restricted to the mystery genre nor do they have to be written by Sisters in Crime members. All branches within a larger system may enter but, once a library in the system has won, no other libraries within that system can win the grant.

To enter, a library goes to and completes the entry form, which should include a photo of one or more of the library staff with three books in their collection by Sisters in Crime members. The picture I have here is the one the Riverside Library submitted.

Photos of past winners are posted on that page as well along with all of the nitty gritty details.

Spread the word to your local U.S. libraries. Who knows? Maybe they’ll be chosen. Think of all the books they can buy!

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