Readers, writers, charity… doesn’t the connection jump to mind immediately? I belong to a few writers’ groups, and recently one of them posted a notice that the community of Slave Lake, Alberta, devastated this summer by fire, needs current books. Apparently the newly minted town library, along with every one of its books, was destroyed in the flames.
Writers work in isolation, often with nothing to keep us company but a mega-mug of coffee and the crankiness associated with impending deadlines. Maybe that’s why most of the writers I know will latch onto any excuse to come out of hiding and help out their comrades. In my experience, they’re a generous and compassionate sort whenever it’s called for.
Soon after the destruction of the Rotary Club of Slave Lake Public Library, the Writers’ Union of Canada voted to hold a book drive through its membership. Between this and other initiatives organized by bookstores, libraries, schools, publishers and other readers and writers, the library has received more than 26,000 books – surpassing the number of volumes they had to begin with. So many duplicates have come in that they’re already planning to sell off the extras and use the funds for any books not yet replaced.
Because the library is still in need of a few more bucks to beef up their collection, they’ll gratefully accept any and all cash donations. Just don’t send more books. (Unless, on the other hand, you happen to be an author: A library staffer reports that they’d be thrilled to receive any personally autographed copies you can spare for their shelves.)
It’s Friday, so I’m feeling the fun: Let’s talk literature. If you could only pick one, what single book would you select for this town library’s collection?