Monday, October 1, 2012

I Love Librarians

Our guest blogger today is Jane K. Cleland, hands down one of the warmest, most generous colleagues anywhere. Jane is the author of the IMBA bestselling and Agatha- and Anthony-nominated Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series. Set on the rugged coast of New Hampshire, the books are often reviewed as an Antiques Roadshow for mystery fans.

The eighth in the series,
Lethal Treasure, will be published in June 2013. The first in the series, Consigned to Death, was named by Library Journal as one of only 22 “core titles” recommended for librarians seeking to build a cozy mystery collection, alongside novels by Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. Publishers Weekly said of The Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries, "Ingenious ... engaging!"

Jane also hosts the TV interview program,
The Writers Room, and is on the faculty of Lehman College, part of the City University of New York. She is a past president of the New York chapter of Mystery Writers of America and a fellow lover of libraries. You can visit Jane at

Seventy-five percent of my nieces are librarians. Isn’t that odd? Any family can have a librarian in it... heck... I bet some families have two... but all? Okay... we’re a small family... I only have four nieces... but still... three of them are librarians (and the fourth is a Ph.D. in social psychology, a highly analytical field). Lucky me. Librarians (and social psychologists) are a remarkable breed of people. They’re curious, knowledgeable, smart, and helpful. No wonder I love librarians. One of my nieces is a communications expert, researching ways and means of framing and disseminating her clients’ messages. Another is a cognitive expert, assisting scientists in researching issues surrounding thinking and assimilating information. My third niece is an elementary education expert, working with youngins to instill a love of reading and learning. The fourth is a researcher at a major university. I’m in awe of all four.

I come by my attitude of respect and appreciation honestly; my mother loved librarians, too. When I was a mere slip of a girl she taught me that if you wanted to know something you could always consult a librarian because they either know everything or they know where to find out everything.

When I was in sixth grade, I consulted a librarian as to whether Paul Revere’s horse was a mare. (I needed it as a rhyme in a poem, and being an honest girl, I couldn’t just say it was a mare if it was, in fact, a stallion. Note of interest: She found a contemporary reference stating that Paul Revere’s horse was a mare; I thought you’d want to know.) When I was in eighth grade, a librarian held me enraptured as she discussed the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. (Yes, you read that right. Twenty-one people died a gruesome death, asphyxiated by molasses.)

To this day, I love working with librarians as I work to introduce readers to my protagonist, antiques appraiser, Josie Prescott. As an author, I’m in the enviable position of getting to do just that—a lot. As many of you know, I tour extensively [ ] as I work to introduce readers to Josie.

I love the buildings. I love the books. I love the reverence implicit in the hushed conversations. But mostly, I love the librarians.

The Kansas City Public Library

Jane Cleland

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Jane, long time no see! You deserve an A+ for your excellent track record the last few years as a writer and star in the mystery world. I wish you all the best of continued success with your career! Thelma Straw in Manhattan