Six Strong Benefits of Supporting Your Local Author Community in Your Library
As libraries’ roles extend beyond book lending towards becoming community centers, they are embracing opportunities to give selfpublished authors the attention and resources they need to grow as local creatives who enrich the community. More poignant now than ever is the American Library Association’s (ALA) stance that libraries have a duty to support “programs in the humanities and the arts that encourage people to think and talk about ethics and values, history, art, poetry and other cultures.”
SELF-e supports libraries as transformational spaces, serving everyone from patrons who write infrequently to new writers to readers. Using Pressbooks Public, patrons who do not write often can become people who write regularly, and new writers can turn their manuscripts into polished ebooks and print-on-demand books. SELF-e’s community engagement aspect can help local authors become more established in their communities and beyond by allowing local readers to discover new indie literature and by supporting SELF-e Select authors who participate in its Ambassador program. Finally, SELF-e can turn patrons into more engaged readers by supporting library events that connect them with authors. No matter how libraries benefit from SELF-e’s many paths to making the library a transformational space, establishing a reputation as being transformative increases the likelihood of receiving public funding.
Having programs that support local authors encourages creativity.
Serving indie authors will increase foot traffic to the library for non-traditional purposes.
Local author programs can increase public investment in the library.
Having author-centric programs increases social capital.
Having opportunities for local writers may lead to better social relations across diverse groups both inside and outside of the library.
Building strong literary communities in libraries establishes them as vital to an area’s creative placemaking.
SELF-e and Pressbooks Public are viable resources for authors at any point in their writing journey, from conception to publication. These tools, made available through library systems worldwide, allow authors to produce professional-quality ebooks and distribute them to patrons locally and internationally through their public library.