Award-winning Irish writer John Connolly has pledged his support for public libraries. He said: "When libraries start closing, something is very wrong with our culture, and I think that in this time of cuts, we as authors we have a duty to support libraries".
He was speaking at a special event we organised along with publishers Hodder & Stoughton and Headline on 1 October to offer librarians an exclusive chance to meet him during his current book tour.
John is well-known for his series of crime thriller novels starring US-based private detective Charlie Parker (including Every Dead Thing, Dark Hollow, The Killing Kind, The White Road, Bad Men, Nocturnes, and The Reapers).
John's current tour is to promote Conquest: Chronicles of the Invaders - a new science fiction series for teenagers - and The Creeps?, the latest installment in his 'Samuel Johnson' series. So this event was primarily aimed at children's librarians and librarians looking after young people, giving them a chance to meet the author and his publishing team at their central London offices.
Whilst signing copies of his books for attending librarians, John said: "Librarians are approaching their work from a love of books and reading. They are very in touch with local readerships, and are in a really important position to recommend books. Children, of course, don't read book reviews or adverts; in engaging with them you are totally dependent on local booksellers and librarians to recommend a book to them, and then if they enjoy it they'll recommend it on to other young readers".
Louise Ellis-Barrett, librarian at Downsend School in Leatherhead, Surrey said: "It's always so interesting to meet authors in person, and hear what they have to say about their work. Children at my school have read and enjoyed John's books, and I know they will have questions and be interested to hear what he said about them when I tell them I've met him."
Peter Baxter, senior officer: learning, reader development and bibliographic services with Camden Council, said: "These sorts of events are helpful not just in terms of meeting authors and their publishers, but also for networking and finding out what has and hasn't worked for others in terms of engaging readers, especially children and young people, with books".
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