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Sunday, April 11, 2010

I Love Librarians by Jane K. Cleland

Jane K. Cleland writes the multiple-award nominated and Independent Mystery Booksellers Association best-selling Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series [St. Martin’s Minotaur], an Antiques Roadshow for mystery fans. SILENT AUCTION, the fifth in the series, will be published in April 2010. Ms Cleland chairs the Wolfe Pack’s literary awards and is on the board of the Mystery Writers of America/NY Chapter. “Josie” short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Her apartment (along with her husband and cats) was featured in a recent New York Times Habitat article. 

Library Journal has just named Consigned to Death a "core title" for librarians looking to build a cozy collection, one of only 22 titles listed. The full article is at

I Love Librarians by Jane K. Cleland

All 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 three nieces... but still... all of them are librarians.  Lucky me. Librarians 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. I’m in awe of all three.

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 also work with Deborah Hirsch, a principal librarian at the Midtown-Manhattan Branch of the New York Public Library to coordinate a series of monthly programs h in my role as chair of the Library Committee for the Mystery Writers of America/ New York Chapter.

In fact, even when I’m traveling overseas, it’s not uncommon for me find myself in a library, like this one I just visited in Grenada.

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


Bobbi Mumm said...

Jane, congratulations on this endorsement of your wonderful book.
I worked in a library, as a university student. Veterinary Medicine Library at University of Saskatchewan. Browsing the stacks wasn't much fun for a languages and Politics student. But the inspiration for murder mysteries was amazing!
Kaye, thank you for your blog and for leading us to the great core list of cozies!

Jane K Cleland said...

Hi Bobbi,

Great to meet you, Bobbi!Yes, I'm THRILLED at the Library Journal pick. What an honor!

Ah! Those stacks... if only they could talk, the tales they'd tell!

Best, Jane

Jane K. Cleland said...

One more comment... for those of you interested in the newest Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery (out tomorrow 13 April 2010), it's about ambition and what it can do to people and relationships... and scrimshaw, a uniquely American form of folk art. Speaking of my love for librarians, I hope you'll ask your local librarian for it! Thank you.

jenny milchman said...

Great pictures, Jane, and I couldn't agree more. Libraries are secret, magic places, and the librarians are the magicians. Great going to your nieces! (At the moment my 6 year old wants to be a bookseller...) And congrats to you on such an honorific acknowledgment of your work!

Lesa said...

Congratulations, Jane, and, from a librarian, thank you! That's what I was told by a wonderful librarian when I was in grad school - I didn't have to know the answers, just where to find them. (And, I have a nephew who, at the moment, wants to be a librarian.) It's nice to keep it in the family.

Lesa -

Jane K. Cleland said...

Thank you, too, Lesa! I hope to see you in Scottsdale!