Patty Andersen is Library Director at the Devereaux Library which is located on the campus of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota
I would like to thank you once again for inviting me to be a part of your blog. Sometimes I wonder how I fit in here and then realize it is because Kaye has accepted me into her world.
So, I thought I would write a little bit about acceptance. I’ve pretty much been a loner most of my life. My siblings are 10 and 11 years older than me so statistically I’ve been classified as an only child. I also discovered reading very early (think Dr. Seuss) and never cared as much for people my age as I did for the books. As I progressed through school I was often an outcast because I didn’t care for “girly things” like makeup and fancy hair-do’s. I never got the dress up bug, probably because of the private school restrictions, first “plain” dresses, later uniforms (god-awful, brown checked with a muted red, green, blue pattern as a jumper). So, the first time someone told me they wouldn’t be my friend because I wore ankle socks instead of knee highs I was dumb founded and decided about then that teenagers are weird! Since then I’ve marched to my own drum and stuck to one or two close friends, it’s easier that way.
Books have been a constant in my life from early reading to voracious reading through high school, a library science degree as an undergraduate and another as a graduate student. Seems my path was set to work in libraries forever. Now, as a library director of a university that focuses on science, engineering and technology I don’t get a lot of chances to share my love of reading, but I have managed to hold on to the practice of having best sellers in the building for those student who want to read something other than textbooks or journal articles on some deep and weighty subject.
So, when in the 1990’s along came the Internet, I jumped right into groups that talked about books. The first two were both started by the amazing Diane Kovacs, DorothyL for mystery readers and RRA-L for romance readers. I’ve pretty much dropped reading lots of romance but DorothyL still comes into my email every day. It is there that I first heard of that upstart Kaye Barley – you know, the one who liked to respond to almost every post and got herself into trouble on more than one occasion for speaking her mind? That lady I liked *a lot* and so I started responding to her emails “off list” and we connected.
I still think the Internet is one of the greatest things to ever happen to readers like me who live fairly remotely from big population centers (Black Hills of South Dakota). I’ve managed to “meet” and talk to a great many authors that I admire and find that most are just people, not remote images that don’t lead normal lives. From DorothyL I’ve moved on to Goggle groups, Yahoo groups, blogs and Facebook. BTW, just how addictive is Facebook? I cut myself back to an hour a day and soon find myself back up to 2 or 3, oops.
To all the authors out there (including you Mrs. Barley) who have responded to messages I’ve sent, asked me to post my modest book reviews or just allowed me to “follow” you on Facebook. THANK YOU, it is so nice to be included in a place where for so many years I just enjoyed your labors but didn’t have any person contact.
I always like to give a shout-out to the three authors I have “met in person”, Kathleen Taylor from central South Dakota, Lori Armstrong from the Black Hills area and Craig Johnson from Ucross Wyoming. Meeting you in person has been an honor and I love all of your books.