Close this search box.

Heart of the Town: Your Public Library

People who know me know I have a passionate affinity for the library. Some of my earliest memories are of the public library in my town.

This is the children’s room of my childhood library in Olean, New York.

When I was a child, this library in Olean, NY, was my second home.

If you’ve read the Lakeshore Chronicles, you probably have an idea of what it looks like in my imagination.

The longest dedication I’ve ever written for a book is about the library. This is from The Charm School.


To the most charming group of people I know:


You probably don’t remember my name, but you saw me every week. I was the quiet child with the long pigtails and the insatiable appetite for Beverly Cleary, Carol Ryrie Brink, and Louise Fitzhugh. I was the one you had to tap on the shoulder at closing time, because I was still sitting on a stool in the stacks, poring over Ramona’s latest adventures or sniffling as I read Anne Frank’s diary. I was the little girl with the huge wire basket on the front of her bike–for lugging home a stack of books that weighed more than she did.

I never thought to thank you back then, because I didn’t understand how very much all those hours, and all those books, and all your patience meant to me or to the writer I would become. But I understand now. So this book is dedicated to you, to all of you, in gratitude for bringing books and readers together.


The library truly is the heart of any town. If there is such a thing as a sacred space, it is the public library, a place of safety, where every patron is treated equally and with respect.

Librarians are the keepers of the flame, the knowledge-bearers, the book-custodians, the curators of collections. They are passionate. They are fierce. They will put you together with a book that might just change your life.

The most important card in my wallet!



The New York Public Library is Disneyland to a writer.

My daughter and granddaughter clearly inherited the library chromosome.

What is the library in your town like? What are your memories of the library? What’s your favorite thing about the library?

Does your library like to receive foreign language books for their collection? Post the library’s address in Comments, and we’ll pick some at random to donate foreign copies of my books.

Foreign Affairs

#LibraryDay #NationalLibraryDay #LibrarianDay




Share this post

Stay In Touch!

Be the first to get updates from Susan