All in for the “Year of the Book”

Librarianship | Danielle Borasky| February 26, 2019

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NoveList Vice President Danielle Borasky examines how lives could be transformed if 2019 really did become the “Year of the Book” as suggested by Sari Feldman in a Publishers Weekly column.

Sari Feldman’s recent Publishers Weekly column, Librarians, Let’s Make 2019 the Year of the Book, gave many of us at NoveList a little shiver of excitement. In it, she calls for a return to seeing books as “foundational to libraries” and calls on librarians to lead a transformation based on books and reading. She asks us to imagine what might be possible when books transform our lives.

What I love about this call to action is that it inspires us to see the value in the act of reading books. It’s not about books by themselves, but about the impact books have on the people who read them. It’s not driven by nostalgia for dusty shelves of books, but instead by a desire to help people become better versions of themselves. To help our communities become stronger because they are made up of readers.

In a recent address, David Lankes said this: “For books or any other tools to do any good people have to be able to read. Furthermore, they have to feel safe and have a life where reading is of value.”

Just having books is not enough. Access to books is not enough. We also need to value the importance of reading in order for those books to make any kind of impact on us. And that’s where libraries come in. 

We also need to value the importance of reading in order for those books to make any kind of impact on us. And that’s where libraries come in. 

Libraries can stake out a role as THE place where reading is elevated to an essential activity. Libraries are the place where you have more books to choose than you can ever hope to finish, where you can find YOUR book, YOUR genre, YOUR story. Where you can encounter someone else who loves reading, too. And librarians should claim their role as advocates for reading. It’s up to us to communicate the value of reading to our communities and NoveList is committed to helping you build that love of reading in your community. We should let people know that readers are more empathetic, more able to envision a better life, more excited about the future. We should let our county officials know how important it is for citizens to read. We should join committees and advocate for reading.

If you doubt the transformative power of books, I encourage you to read A Society of Readers, which was written for a U.K. audience but resonates regardless of your location: “books can bring us back together in surprising ways”.

There’s one thing that just about every librarian I know does really well — they get excited about books. I have a friend who says, people will get excited about the things YOU'RE excited about. So, let’s be the ones who are excited about the power of books. Let’s build the future with books as our foundation.

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Danielle Borasky
Vice President, NoveList

Danielle Borasky is the Vice President of NoveList, a division of EBSCO Information Services. Located in Durham, North Carolina, NoveList has been helping readers find their next favorite book for more than 20 years, and continues to develop innovative solutions for connecting readers, books, and libraries. Prior to joining NoveList in 2011, Danielle gained broad experience in the library industry through her work in many different settings including academic, special, and public libraries. Danielle holds a Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science.

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