I do! This photo was taken at the Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City recently, where I was participating in an author event. My college friend Wade Park showed up, much to my delight!
I’ve done events of all types at libraries all over the state, and elsewhere. A library is one of a community’s greatest resources, a place open to all, where knowledge, entertainment, and connection is free and cherished. I’m an unabashed fan of libraries, and anyone who knows about my upbringing can say I got it honestly. My mother, a long-time librarian, instilled that love in me from a very early age. I remember going to the Fredericktown library when I was a kid and loading up on books that were WAY over my age range. The checkout clerks passed a glance, then sighed, then checked them out for me. (They did, however, tell me that only grownups could check out the art prints that I had under my arm.)
I can hardly begin to list the libraries I have visited as part of my book efforts. Some of the bigger ones have nice speaker budgets, and I always appreciate being invited to talk where there’s a check at the end. But many of the little libraries are scratching by with no spare money at all; I usually give a talk at those libraries for free, or for gas money. Libraries have given me so much over the years that I consider myself in a permanent state of debt to them. Plus, when I visit a library there’s always a chance that an old friend will appear!