At BEA I had some time to browse and found a program called Authors For Libraries right across from the Mom’s Choice both. It is sponsored by the American Library Association. The mission is to bring authors and libraries together.
The program has many benefits for authors including an information page that can be accessed by libraries, a two way zip code search database that includes authors for use by librarians and a list of libraries within a zip code for authors who may be traveling to a certain location or interested in doing outreach to a specific area. There are helpful tip sheets for authors who want to reach out.
A wonderful retired librarian who was involved in implementing the program and manning the booth was a fountain of information. We had a spirited discussion on issues such as the stresses faced by librarians due to funding cutbacks and the difficulties faced by self-published authors who try to reach out to libraries. I told her that Authors for Libraries seemed like a perfect resource but that I am sometimes hesitant to make cold calls to libraries due to my experience that self-published authors are not always welcomed with open arms. She acknowledged that this was a problem and said she was going to send out a Tips for Connecting with Self Published Authors to librarians. She is someone who “gets it”. I decided to join!