This post comes from Senior Producer Mindy, whose favorite college job was shelving pamphlets in the University of Minnesota’s Government Publications Library.
A few weeks ago I had the absolute joy of attending the session Write Your Own Hamilton: Finding Your Story in Libraries at NerdCon Stories, a conference dedicated to the art of storytelling in all its forms. Research is my forte, but I have spent so much time hunting for facts behind a computer that I’d forgotten about the magical wizards known as librarians. I love watching professionals work at their craft, and as they answered audience questions, I was truly in awe of the presenters, Jennifer Burek Pierce (The University of Iowa), Becky Canovan (University of Dubuque), and Colleen Theisen (The University of Iowa).
Professional librarians are a valuable resource to writers—both non-fiction and fiction alike. Here are my key takeaways for using libraries to write stronger stories. Nearly all of the resources I recommend below came from Jennifer, Becky, and Colleen.
1. Librarians want to help you!
If I learned nothing else, it was this: Librarians are excited to help you. They have spent years learning how to dig for information and make sense of what they uncover—when you ask for help, you’re giving them an exciting puzzle to solve.