What’s at the library for you? You’ll never know unless you visit. From books to framed art prints you can check out to temporarily decorate a room with, the library is a gold mine. You just have to ask.

The library is a great place, but not everyone knows what a treasure trove of wonder and wisdom resides there.

Honestly, go to the library and once you get past the humility of the massive collection of knowledge and ideas all in the same place, look around at everything available to everybody from the casual reader catching up on the daily news to the college professor checking on resources for a class he’s teaching next semester.

The point is that EVERYBODY belongs at the library. Everybody, that is, who respects the principle of freedom to access information. Lack of respect for the contents, the people, the equipment, the facilities, or the ideas will get you rightfully tossed out the front door by the gatekeeper known as the Librarian.

It’s a tough job monitoring knowledge, keeping it as safe as possible from abuse, staying on top of current information techniques, and exploding technology. But most librarians are fantastic people with a lot on their plates but always willing to help when asked a question. Granted, we’ve all run into the crusty book warden who is a bit ragged around the edges, but the librarian is a precious jewel and should be treated with appreciation. After all, she opens the doors every day and believes in the same thing writers and educators do: knowledge and ideas are only valuable when they are shared.

I have soooo many great librarian stories to share that one month isn’t enough. So here is a brief list of all the ways libraries and librarians have been a great help to my careers as teacher and writer.

#A librarian near my hometown helped me access a primary source that inspired my first romance novel. If it weren’t for this particular special collection and this wonderful woman who let me read “The Message to Garcia” by Elbert Hubbard (1899), my novel wouldn’t have the historical accuracies it does.

#When my children were young and learning to love reading and writing, a wonderful junior librarian named Brenda made a point to find out what interested them and ordered books year after year that kept them coming back until they moved away for college.

#My favorite aunt is a school librarian. She loved helping children find and enjoy books, including me. My love of reading and writing comes from Aunt Rosemary.

#Doug at the college library where I taught for 18 years never failed to amaze me at how quickly and efficiently he responded to my requests for materials no matter where on Earth they were located.

#My FAVORITE librarian is my youngest daughter!

Libraries need and take donations of money and materials. In recent months, I’ve donated a collection of classic novels to the local children’s library and over 200 articles, books, and awards representing my 40 years as a freelance author. I’m not done publishing. I didn’t have any more room in the house to collect it all. Now, The Joy E. Gunter Held Collection resides in the West Virginia Archives and History Library in Charleston, WV.

Archives and History

Joy E. Gunter Held Collection of Performing & Literary Arts Publications


I’ll save more library/librarian kudos for later. What’s your library story?

Hug a library and a librarian every day. They are the protectors of one of the most important freedoms: speech.

Check here for some interesting facts about National Library Lover’s Month.


It’s not too late to celebrate National Library Lover’s Month 2023. Support a library and be nice to a librarian. The returns are valuable.

Be well, write well!