Author David Baldacci weighs in on e-books, library budget cuts in @ your library video

For Immediate Release
Thu, 02/06/2014

Contact:

Steve Zalusky
Manager, Communications
Public Information Office (PIO)
szalusky@ala.org

CHICAGO — Author David Baldacci, who wrote the best-seller “Absolute Power,” said he believes publishers will provide libraries with greater access to e-books in a video produced by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Information Office (PIO) for the ALA’s website for the public, atyourlibrary.org.

Regarding the publishing Industry and e-books, he said, “There’s a shakeout period. Obviously I think greater access and granting access to libraries for books, e-books, any type of format – audio – is very important. I think the publishers are going to get there. They’re trying to figure out how they can do all of this and still make money. As we well know, they have a lot of challenges from enormous competitors out there whose main business is not books, and so it’s difficult to compete against behemoths like that. I think that at the end of the day, publishers will provide a lot more access . They just have to figure out how they can make money doing it and make sure the industry survives,” he said.

Baldacci’s interview is one of more than 100 interviews featuring authors and celebrities sharing their love of libraries. Visit the @ your library website to find stories told by such authors and public figures as Khaled Hosseini (“The Kite Runner”), Laura Moriarty (“The Chaparone”) John Grisham (“The Firm”), Elizabeth Gilbert (“Eat, Pray, Love”), Brian Selznick (“The Invention of Hugo Cabret”) and Steve Sheinkin (“Bomb”).  The website contains not only the videos, but also transcriptions of the material.

In the video, Baldacci shares his memories of libraries.

He says, “Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, we would go to the library every weekend.

“I was able to sort of see the world in many respects, without ever leaving my hometown. It had a profound effect on me, because if you make a reader early, I think you make a reader for life, and that certainly was the case with me.”

His librarians introduced him, he says, to biographies of famous people that focused on their childhood. Reading them, he “saw how a kid grew up and was able to change the world.”

Later on, he says he used the library for research. For his book “Wish You Well,” set in his native Virginia, he “pretty much camped out at the state library in Richmond,” where he examined WPA reports, oral accounts written down by people in the Depression and genealogical documents.

In the video, he criticizes library budget cuts, saying, “It’s a shortsighted approach, and we’re going to feel the effects.

“If we want to spend money on something that’s going to help this country move forward, we can turn away from the bombs and turn back to the books.”

Baldacci became an author after establishing a career as a lawyer. His novel “Absolute Power,” published in 1996, became an international success and was turned into a film starring Clint Eastwood.

Another novel, “Wish You Well,” was made into a film, for which he wrote the screenplay as well.

Atyourlibrary.org is the public website for the American Library Association’s public awareness campaign, the Campaign for America’s Libraries, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.