In Which Lisa Throws Around Names

My librarian pal and co-worker, Virginia, and I have been working on a National Library Week celebration event for the past several months. Actually, the date falls outside the official week proper but libraries deserve more than a one-week celebration, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Putting together library programs is a big part of my job and PR is a big part of Virginia’s. Between the two of us we do our best to keep the gears and widgets running smoothly. In fact, the job’s so big the library may be considering adding a third person to our ranks, expanding our adult programming and events even further, as part of our bid to keep our library relevant in the times ahead. Because things are changing and I do mean quickly.

Thursday evening’s event is sponsored by our Friends of the Library group, to whom we owe so, so much. They contributed money to my tuition costs, while I was studying for my Master’s at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Several others have received stipends as well, to help fund higher education. We’ve purchased furniture and various other collections through their generosity. They’re a big part of the reason we’re able to bring this year’s authors to our area, and why we’re already looking forward to another, equally big event next year. If your library has a Friends group take them bagels and coffee one day and thank them. If it doesn’t, what are you waiting for! Get it together, people!


For my part, I booked writers Elizabeth Berg and Betsy Woodman, for a two-fer author extravaganza. Actually, I should say I booked Elizabeth, and Elizabeth knows and would like to promote Betsy, so there you have it. We were thrilled. And Bob’s your uncle.

Meanwhile, Virginia ran about like mad (I mean that literally) (not the mad part) pulling together venue details, and working with our multi-talented graphic artist to give it the splash it needed to get attention. The three of us are now attached at the brain, that’s how much effort this has taken. And it’s Virginia who’s been behind the bulk of it, to give credit where it’s due. And our graphic artist, Deb! Oh, how sophisticated the event will be.

May I also just say, Elizabeth Berg’s willingness to work with libraries, institutions of much culture but small finances, is stellar. She’s also willing to use her fame to help other writers along, as clearly illustrated in our case.

In short: she’s a wonderful, wonderful human being.


ElizabethbergElizabeth Berg, Wonderful Human Being


Elizabeth’s bringing author Betsy Woodman this Thursday evening, to our event at the Golf Club of Illinois here in Algonquin. Betsy’s first novel, Jana Bibi’s Excellent Fortunes, will be published this July. It’s along the lines of an Alexander McCall Smith novel, so if you’ve enjoyed him you’ll likely want to check her out.


Betsy Woodman, Soon to Be Your Favorite Author

This amazing woman lived in India for ten years. She’s also studied in France, Zambia and the United States. From MacMillan’s author page:


“She has contributed nonfiction pieces and several hundred book reviews to various publications, and was a writer and editor for the award-winning documentary series Experiencing War, produced for the Library of Congress and aired on Public Radio International.”

Do credentials even get better than this?



Meet Jana Bibi, a Scottish woman helping to save the small town in India she has grown to call home and the oddball characters she considers family

Janet Laird’s life changed the day she inherited her grandfather’s house in a faraway Indian hill station. Ignoring her son’s arguments to come grow old in their family castle in Scotland, she moves with her chatty parrot, Mr. Ganguly and her loyal housekeeper, Mary, to Hamara Nagar, where local merchants are philosophers, the chief of police is a tyrant, and a bagpipe-playing Gurkha keeps the wild monkeys at bay. Settling in, Jana Bibi (as she comes to be known) meets her colorful local neighbors—Feroze Ali Khan of Royal Tailors, who struggles with his business and family, V.K. Ramachandran, whose Treasure Emporium is bursting at the seams with objects of unknown provenance, and Rambir, editor of the local newspaper, who burns the midnight oil at his printing press. When word gets out that the town is in danger of being drowned by a government dam, Jana is enlisted to help put it on the map. Hoping to attract tourists with promises of good things to come, she stacks her deck of cards, readies her fine-feathered assistant—and Jana Bibi’s Excellent Fortunes is born.


This Thursday evening will be a huge shindig for us, out in the suburban boonies. Shocking the community with literary talent this big seems to have overcome any feelings of apathy I’ve had to face prior. I’m already kicking names around for next year. That’s how successful this event’s proving to be. Need I say how joyous that is?

Full post on Thursday’s event to come…

4 thoughts on “In Which Lisa Throws Around Names

  1. Your are a sweetheart!Thanks for the compliments. We rock and make a great team.I’m ready to work on next year’s event with you now! Kent told me if we had Sara Paretsky, he would be happy to introduce her! So I think your idea of the crime writers…would be totally cool!


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