When days were as nice as it was today, it’s really tough to spend them driving all over the state, but I knowing it was just for awhile longer, I pressed on. I put the key in the ignition and backed down the driveway.
My first stop was the Shelbyville -Shelby County Public Library, so I took I-70 to I-465 to I-74 and headed south. Then I took S.R. 9 into Shelbyville and found the library. The thing that struck me most about this library was that clearly the Carnegie part came first and they added on. But look how skillfully they did it. The building looks balanced and everything just flows.
Inside I spoke with Diane, the adult services librarian, and Laura, who handles the library’s public relations. They were delightful to talk to and very encouraging. When it came time to take the photo, they went back to the stacks and found my two older books and held them up with the envelope. Thank you, ladies!
From there I took S.R. 44 over to Rushville in Rush County. Rushville’s library looked somewhat like a church, and I missed it at first, despite the sign in front. I went up the street and turned around, and coming back I parked across from the library and snapped a photo.
Going inside, I found the circulation desk and spoke with Pat, who checked with another librarian, and they determined that my advance letter probably went to the director, who’d just gone into a meeting. So I explained the adventure and the contest to Pat, who accepted the contest materials and said she’d give them to the director. Here’s Pat holding the envelope:
Continuing my journey eastward across S.R. 44, I came to Connersville next, in Fayette County. The drive into Connersville from the west is really quite nice, and different from the flat farmland that precedes it. There’s a nice forest-y ridge that you drive over the crest of, and then you continue down into the town. It’s pretty. I had to make an 11:00 phone call before going into the library, so I had took the library photo and then sat in the car talking with the Mystery Writers of America’s public relations agency (about the upcoming Edgar Awards, if you must know) before going inside. When the call was over, I went in and met Daniel, one of the librarians. He was excited about the contest, particularly the idea of winning a character name. He promised to give the materials to the library director and spread the word among their mystery enthusiasts. Here’s the library and Daniel:
Back on S.R. 44, I drove into the town of Liberty, which contains the Union County Public Library. I was very much looking forward to this stop, since I’d spoke with Nicki, the adult services librarian, and Karen, the library director, and they’d invited me to lunch. What I didn’t know was that this was the day they have their monthly program where they invite a senior citizens’ group and a group of fifth graders from the county into the library to hear a speaker, usually from the seniors’ group. The talk today was about a bicycle trip across Austria, which one of the seniors, a retired physical education teacher and her husband had taken (and let me tell you, she didn’t look like a senior. She and her husband were in great shape!) Anyway, the conniving Nicki and Karen thrust me into the meeting at the end, and had me introduce myself and talk a little bit about who I was and the adventure I was on. Though it was very impromptu, the two groups received me very kindly and I took photos of them. Here they are. The fifth graders, by the way, are from Liberty Elementary.
What a great group! Anyway, immediately after this I had lunch with the adults (homemade beef and noodles, homemade mashed potatoes, applesauce, a roll, and homemade pie–I had a piece of pecan, which was incredibly rich and good). Authors: if you EVER get asked to lunch at the Union County Library in Liberty, take it! These people know how to cook!
So, the kids wanted my autograph…how flattering!…and I ended up signing the napkins they used at lunch, which was endearing. And if meeting me encouraged them to go home and pick up a book, then I’m thrilled. After that, Karen and I hammed it up for the camera (Nicki took the photo) of me presenting her with the contest envelope. Here’s the library and the photo of Karen and me.
It was a great visit and a wonderful lunch. Thank you Union County Public Library!
Now I had to get back on track. I took C.R. 101 down to Brookville in Franklin County to see my friend Melody, who is the library director there and who tells me that it’s ABOUT TIME I put out a new Nick Bertetto book. She’s a delight, loves mysteries, and really promotes local authors. Here’s a photo of the Brookville Library and Melody holding the contest materials.
I retraced my path back up C.R. 101 into Liberty, and then north on U.S. 27 into Richmond. There I located Richmond’s library, the Morrisson Reeves Public Library, which was my stop in Wayne County. Richmond is a sizable city, so the library was a large one. I talked to librarian and was referred to Mary, who is in charge of ordering mysteries. Mary was very nice and seemed to recall reading about the novel, if not my adventure and contest. She took the contest materials but told me I couldn’t take a photo in the library, which I understand. Here’s the library:
From there I got on I-70 (interstate at last!) and drove to the New Castle exit and took S.R. 3 into the city. From there I know the way to the New Castle-Henry County Public Library on S. 15th Street, having been there a few times for program. I stopped to see my friend Debi, who is the adult program coordinator, and presented her with the official contest materials. She promised to make sure their writers’ group (a couple of whom are friends of mine) knew about the contest. Here’s a photo of the library and of Debi with the envelope:
Whew! I was ready to head home. I got back on S.R. 3, took the ramp to I-70 west, and took the interstate all the way to Plainfield. Another great day of meeting some wonderful librarians.
The total now stands at 39 counties down, 53 to go; 47 libraries down, 54 to go.