Meet the Library
Posted on October 25, 2011 Posted by John Scalzi 26 Comments
For those who were curious about the institution I had hoped to help last month with my Redshirts auction, here’s what the Bradford Public Library looks like (from the outside at least). It’s small but mighty, and also very helpfully labeled in large, sans serif letters, just in case one is confused as to what building it is. Over in the right lower corner you can see it has a sign out front; right now here’s what that sign says:
Aw, shucks. You’re welcome, guys. Although strictly speaking the thanks really should go to the two gentlemen who between them donated $10,000. They provided the money; I just pointed it in the library’s direction.
Speaking of which, now that I am returned from Germany I will be this week mailing the various books and goodies to the gentlemen in question, although a couple of them — the story, the pie and the black velvet painting, will take slightly longer to take care of. But the black velvet painting, at least, is in process (which means I’ve contacted an artist and we’re talking concepts). The story will probably happen later this year. The pie will occur next year at the 4th Street Fantasy convention, which I am assuming I will attend specifically to deliver the pie. The things I do, man. But in this case, totally worth it.
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. A lot of writers are good guys.* Some are not, but more are.
You are. You are a good guy, in fact you’re one of the best good guys in all of science fiction. I wish I could be as good a guy as you (along with wishing I could be as successful as you, but that’s a more mundane kind of envy).
*Women have an equal ability to be good guys in this sense. Connie Willis is one of the good guys, for example.
Good to see!
If you do something like this again, you might want to consider a Kickstarter-style program, where similar to this certain levels of donation trigger certain things, but instead of it just being one person, winner take all, it’s group-based; so if 83 of us donate $10,000 together then [something happens], like you post a 1000 word story to something, and anyone who donates over $100 gets a postcard in the mail from you, or something like that. A lot of us don’t have $10k to donate but would love to participate in something like this I suspect :) (And yes, we can just mail [library in our area] a check, which is great, but a contest like this gets positive social monkey feelings :)
Oddly enough, Kickstarter won’t let one do charity things; I find that a little confusing myself.
I’m confused by that too, but I suspect there might be some tricky legal reasons Kickstarter can’t be used for charity events. Tax laws regarding non-profits can be tricky.
You certainly deserve to be thanked along with the winning bidders. You’re a nice guy, Whatever draws in nice people, and you focused some of that niceness on the library. Good work. I offer you a virtual pat on the back.
It’s always good to see people who have fun with their fans harness some of that fun to support a good cause. I am reminded of Storm vs. Fudgie.
A good bit of the thanks do go to you, John. Without the instigation, more than likely, none of it would have happened.
I’m looking forward to wonderful new reading material. It’ll be the first time in several years I’ve read actual printed on paper books.
Did we ever get to find out who the anon bonus donation came from? I don’t think I would have missed it, but maybe..
Lastly, while specifically coming to 4th St, I hope it’s not exclusively, or even primarily. Regardless, yay for yummy pie (and for a group of people with which to share it)!
Since you said you can “scorch water”, are you baking the pie or is the potential future Iron Chef handling that piece of the bundle?
Well, if you can’t actually do it on Kickstarter, could you just do it here? Have people send via paypal or whatever the donations to a single email address (say, some library official who I suspect would be happy to help) and then forward those emails to you/your assistant/me/whomever. That person can then distribute whatever incentives you have. I guess a bit more work, but not tons…
Well done, John! I <3 anything done to support local libraries!
“I guess a bit more work, but not tons…”
Says the guy who would not have to do any of the work.
It is in fact a ton of work, mostly relating to the financial aspects. One of the great things about Kickstarter is that it has the credit card infrastructure required to do what it does. I don’t have that, and it is significant. As someone who has had to deal with processing hundreds of contributions before, it’s really a pain in the ass, and if I would have to return donations if a certain limit was not met, it becomes significantly more work. And if even one of those is messed up, it falls on me.
So, yeah, I don’t do Kickstarter-like things here because they’re more work than I want to do. If at some point it becomes easier, then I would think about it. But right now, no.
Reading the sign the way it was arranged made me think they were laying at your feet the responsibility for Civil War Hauntings, not to mention ghost stories. Or, alternatively, you were providing said stories and hauntings. Guess you must have more superhero secret powers than you have hitherto confessed.
YAY for library love!
A Librarian & fan
You might try IndieGoGo, if you’re interested. It’s very much like Kickstarter, with the major difference being that campaign creators get the money even if the campaign isn’t fully funded, so one might end up donating any amount of money to one’s library. Also, I found this on IndieGoGo’s FAQ page:
Who can use IndieGoGo?
IndieGoGo is open for anyone to use, anywhere in the world, with any type of campaign — creative, cause-related, or entrepreneurial.
Our town library has signage envy.
Kaitlyn R. Miller, Joe, et al:
Guys, please assume that in the several years that I’ve done fundraising here, that I’ve generally researched what I’m doing, and am doing what I feel is both the right thing to do for the charitable organizations I want to focus on, and for myself. Thanks.
What a fine looking library! Thank you for coming up with the idea and implementing, and thanks especially to the two donors for making it happen. Kudos (and pie!) to all!
All the best,
I see the library website has a nice article/news release about the auction and donation. From poking about on their website, this looks like a worthy library, indeed. They look to be doing a fine job with what they already have; I’m sure they’ll do even better things with the money.
I am so glad that the Bradford Public Library will now be able to afford serifs. Although, I am fond of sans serif fonts, I do feel that all libraries in America should have complete access to the full range of fonts. I just feel that sometimes without serifs, writing doesn’t have a foot to stand on, and a full range of fonts is where I must put my foot down.
I must add my appreciation to the three people who made this happen. Great work truly- and not just for the serifs.
(I gather that at one point the Bradford Library did have serifs but they lost them in a shoot out. They might have lost more but thankfully although they shot the serif, they didn’t shoot the deputy.)
Thanks for the pointer to the library’s announcement, I hadn’t clicked through to the website since I’d already explored it a few weeks ago. I’m now curious just how big the largest donation was, if this was #2. I mean… .
I love that huge “LIBRARY” signage! And their news release was lovely and gracious; I’m particularly fond of the quote “Our library was far from quiet when the auction results were revealed!”
You made librarians be noisy! Excellent!!
Next up, buy them a sign made in your lifetime.
I love that sign. Every building should have one like that, just like all hospitals should have a giant illuminated red cross or crescent.
Well, maybe not rows and rows of PRIVATE HOME, PRIVATE HOME, PRIVATE HOME..
Nice. Helping libraries is awesome. Libraries are awesome. You’re a good man. Libraries!
“I love that sign. Every building should have one like that, just like all hospitals should have a giant illuminated red cross or crescent.”
It’s a generic Library, as seen on Repo Man. The main street in Bradford is lined with immense sans-serif signs all saying SHOP.
Have they indicated what they’ll use the money for?
[hoping for a large picture of a cat as part of the dedication plaque]
Mike, my home has a sign that reads “Gun owner and psycho cat on premesis, break in at your own risk.”
For the I-don’t-know-how-manyth time, this event brings a smile to my face. Thank you, John, Brad, anon, and Library. Well done, each and all of you.