In Defense of Libraries: Why Einstein and the Rabbit Were Right

by Margaret Welwood

The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.

–Albert Einstein

I cheerfully presented Marie and Mr. Bee to our Acting Children’s Librarian. But rather than snatch it with eager hands, he said, “I’ll check in our computer and see how well your other book is doing.” Scissortown (the “other book”) passed muster, and the library bought Marie and Mr. Bee. Little Bunny’s Own Storybook, the tale of a library-loving rabbit, passed muster the next time around.

What a lesson for me! I remember a post by an author who urged us to buy books, and suggested that we borrow them from the library if we had to. I’m still miffed that the library was presented as a poor second choice!

Here’s why:

As I mentioned above, the librarian checked to see how my first book was doing before buying the second one.

As the grandmother of a four-year-old charmer, I love my free library card! It gives me access to any book in any public library in our province, and our local library brings these books in for me free of charge. I read book blogs and Facebook posts about picture books that I think would interest Eliana, and then check to see if I can borrow them. I could not afford to buy her all these books—and why would I even want to?

Even before said charmer was part of our lives, I borrowed children’s picture books to read to a weekly story circle at my grandson’s after school care. What a rich learning experience that was!

Our library has hosted a book launch for me, and also provided venues and events where I can read and sell my books.

The Public Lending Rights program pays Canadian authors when selected Canadian libraries buy their books.

Library access is a privilege. Let’s enjoy, appreciate, utilize, and promote this privilege!


Margaret Welwood loved teaching English as a Second Language, writing magazine articles, and editing a business magazine and adult non-fiction books (one an Amazon #1 best seller, the other a Writer’s Digest award winner). However, with the arrival of grandchildren and their welcome request—“Grandma, can you tell me a story?”—she began writing and editing picture books for children. This is now her favorite genre.

Please visit eBookChristian to learn about Margaret’s picture books for children (both print and digital), and her Authors Community (AC) vendor page for her editing services.

She was particularly pleased to work with AC author Terri Martin on Luckie’s Boat Ride, a tale of adventure and compassion on the high seas. Now that the editing has been completed, other members of the AC team will guide Terri down the path to final publication with the venue of her choice.

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2 thoughts on “In Defense of Libraries: Why Einstein and the Rabbit Were Right”

  1. Magaret, I love my local library. For me, it’s saved us a lot of money to enjoy a lot of reading. If my kids or I end up loving a book, then we usually buy it or at the very least, we recommend it to others.

    I have a rule about cookbooks/recipe books: If I borrow it three times from the library, I buy it. If not, I probably wouldn’t keep using it at home and it would be one more book cluttering up my cookbook shelf. This rule has proven to be true for me.

    Thank you for teaching me something new about how libraries decide on buying second books. Good to know.

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