In episode 10 I talk to Philip Wark. Philip spent his career managing, running and championing public libraries.
We discuss how writers and their local libraries can successfully work together; what Philip has seen work in his years of running and organising writers’ groups, author talks and much more.
Philip also tells us about what a modern library service is really all about. Spoiler: not just lending books.
He tells us about the roles of writer-in-residence and bibliotherapist. Philip also explains how libraries try and reach out and engage people of all ages across their local communities.
Philip is an enthusiast; hearing him talk about libraries makes it impossible not to want to head straight out to your nearest branch and hug a librarian. He told me about a great deal of activity I didn’t know was going on – and his key message to writers is to go and get to know your local library staff. They really can help introduce you to a local readers and help you develop your profile in your own community.
You can find Philip on Twitter and you can find out about his latest passion, the Midlothian Science Festival too.
You can also find out more about Midlothian Libraries and City of Edinburgh Libraries. If you are in the UK, have look at bookmarkyouribrary which can help you find the libraries nearest to you.
I was also intrigued by the role of the bibliotherapist and wanted to find out more. Good ol’ Wikipedia has an entry (of course) and I found this article from the New Yorker. See what you think.
I hope you enjoy this episode.