R. Yale explains his debt
to librarians & libraries
I was a young teen, my family lived in a dismal place,
smothered by the stench of burning garbage blowing in
the wind, across from a treeless park where the road
was paved with ashes.
But one day, the city built a small brick temple, and
filled it with imaged gems called library books. When
I read their entire science fiction collection in a
single summer, Mrs. Harris, the librarian swapped collections
with another library – twice. And I read all of
those books, too. So when Mrs. Harris asked me to review
George Orwell’s 1984 for the Brooklyn Public Library
student newsletter, I did, of course.
Not long after that, the library teacher at school called
me in to see her. She was holding a copy of my review.
‘Did you write this,’ she asked.
I braced myself, expecting some sort of trouble.
‘You’re the only student in this whole school
who has written a published book review. I’m going
to see to it that you get a citizenship award,’
she said. It didn’t seem like a big deal to me,
but I was pleased to receive the Judge Edward A. Richards
During my high school years, I discovered chamber music,
but it was played on the radio for just a few hours
a week. On a trip to the Brooklyn Public Library’s
main building, I found they had an amazing collection
of chamber music records – and I could borrow
them, take them home, and spend endless hours listening!
As a result, when I took a course on Romantic Piano
and Chamber Music in college, I knew every single piece
the professor mentioned.
While I was an undergraduate, I worked part-time in
the City College library, hand re-binding and repairing
books. By then I had decided that I wanted to major
in American Literature. But I couldn’t find a
graduate program – they all seemed to emphasize
English literature. So I turned to a librarian for advice.
He asked me a few pertinent questions, and cut right
to the point: the only American Literature major at
that time was offered at the University of Upsala in
Sweden. But given my interest in history and music,
the right place for me was the American Studies Program
at the University of Minnesota. That was some of the
best advice I’ve ever gotten!
When I spent a summer in a small town in Arkansas, I
needed to find out how to interview senior citizens.
The town had a population of just a few thousand people
– but the library had one of Studs Terkel’s
oral history collections, and I found exactly what I
needed to understand how to gather the oral history
I have woven into Saying No to Naked Women.
As you can see, my debt to libraries and librarians
is enormous. Librarians helped me at times when there
was precious little help and very little hope. They
gave me life-changing advice. And they certainly helped
shape my career as well as my inner life.
So when a chance came up to be a public relations representative
at the Oakland CA library – even though it was
for a limited time frame, I jumped at it. And back in
the 70s, when the Bay Area Reference Center asked me
to present a series of seminars on publicity skills
for their members, I jumped on that, too.
But I’m still not finished returning the many
favors I’ve received from libraries and librarians.
That’s why I’ve asked my publisher to set
up a special offer for library direct orders of multiple
copies of Saying No to Naked Women, with
free shipping and discounts up to 20% off
list price. Click
here for complete information.
With best wishes,
If you can’t order direct from my publisher, that’s
no problem. My book is available from Baker & Taylor.
And since it’s distributed by Ingram, it should
be available from other library distributors as well.
The ISBN is 978-0-9791766-5-4 for the perfect bound
edition, and 978-0-9791766-3-0 for the hardbound edition
which will be available soon. KT787^%wpgb+=
No to Naked Women by David R. Yale
460 pages, ISBN 978-0-9791766-5-4, $19.97 paperback