Thursday, September 6, 2012


Halloween's coming up.  I'm kind of amazed at how libraries deal with the holiday.  It's long been my belief that librarians don't seem to like horror.  When I've had the time, I've often gone into libaries here and there and just sort of looked around as we neared the Halloween date.  Very few libraries have much of a display to celebrate the day.  If they do anything at all, it'll be in the juvenile section with maybe a few selected books and something orange.

My suspicions have deep roots. They go way back to when I was in high school in California. I noticed the Alameda County library system did not have a single book by Edgar Allen Poe--not just our branch, but the entire system. I asked the supposed head librarian about this and got a "I don't know" as to why there was not one book by a major American author.  She knew damn well, but would not admit that librarians don't like to order horror books. I figured that out right away and have believed it to this day.

A notable exception has been the Jeffco library system, which is in the Denver area.  I just discovered they even ordered the last anthology I edited, Low Noon. In spite of my best efforts, that book has not gotten much in the review department. I was amazed they even knew about it. They've ordered other books of mine as well.   In the southwest, the Pima County libraries in Tucson have ordered my western anthologies. Wonderful people.

Alas, they're the exception, not the norm.  Try it yourself and see if there's a meaningful horror display at your library for Halloween. I doubt you'll find much. I'd love to be proven wrong. And, I'll continue to check libraries for Halloween displays.

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