How to get our books accepted by public libraries

When approaching a public library with the purpose of getting them to add some books giving the false memory syndrome perspective, you need to convince the librarian that the subject is worthy of inclusion in this library. You need to give the impression you are trying to get important books in the library that would be of interest to the community.

A librarian in a public library will ask him or herself "Is this the kind of book we should spend tax payers money on for this public library?" Many books are not selected even though they receive good reviews, and even though they may be considered very good choices for a larger or an academic library.

1. A good argument to make to a librarian is that their collection should be balanced, and should give both sides of a subject, especially if it is controversial.

Look up the books the library already has on the subject. (A short cut, which will give you some of the books, is to look up the subject "false memory syndrome", though many books from "the other side" may not be listed under that heading.) Make a list of all the books that are on "the other side" - for example The Courage to Heal. Do the same for books giving our perspective (if there are any).  If there are no books giving our perspective on FMS or if there is a disproportionate number of books with the contrary perspective - then you can argue that the collection is not balanced to give both sides of a controversial subject.

Included on this site is a list titled Books from our (the FMS) perspective and a list titled Books on "the other side" These lists can help you check the collection for balance.

2. Ask to talk to the person who orders books in that area, or to the head librarian.

3. Bring favorable reviews of the books you want considered, especially reviews from Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, or Publishers Weekly.   It is important to bring at least one favorable review from these sources for any book you recommend. These are the sources public librarians most often use to select books. When you present your list of recommended books, you might also want to ask if you can donate some of them or give money for their purchase.

Included on this site is a list of Books which have good reviews in these sources.

4. To show the librarian that this is an important and not a fringe topic, you could bring a short article for him or her to read.

5. You could bring a packet of materials for the pamphlet file (if they have one), including the Frequently asked Questions from FMSF and the Illinois-Wisconsin FMS Society brochure. The new Recovered Memories, are they reliable? brochure is a good one for both the pamphlet file and to give in quantities for public distribution.

(Material derived from library packet distributed at the Illinois FMS Society conference October 1999).