This past Sunday my awesome town library held a reception for local authors and children's book illustrators. Our library houses a permanent collection of books by people from the area-- there are over 90 of us both past and present-- and they do a bang-up job supporting the arts.
I overcame my inner social-dork long enough to chat with people whose work I greatly admire-- illustrators Paul Meisel and Ross MacDonald, and poet Patricia Hubbell, among others. It was fun to talk shop for a bit, and I must say that I don't think I've ever met a not-nice person in this field. Maybe it's a prerequisite.
So here's the deal: wherever you live, support your local library! It's a rich resource that's available to everyone.