Don’t mention the V word

Have library assistants become an endangered species?

Libraries have been under pressure for several
years because of economic cuts
I have always been a huge supporter of libraries, having been taken to one from being a small child, and I have enjoyed borrowing, reading and returning books from many different libraries over the years.

For the last seven years I have worked as a part-time library assistant in a village library and this has turned me into an enthusiastic champion of the role of the library assistant.

I have seen at close quarters the wonderful job done by many of my colleagues when providing service to their customers and I have been amazed by their dedication and hard work.

But in the last few years, economic cuts have led to a lot of library assistants being made redundant and replaced by unpaid volunteers. Following on from that, other library assistants have had their hours cut because the introduction of so-called ‘smart technology’ has enabled customers to use the library when there are no staff present and to serve themselves.

But, as one of my customers once put it so eloquently: ‘A library without library assistants is just a room full of books.’

This sorry situation has provided the inspiration for my latest crime novel, The Body Parts in the Library, which tells the story of a village library that has been taken over by volunteers.

My latest novel was inspired by my  experiences as a library assistant
My latest novel was inspired by my 
experiences as a library assistant
The Body Parts in the Library is the first in what is planned to be a series of Library Ladies Mysteries, featuring detective duo Sallie Parker and Jo Pudsey, both library assistants who have recently been made redundant after many years of dedicated service and who have every reason to feel aggrieved.

A group of volunteers has taken over the running of their library and when one of them is the victim of a prank, the Library Ladies, as they are known locally, are immediately suspected and find themselves shunned by most of the village.

Determined to clear their names, they try to find out who was really responsible.

But after further bizarre incidents, the story takes a sinister turn as a shocking discovery is made in the library. The Library Ladies set out to conduct their own investigation to make sure the culprit is exposed so that life in the peaceful south Yorkshire village of Upper Mickle can return to normal.

The Body Parts in the Library was published in September 2020 and is available from Amazon as a paperback and as a Kindle e-book.

It should appeal to anyone who enjoys the 'cosy' crime fiction genre, or who happens to love libraries.