So, I decided today to finally do a search of the Library of Congress’ online records to see if my book,Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer, made it into their system — even though it’s been out for over a year, the Library is slow to enter each new item into its database, so I wasn’t sure if it had made it’s way in yet. I was thrilled to find that yes, my book has been added to the system!
Though it is true that the Library of Congress does not physically hold all of the books submitted to them, it has been estimated that they do in fact add about 10,000 items to their collection each day. Others are traded with partner libraries. Regardless, each item is entered into their database as a legal repository of copyrights, and each publisher is required to send the Library two copies of the book upon printing.
I may never know if a copy of my book is actually sitting on a shelf in the Library of Congress, but knowing that a piece of my work may have made it into the national library of the United States is a really great feeling. However small the chance is, my book of poems could be sharing shelf-space with the great contributors of our society. I could be sharing the shelf with Shakespeare, Jefferson, Chaucer, Lincoln. Or I could just be a number in their catalogue, there for future reference and discovery. (The number dedicated to my book, by the way, is 2012939469, just in case you were wondering.)
Alright, that’s my little philosophical rambling for the day. All of you writers (musicians, artists, etc.) out there, keep this in mind: you could be shelved next to your very own heroes and never even know!