Research is important for writers. Most of us use it for background research on our current project. But we also need to use it for marketing research, searching for where we can publish our articles, stories, and books.
Most libraries have reference librarians. We can visit the library or just call. It’s important to frame our questions. It’s better to tell the librarian what we need, rather than to ask for a specific book. It’s better to say “I need to know what kind of trees grow in Somalia,” than to ask for “AFRICAN TREES.”
The librarian may not have “AFRICAN TREES,” but may know where to get the information we need, perhaps in a book on Somalia.
We need information on a lot of subjects. The Internet helps a lot, if we learn the search tricks. In the novel I wrote about the UN, Veto, I found out everything I needed to know, including the residence of the Secretary General and the placement of washrooms in the building (Convenient and plentiful men’s rooms, not so for the women.)
The research needs of writers are many and varied. Sometimes we need to know police procedure, architectural ideas, or janitorial supplies.
Most people are eager to help writers with research. Perhaps they are eager to be part of a big project like an article or a book. Perhaps they are honored to be asked for their help. Try it. Identify yourself as a writer and see what happens.
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