BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Sherry Williams was on a mission.
On Tuesday, she came to the Birmingham Public Library Board with a message, a list, and a love of historical fiction. Her mission? To advocate for more historical romances — particularly Scottish and Viking-themed novels — to be placed in the library’s collection.
Williams, who works at Ogletree Deakins, a major labor and employment law firm, rose during the board meeting’s public voices period, telling board members she’s a “historical romance junkie.”
She said that she’s read every historical romance novel in her home branch, Five Points West, and the library’s central location.
She said she approached her librarian and asked whether they had any Viking or Scottish-themed romance novels. They said they didn’t, unfortunately, and suggested checking with other area libraries.
Williams had a different plan in mind.
“The Bible says you have not because you ask not,” Williams said, her voice echoing through Richard Arrington auditorium. “I just want to see if we can get some Viking historical romance novels and some Scottish romance novels.”
Williams said she would appreciate the addition of novels by authors like Monica McCarty, Hannah Howell, Lynsay Sands, and Johanna Lindsey.
Williams told board members she was serious about her request — she’d left work early to get to the board meeting.
“They were like, ‘Where are you going Sherry?’ And I was like, ‘The library,'” she said.
Janine Langston, executive director of Birmingham Public Library, took Williams’ author list and said that the library would aim to prioritize adding some of the authors she’d suggested.
Jermaine “Funnymaine” Johnson, a comedian and recent addition to the board, couldn’t help himself.
“If you could do like a reading or a book club, you’ve got my vote,” he said.