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for Non Artists:
It wasn't until I spent a bit of time unemployed that I really spent serious time at my local branch library. Though aware of where it was located, the building was closed for renovation when I first moved into the neighborhood. After it re-opened, I found myself just too tied up in work to stop by and check out the facility until finally boredom of my own four walls drove me to find places I could cheaply go.
On my first visit, it struck me that I had actually been ignoring of a valuable resource for non-artists to learn more about animation. I'm not meaning the history of the medium -- though that's certainly not bad to be aware of -- but depriving myself of access to information on many areas of the industry. Los Angeles even has a system that allows me to browse the library catalog from the comfort of my home, put books on hold for pickup, and if the books are not available at my branch I can request that they be taken from other locations and sent to my nearby branch for checkout.
The following list of suggestions is geared toward the American readership because those are the only library systems with which I have familiarity. See how this compares to your country if you are elsewhere in the world.
There are some areas where a library is not useful for the non-artist, which is not the fault of the library but something that arises out of a lack of materials on the market. Practically no materials exist on honing skills for non-artists interested in animation careers other than writing, with the exception of one book on the market (at the time I'm writing this), though there are some areas such as post-production where materials geared for live-action can be utilized.
At least consider visiting your local library every four to six months and assess these resources to get some glimpses into what appeals to the animation audience.
Shannon Muir is known in the animation industry for her work as a production coordinator for Nickelodeon's Invader Zim. She also served as a Production Coordinator for Extreme Ghostbusters and a Production Assistant for Jumanji: The Animated Series. Muir is an accomplished writer and often participates on panels or as a guest speaker at conventions like Comic Con International.
Muir moved to Los Angeles in 1996 from Cheney, WA (population approximately 8,000), knowing she wanted to be part of the animation business. Since then, she's never strayed far from making that dream reality, whether it be actively working on a production or writing articles about the industry.
You can email Shannon Muir at email@example.com.
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