Friday, June 12, 2015

The Lost Art of Browsing the Library

How long has it been since you spent an hour hanging out in the library, surveying the shelves, browsing through books with intriguing titles or eye-catching covers? When did you last check out a children's book (even if you aren't a parent of a tyke) or scan the hot new titles in the teen section?

My friend Karen and I did that very thing yesterday, exploring a couple of the Sno-Isle Libraries we had not yet visited. Our goal is to get to each of the twenty-one branches in the system, as well as the Service Center and the Bookmobile.

You can go online and find a far greater selection in the catalog than you can on the shelves of one little branch, but the world opens up to you in a profound way when you can see and touch the books for yourself. In the library you'll find whole sections of books written about things you'd never thought of before. Between the cheery, quiet Briar Library and the roomy Mountlake Terrace branch, I found a rather large stack of things to bring home with me. Here's a sampling:

A new author (Henke) and a new book by a favorite author (Karon)

Poetry to tickle my mind 

When the hold line is too long for the book I want to read I sometimes choose the audio or the
large print version. which don't seem to be in as much demand.

History -- Philip Reid Saves the Statue of Freedom, Great Women of the Civil War,
(both written for kids but informative whatever your age) and Fortunate Sons:
The 120 Chinese Boys Who Came to America, Went to School,
and Revolutionized an Ancient Culture.  (How's that for a title!)

Words Fail Me, to help writers write, Ex Libis, for the love of reading, andDinner Talk. It's about
 conversation starters but I think they'd make good writing prompts too, I'd think!

Digital photography book for my husband, who is always growing in his skills.

A few months ago Tom and I took a couple of days and toured all five of the Sno-Isle libraries on Whidbey Island. Each branch has its own unique personality, and each seemed a popular hangout for community members. But for all their individualism, every one of the libraries I've seen have certain things in common.

Knowledgable, friendly staff...

colorful decor...

and space for folks to enjoy a good read... matter who they are.

Sno-Isle is big on public art and has a number of sculptures around, like this one at Clinton,

or this one at Mountlake Terrace.

One more thing. Librarians can through a fine party. I recently attended a baby shower with a roomful of librarians. They were comrades, those gals, and they had a great time together. They were good cooks, too, and provided a delicious spread.

Just a sampling of the food at the librarians' party.

I'll bet you know what kinds of gifts they gave. Yep, books! Lots and lots of books! Without a doubt, that baby is going to be a reader.

* * * * *

June 16, 2015, Thanks to Deborah of Sno-Isle Libraries, here's a great video of a father and daughter who visited all the libraries in one day. Phew!! (Thanks, Deborah!)


Joan Husby said...

What a unique idea for a series of mini-vacations! Or spend a day in each community, including a visit to the library.

Ginger Kauffman said...

Joan, a few years ago I saw a video of a father and daughter who made it to all of the libraries in the system in one day. With them scattered from Darrington to Monroe, to Edmonds, Camano Island, and Freehand (on Whidbey Island), it's a wonder they were able to get to them all. They must have been exhausted! But two or three a day, that's do-able.

Deborah from Sno-Isle Libraries said...

Ginger, Thanks for sharing your library adventure! Here's a video with highlights of that father and daughter who visited all of our libraries in one day back in 2010:
We look forward to seeing you at all our libraries. Safe travels! --Deborah from Sno-Isle Libraries

Ginger Kauffman said...

Thank you, Deborah! I'll look for you in my travels!!