Sunday, August 26, 2012

Road Trip! Deschutes Public Library

We didn’t visit the Bend, Oregon area just for its libraries, but as with most of my travel, sneaking in a look at as many libraries as I can is definitely on my vacation to-do list!

I drove past the Downtown Bend and East Bend branch of the Deschutes Public Library several times, but closed each time! It wasn’t until I was in nearby Sisters that I finally had a peek inside of a DPL branch. I had one more opportunity but though the Redmond branch was probably open when we saw the familiar Library Symbol Highway Sign as we drove through, we didn’t have time to stop for that visit. :-(

The Sisters library is situated just east of the majority of the downtown shopping and retail and the building, built in 2005, evokes a western feel that is consistent with the rest of the area.  Outside, their wide porch is definitely invited. Inside, the reading nook, with its large gas fireplace, is also definitely inviting.  One of my other favorite interior features are the bathroom tiles, created by elementary school students, very unique!

Sisters Public Library Tiles

As I was perusing their Summer Guide, an event that I noticed was “Overnight at the Library”, what fun!  Parents and children aged 6-11 are invited to spend the night at the library on select nights…I know that I would have loved that in my younger years.  This event and others like book clubs, are consistent with the library’s “Summer Reading in the Night” theme: kids are invited to “Dream Big – Read!”, teens “Own The Night” and Adults read “Between The Covers”.

For more information, visit Deschutes Public Library online, or better yet, in person!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Take Time To Read: SeaTac Edition

Take Time To Read is the King County Library System’s multi-year initiative with the goal of increasing reading of all kinds, in all formats, all across the county. Sponsored entirely by the King County Library System Foundation, you might find Quick Reads Shelves in your area while you are waiting for your tires, your doctor, or your license!

Take Time To Read, Skybridge SeaTac Airport

My favorite Take Time to Read Installation is at Sea-Tac. With 3 Quick Reads Shelves, entirely recycled from old library shelving, and four chairs, travelers will be able to “borrow” items through September. I use the term “borrow” loosely because all the items are donated (no public money is used to obtain the items) and are meant to be taken…not necessarily returned if your home base isn’t Seattle! Donations have arrived from KCLS Staff, Lake Forest Park Friends, KCLS Foundation and from a bookstore in Black Diamond called Finally Found Books.

Take Time To Read, Concourse B, SeaTac Airport

A team of five staff from Valley View Library work to keep the shelves stocked with materials. They send one person to the airport six days a week to straighten and restock. With a tote of 46 magazines, 30 adult titles and 15 kids’ books in each shipment, about 600 items per week are re-stocked.

The library reports that the shelves are a smashing success with the public and with Sea-Tac, even the screeners are into it!  I hope you are finding time wherever you are today to Take Time To Read!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How Do I Love Libraries…Let Me Count The Ways…

The title isn’t exactly what I’m going to write about, but it felt more creative than “A Visit to Chicago Public Libraries”!

As you might already know, when I travel, I love experiencing new places through their libraries.  In the next six months I hope to be able to visit libraries in Oregon, Illinois (again), New Mexico, California, and South Dakota.  I recently visited an old college friend who lives smack in the middle of The Loop in downtown Chicago.  It’s a fabulous location for a visitor to start from…especially considering how many libraries there are within a few miles walking distance!

My first stop was the Harold Washington Library Center downtown.  Wow.  I’m pretty sure the entryway I came in through had more square footage than the Redmond library!  The building opened in 1991 and is a whopping 756,640 square feet.  (As soon as I confirm the square footage of the Redmond library, I’ll tell you how many times bigger than Redmond that is!).  I picked up the self-guided tour brochure at the reference desk in the lobby (atrium? foyer? rotunda?  lobby doesn’t do the space any justice) and off I went to explore the nine floors.

I won’t bore you with the play by play of my visit to each floor, but will mention a few interesting spaces I saw.  Amanda, Redmond’s Teen Librarian, had recommended “The Book Thief” to me several months ago.  I read it, thought it was fabulous, and was delighted to see it was the One Book, One Chicago selection featured in The Popular Library on the first floor.

One Book, One Chicago

I loved the display of new library card holders in the Thomas Hughes Children’s Library on the 2nd floor! The namesake of this section of the library did a really cool thing after the 1871 Chicago Fire.

Thomas Hughes Children's Library in Chicago

And…we’ll jump all the way up to the 9th floor into the Winter Garden.  This is a shot looking up through the 100+ foot glass ceilings and the beautiful murals on the south side of the garden. It’s a marvelous space available for private events.

Winter Garden


But wait, there’s even more library in store for the day!  In the early evening, we headed over to The Newberry and their annual book fair.  Alas, I only have the one sad photo of the trip below…I spent too much time perusing old cookbooks at the fair so didn’t spend too much time in the other parts of the building and completely neglected to take more pictures.  I did pick up an awesome 1970s crockpot cookbook though! It’s a good thing I’ll be back in Chicago in September and might have another shot at visiting. I’m hoping to visit the Pritzker Military Library on that trip too!

Newberry Book Fair