A big week on the 100-library drop-in tour – up to #56!
The past week has been an adventure in the familiar – along a route I’ve traveled dozens of times in the twenty years I’ve been married to an East Tennessee woman. I confess I haven’t spent much time off the main highways between “down home” and points North over the years, but the 100-Library Tour has changed all that.
Since setting my goal to visit 100 libraries by the end of the year and donate a copy of The League of Delphi: Book I of The Delphi Trilogy for their teen collections, I’ve been looking for opportunities to drop in and say hello to school and community librarians not just in far-off, exotic locations like Kissimmee, Florida, but even in the most obvious – and should-be familiar – places. Now a well known road sign pointing to a town “that-a-way” is more than a decision whether or not to make a pitstop; it’s a chance to stop by the library and make a friend.
October 29 – November 3 I was traveling to and from Chicago and stopped in towns big and small along the way. I’ll name just a few of the 15 (a new record for me) I visited on this trip.
What a great experience, meeting librarians Gil and Carrie at Volunteer High School near my own backyard. I’ve driven by many times and never thought about stopping. But now, we’re friends (meaning I can honk and wave as I drive past and they’ll know who it is). Middlesboro, KY – one of the high mountain towns – is way more than a pass-through to the Cumberland Gap tunnel. Cindy had a lot of good news about her teen programs. I hope to visit them again. In Corbin, KY – home of Colonel Sanders – I met Casandra who’s looking for ways to get her teens as excited about the books on the shelves as they are about other activities in the library.
In Indiana I delivered a book to Seymour High School and found out their school colors are purple and white (same as my high school – GO PURPLE!). I visited the stunning and huge Indianapolis Central Library – a mix of old and new – then went on to the tiny Colfax-Perry Township Public Library, where Brenda is holding up all four corners of this little community library’s program. Then I met the dynamic Kirsten at Indiana’s Frankfort Community Public Library, where the teens have one huge section of the library to themselves.
On the way home, I made a left turn and dropped in at the Lemont, IL (southwestern Chicago area) library and donated a book for their YA collection. Next day I stopped at the Laurel County Public Library in London, KY where Krystyna, the new teen librarian is creating programs for her YA audience. I hope I can help her with a group event sometime.
I’m learning that there are WAY more school and community libraries out there than I’d ever considered. I hope to get to each and every one within reach. (Hmm … this may require an expanded library tour in 2014.)
This week I’m heading to Williamsburg, VA for the Virginia Association of School Librarians conference with many stops en route. Next week, I’ll be at the Southeastern Library Association conference in Greeneville, SC and already have some libraries on the visit list.
Want to know how all this got started? Check it out here.
Also, follow my progress in photos on Facebook.
Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.
3 must-do tasks between trips to visit 100 libraries:
- Shake the road dust out of the suitcase.
- Count the books, make sure a case of them didn’t fall off the roof of the car.
- Say good morning to wife until it gets annoying, then go on another trip.
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