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Library News

By: Laura Lawrie, Board Member
For: Red Rock News
Date: August 6 , 2010

Planning Your Summer Vacation with the Help of Your Library

In most countries, August is the main summer vacation month. Many Europeans get at least four weeks’ holiday every year, and they use that time to get away. Cities seem empty and businesses are closed or extremely short-staffed. Some small towns virtually shut down as everyone leaves for the seaside or the mountains. In the United States, however, summer vacation is pretty much done by early August—particularly in states like Arizona, where the schools are back in session by the middle of the month. But we can still think about traveling and getting away, and the library is a great place to find books, maps, and other media to help you get away, even if only in your mind!

The Arizona Collection is a great place to start planning your trip. You can begin with Victoria Clark’s “A Journey through Northern Arizona,” a lovely collection of vintage postcards and other pictures along with information about the Grand Canyon as well as historical details. Maybe you’d like to learn more about Southern Arizona, and books like Clark’s “A Journey through Southern Arizona” can help you do that. You can learn about the early gold and silver miners and the creation of the boom towns that now are great tourist destinations. And of course there are many books on hiking all over Arizona, including the series of books by Bruce Grubb, including “Hiking Arizona” and “Hiking Northern Arizona.” The Arizona Collection can be found in the middle of the library in the low bookcases; you could spend hours browsing through the varied materials, and your next in-state trip will take shape in no time at all!

And while you are learning about other places, look out the windows and take in the views of the red rocks of Sedona. It is good to travel, but there’s no place like this town! And the Arizona Collection can help you discover some great things about Sedona as well, including Jean Matthews Kindig’s “Sedona Places & Names” and Hoyt C. Johnson’s “The Sedona Story.” There are books about Sedona in other sections of the library, too; Barry Friedman’s “Hey! What’s the Name of that Rock?” can be found in the New Books—Nonfiction area, which is just behind the Magazines and Periodicals area.

But perhaps you’d prefer to do as the Europeans do, and go somewhere completely different for your vacation. We’d all like to get away from the heat and the desert—just for a short time, though! Fergus Fleming’s “Ninety Degrees North: The Quest for the North Pole” and Will Steger’s “North to the Pole” might put you in a “cooler” frame of mind! These books can be found in SPL’s extensive travel books section, in the 900 section of the stacks just past the Reference Desk and computers area, along with many other books about exotic, colder places like Mount Everest and Antarctica.

Maybe you won’t be traveling but you are expecting visitors, and you can find books and materials for your guests in SPL and in the entire Yavapai Library Network. Perhaps the best source of “welcoming” material can be found in books written for children. To get your visitors in the right frame of mind, have them watch “Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport” (DVD available in the Children’s Area of SPL) or read the book of the same title written by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat (available in other libraries in the Network). Susan Lowell’s “The Three Little Javelinas” will introduce the javelina to those who think that the only animals out here are Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

And don’t forget to take advantage of the Internet when planning your trip. You can sign up and use a computer in the area behind the Reference Desk for one hour, and the AAA and other travel organizations are just a click away. Or bring your laptop in and settle into a comfortable chair or at one of the many tables in the library and browse away to your heart’s content! And use one of the many catalog computers in the library to search other libraries in the Network for books on Arizona and travel. Even if we don’t have what you’re looking for in the Sedona library, chances are you will find it somewhere in the Yavapai County Network.

Laura Lawrie
Laura Lawrie , author of this week's article,
is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Sedona Public Library.

Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News
and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.