COLUMN: Put on your travellin’ shoes

The library is the friendly hub for travellers of all kinds, offering a different sort of connectedness.

Last month a woman came into the library. “I just arrived in Nelson,” she said, “and I came straight here.” She was from Whitehorse here for the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival and the library, she figured, would be the place to go to make some pre-festival connections.

For sure the Tourist Information Bureau is the tourist’s or the newcomer’s first stop for maps and guides and good advice from knowledgeable people. The library, too, is the friendly hub for travellers of all kinds, offering a different sort of connectedness.

It’s a pit-stop for those travelling e-mailers, Facebookers, and Skypers to connect with the folks back home. It’s a cool place for a break from oh-so-busy Baker Street with its fabulous shops, and a comfy place to peruse a magazine.

For passers-through with wee ones, the Summer Reading Club’s theme of “Take a Trip!” is apt indeed. Small trekkers can alight for a field trip to the Firehall or a happy Lego afternoon.

B.C. residents with a valid card in their home communities are eligible for BC Onecard status, which allows you to borrow items from our library and you can even return them to yours.

In the pre and post-Shambhala weeks, festival-goers trot through with full backpacks and big smiles, hoping to take a load off, use a computer, get in out of the heat, and meet up with other Shambalese, all hot on the heels of Kaslo Jazz-fest visitors. All year ’round vintage car clubs, kids’ choirs, hiking clubs, hockey players, and high school reunions troop through.

In the winter, skiers from Australia to Austria pop in post-powder. Not from B.C.? No problem. A three-monthtemporary card is just $30.

The Kootenay Connect service also allows easy access to items in library collections within the Kootenay LibraryFederation.

How easy? From our website, check the Nelson Library’s catalogue for the item you’d like. If we don’t have it, click on “search titles at other Kootenay libraries” and if you see it listed, simply choose “place hold.”

If you can’t find your book in the Kootenays there’s the BC interlibrary loan system, which has sent books a-wandering between libraries for decades, allowing them to educate and inspire before calling them back home.

For more information go to nelsonlibrary.ca.

Anne DeGrace is the Adult Services Coordinator at the Nelson Public Library.

 

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