Mud season travel starts with a library-card escape
Here’s mud in your eye! Your ear. Your elbow. Your … well, you get the picture. Summit County’s infamous mud season is upon us and if you’d rather be someplace slightly less slimy, you might want to begin your journey at the local library.”Our libraries are a great place to visit as you plan a vacation,” said head librarian Joyce Dierauer. “We have a large range of travel guides and reference books on the shelf, we carry foreign language tapes and CDs and our online resources are almost endless.”She’s not making that up. I stopped at the Main Branch library in Frisco the other day and perused a travel guide to Paris and then the one next to it, a travel guide to Poland, and then the one next to that one, a travel guide to Portugal, and before long I had an entire itinerary planned for all the “P” places in Europe. Now I have this great idea for doing an entire alphabet tour of the world during mud season starting with Amsterdam and ending with Zimbabwe. That’s the good news. The bad news is I’ll need a house sitter for the next 26 years.Even if your travel plans aren’t quite as ambitious as mine, a library stop – either in person or via your home computer – will help get you started. Besides the travel books and magazines available to give you ideas or help you fine-tune an itinerary, you can find specialty books, magazines, DVDs and CDs to help you learn more about great destinations and deal with all sorts of other travel-related issues. If, for example, you’d rather be in London this mud season, you can check out a foreign language CD so that, on arrival, your English is up to snuff. Tickety-boo, Toodle pip, Yonks and all of that. OK, I made that up. But there are videos, CDs and books for truly useful languages like French, Spanish and even Chinese. Of course if, like me, you’re too embarrassed to go the library because for years you thought it was the Dewar’s Decimal System, especially after having one or two, you can now access all sorts of library information by going online. Here’s what you do: With your library card close at hand, go to http://www.co.summit.co.us/library. Click on “Summit County Library” and you’ll access the online catalog system where you can search for books, videos and other sources of information about the city or country you want to visit.When you click on the “Gale On-Line Database” and enter your library card number, you can search journals, newspapers, magazines and reference books. I typed in “travel to Italy” and got 1519 citations including everything from a Newsweek International article, “The Good Life” to “Taste of Turin: Food, Glorious Food” from the Miami Herald. If you’re absolutely stuck, you can click on the service “Ask Colorado” that offers a free, live chat with a reference librarian who will answer your questions 24-7. Trust me, this service works. Last night at 3 a.m. I typed in my urgent question to the library: You’re sure it’s not the Dewar’s Decimal System? Needless to say, they’re hoping my travels start soon. Pati Hamilton writes on behalf of the Summit County libraries.
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