Following the counsel of Governor Herbert and under the direction of Mayor Kaufusi, Provo City Library will be closed until further notice. If you have materials checked out, please hold onto them until we reopen. No fines will accrue during this time.
Following the counsel of Governor Herbert and under the direction of Mayor Kaufusi, Provo City Library will be closed until further notice. If you have materials checked out, please hold onto them until we reopen. No fines will accrue during this time.
 

 

travel writing favorites

 

As one stricken with seemingly unquenchable wanderlust, when I can’t be out exploring the world myself (because we all have to work sometimes, right?) I like to read about other’s travels, and thusly live vicariously through their experiences. That’s why one of my favorite genres is travel literature.

In general, travel literature consists of descriptive accounts of a person’s travels, both near and far, as well as people they meet, cultures they encounter, and often a mix of humor, history, science, and speculation. I always learn something new about the locations authors write about as well as some dos and don’ts for visiting a place and being a conscientious traveler, overall.

In the 900s and beyond, we have a good selection of travel writing and travel books to peruse, including travel guides as well as travel literature. Here is a list of travel literature available at the library that I would recommend for those interested in exploring the genre.

patagoniaIN PATAGONIA
by Bruce Chatwin
(1977)

Considered a travel masterpiece, this account of Chatwin's journey through Patagonia will make you want to add this destination to your list for new reasons. It includes some history and a search for Butch Cassidy’s cabin, extraordinary descriptions of a seemingly wild place, and a lot of soul searching.

 

secretknowledgeofwaterTHE SECRET KNOWLEDGE OF WATER: DISCOVERING THE ESSENCE OF THE AMERICAN DESERT
by Craig Childs
(2001)

In the desert, water is life, and knowing how to find it can determine whether you survive. While Childs wanders the American deserts in order to map water, he shares his scientific knowledge and waxes philosophical about the meaning of water in relation to life and death, in a place where the resource is so sparse.

motorcyclediaries2THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES: NOTES ON A LATIN AMERICAN JOURNEY
by Che Guevara
(2003)

Before Che Guevara was a revolutionary, he was a med student who started out on a motorcycle journey to experience South America with his best friend, Alberto Granado. Through his experience and reflections on this journey, you can see the beginnings of his revolutionary leanings as he encounters social injustices and hardships of people throughout the country.

sunburned countryIN A SUNBURNED COUNTRY
by Bill Bryson
(2001)

Famed and funny travel author Bill Bryson relishes the reader with stories of his travels in Australia where he encounters interesting natives and spouts facts about the deadly and peculiar animal and insect inhabitants. Bryson is a wonderfully insightful and beloved travel author, so picking up any of his books will not disappoint.

prisoner of zionPRISONER OF ZION: MUSLIMS, MORMONS, AND OTHER MISADVENTURES
by Scott Carrier
(2011)

Scott Carrier, a journalist and radio producer living in Utah, travels around the world in search of stories. In this book, Carrier writes thoughtfully about what it means to be an outsider traveling through areas of religious fanaticism in both Afghanistan shortly after 9-11 and amongst the Mormons in Utah.

 

 

Honorable mentions:

TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY: IN SEARCH OF AMERICA by John Steinbeck

THE GREAT RAILWAY BAZAAR: BY TRAIN THROUGH ASIA by Paul Theroux

SEA AND SARDINIA by D.H. Lawrence

BREATHLESS: AN AMERICAN GIRL IN PARIS by Nancy Miller

Day in the Life of a Librarian Collage1

 

Last week, I posted the first half of my day in an attempt to answer the age-old question: "What does a librarian do all day?" The day in question is April 20, 2016; we pick up shortly after my lunch break. 

1:00 

  • After lunch, I took the materials I’d purchased at Deseret Book to our Tech Services department. They do all of the processing; putting the item on the catalog, giving it all of its stamps and stickers, and all of the other details that go into getting library materials ready for patrons to check out.
  • I updated my Excel spreadsheet tracking all of the books I’ve purchased for the LDS Fiction collection.

2:00

  • I got caught up on a few emails.
  • I updated my list of what I need to buy at Deseret Book the next time I go shopping. Some of the books I wanted to buy were not available quite yet.
  • I checked my library account and picked up my holds that were ready for me to take home.
  • I ran into a former co-worker from when I worked at the BYU Library (almost 8 years ago!) and talked with her for a few minutes.
  • I worked on scheduling Summer Reading visits with the middle and high schools in Provo.

3:00

  • I went out to the 1st floor reference desk for my last 2 hours of the day. When I come to the desk I always like to straighten it a little bit, putting the stapler and scratch paper holders back where they are easily reached by patrons and librarians alike.
  • I sent a book I’d placed on hold to Tech Services to be re-labeled. It needed the series information added to the spine label.
  • I shelved a Spanish Magazine that had wandered up to the 2nd floor earlier that morning.
  • I am the Serials team leader and have a team of 3 to process the magazines for the library. We check it in on the library catalog, give it the barcode and stickers needed, and then Tech Services adds the RFID tags, stamps, and tape needed before the magazine can go on the shelf. Carla and Erika recently did a blog post all about magazines. If you missed it, check it out here.
  • I had a big pile of magazines today, so it took a while to get through all of them! Of course, my main focus while at the reference desk is answers patrons questions, so that trumps whatever work I’ve brought to the desk with me.
  • When a patron asked about local bookstores, I pointed her in the direction of our Used Book Store and also gave her directions to Pioneer Book on Center Street in Provo.
  • I helped a patron submit a purchase suggestion.
  • I gave a patron a pair of scissors when he asked to borrow them for a moment.
  • I explained Freegal to a patron who saw the poster at our desk. I like to think of Freegal like the better version of iTunes; you get to keep the music you download forever, but you don’t have to pay for the download! You can download 3 songs per week and stream 3 hours of advertisement free music per day.
  • I helped several patrons make reservations for Book Club Sets and pulled a set from storage for a patron.
  • I signed up multiple groups for a study room and signed other groups out when their time was up.
  • I answered a phone call from a patron asking about checking out a Chromebook. We have 20 Chromebooks and they check out for 1 week. They are pretty popular, so you likely will need to place a hold for these.
  • I looked in the circulation room for a few items that had recently returned. The turnaround time for shelving items is pretty quick, but sometimes our patrons are even faster in looking for items that have been checked in!
  • I helped several patrons find their holds on our hold shelves.

4:00

  • I kept working on processing the magazines and checked my email once more for the day.
  • I helped a young patron find her mom. Sometimes parents get lost in the library!
  • One of our wonderful volunteers came in to help with a project so I got her started on the task.
  • I placed a book on hold for a patron, looked for some movies in the back room, and placed a few more holds.
  • I made another study room reservation. I answered a question about where to return books and how to pay a late fine.
  • I helped several patrons print from our computers.

5:00

  • Time to go home!

SUMMER SLIDE 01

 

Summer.  Summer.  Summer.  We can hear it whispering on the breeze, feel it pulsating through the growing grass, and sense it drifting off the blossoming trees.  It seems to be all we can do to survive the next four weeks until that blessed last school bell rings, propelling both kids and parents alike into 11 weeks of homework-free bliss. 

For many, it’s the best time of the year:  vacations, family reunions, days at the pool, moonlit night games, and glowing fireflies.  Unfortunately with all of that fun comes the dreaded “summer slide” – a research-proven loss of math and reading skills in our kids.  Children from low-income households fare worse than average, losing “more than two months in reading achievement” over the summer when they no longer have access to the academic resources available through their school (National Summer Learning Association). 

The good news is that, together, we can beat the summer slide! Scholastic offers the following three tips to prevent loss of reading skills over the summer (follow the link for more in-depth descriptions):

  1. Six books to summer success: Research shows that reading just six books during the summer may keep a struggling reader from regressing.  Take advantage of your local library.  (That’s us!) 
  2. Read something every day: Encourage your child to take advantage of every opportunity to read.  Find opportunities throughout the day in the comics, the weather report, a recipe, or even online. 
  3. Keep reading aloud: Reading aloud benefits all children and teens, especially those who struggle.  One benefit is that you can read books your children can't, so they will build listening comprehension skills with grade-level and above books.

The Provo City Library is here to help your children have fun AND keep reading this summer.  Our Summer Reading Kickoff event will be on Saturday, June 4 from 9 am to 5 pm.  Come sign up and get a jump start on our 2016 Summer Reading Program.  Parents, you too!  Register for the adult program and be a great reading model for your kids.  The Children’s Department will be hopping with lots of fun programs and challenges throughout the summer, so let’s work together to beat the summer slide!

*The Children’s summer program schedule is now available at the Children’s Reference Desk.*

6 words 01

This month I am challenging teens to write six word memoirs. That’s right, you have just six words to convey all 12 to 18 years of your life! To get the creative juices flowing, here are a few examples of six word memoirs written by famous and not-so-famous authors. If you like these, stop by the library and check out NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING to find many more!

Ernest Hemingway: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Elizabeth Gilbert: “Me see world! Me write stories!”

Dave Eggers: “Fifteen years since last professional haircut.”

Stephen Colbert: “Well, I thought it was funny.”

Bill Querengesser: “70 years, few tears, hairy ears.”

Dr. Jane Goodall: “Forest peace, sharing vision, always optimistic.”

Georgene Nunn: “Born in desert, still thirsty”

Harvey Pekar: “Fight, work, persevere – gain slight notoriety.”

Elizabeth Bernstein: “The psychic said I’d be richer.”

Nora Ephron: “Secret of life: marry an Italian.”

Sabra Jennings: “Extremely responsible, secretly longed for spontaneity.”

Joyce Carol Oates: “Revenge is living well, without you.”

Linda Williamson: “Painful nerd kid, happy nerd adult.”

Feeling inspired? Come to the Teen Corner before May 14th and write your own six word memoir! Show your completed memoir to a librarian at the First Floor Reference Desk and you’ll receive a small treat. 

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