Taking the Library on Vacation

Summer is finally here and it’s time to make the most of the weather.  For many, the arrival of summer means heading out to camp to enjoy the wonders of nature, some amazing barbeques and the company of good friends.  Others take their camp with them, in the form of a tent, a trailer or an RV. I used to love the road trips we went on as children, packed in the backseat of the car with snacks, falling asleep and waking up in a magical new place, of course this was in the days before safety seats. With the end of the school year, many families have the freedom to hop an airplane and wander farther afield.

Unfortunately, whether you travel by plane, train or automobile, or even if you simply intending to enjoy a simple weekend by the lake; the weather can have a mind of its own and detours and delays can disrupt even the best laid plans.  Before you go anywhere, it’s a great idea to rediscover all the library can do to help you get the most of your downtime.

The travel guides can find you ways to save money and make sure you don’t miss the “must-sees” in any destination and language learning materials will make a foreign jaunt more enjoyable. The library offers holiday loan periods, so you don’t have to worry about renewing your items while you’re away, or if you want to pack light, you can make those layover waits or long flights breeze by when you download some books, magazines or audio books to your favourite device.

Publishers are aware that the relative freedom of summer allows for more time to read, so each year at this time, they release an avalanche of books by their biggest authors, plus, high concept beach books and debut authors that might become the bestselling writers of tomorrow.  Stephen King is back with his new novel “The Outsider”, Janet Evanovich is releasing her latest   “The Mark” and James Patterson is hitting all the talk shows along with former President Bill Clinton, to discuss their new novel, “The President is Missing”.  The other titles that are getting a lot of press attention this summer are mostly thrillers, including Aimee Molloy’s “The Perfect Mother”, Alice Feeny’s “Sometime I Lie” and Peter Swanson’s “All the Beautiful Lies”.  A day at camp is the perfect time to catch up with a new bestseller, an established classic or an old favourite that you’ve always meant to re-read.

Entertaining the little ones is easier if you’re prepared with a bag of books and DVDs on hand.  Books during the summer can keep little hands busy and reading even if it’s something silly will help with maintaining skills and preventing the “summer slide”, so that the transition back to school in the fall will be easier.  The library has a large selection of movies for children which should help prevent the cries of “there’s nothing to watch” on days when everyone is trapped indoors.  For those having a “staycation” or staying in town due to work, each of the library branches is offering a wide selection of programming for children this summer.  As always library programs are free which is a boon to budget conscious families.

Finally, when the little ones are in bed and the mosquitoes and midges are too much to handle, it’s time for the adults to settle in and relax.  Feel like binging on “Game of Thrones”, matching your wits against the best TV detectives, or laughing till you sides hurt?  There are racks of movies and televisions series to enjoy.

Lori Kauzlarick- www.tbpl.ca

If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Check out the blog at www.tbplofftheshelf.com.

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