This summer, vacationing around California, I found myself once again popping into libraries whenever I happened to stumble upon them. I know I’m not the only one to do this as I’ve also heard from co-workers who do the same. Perhaps tellingly, I never heard of this when I worked in other professions. So why is it different for us?

I suppose we have a natural curiousity but more than that, I think it shows our respect for information. We visit to see what programs they have, how they organize their resources, even what furniture they use; all to make us reconsider our own work environments and reflect upon ways to improve.

This year, the OLA coined the phrase “A Visit Will Get You Thinking,” as a way to encourage the public to visit libraries during their Ontario Public Library Week. It’s a great slogan and in an earlier blog post, I tried to work with that sentiment to encourage the public to visit our libraries during Canadian Library Month. Of course, it’s just as important for us.

With that in mind, the NWTLA exec would like to see and share photos of you visiting other libraries. If you have some photos of a library you visited while on a past vacation and don’t mind us sharing on this blog, send them our way! Don’t have any? Get out to another library this month, even something local (i.e., one where you don’t currently work) and take a few snaps. Feel free to add a small blurb about something that impressed you about that library or how it made you think.

For all of those that submit entries this month, we’ll enter your name in for a $20 gift certificate from the book store of your choice.

I’ll get you started…

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A public library in San Francisco. Great program ideas and made me reconsider the need for on-going programs when “one-offs” are also quite useful.

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Alcatraz prison library: An important reminder that libraries are vital for every segment of the population!

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Henry Miller Memorial Library. When I discovered that there were no books to borrow, just to buy, it really challenged my idea of what a library is. However, when I discovered that it is non-profit and the great number of community programs they do, I’m more comfortable letting them keep the “library” name (though I’d still prefer some borrow-able materials!)

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