busted (well, not really!)

As I mentioned earlier, we've established a ritual of visiting each library before showing up in the bookmobile. As a trio of librarians and library users, we like to check out public libraries whether we're on a bookmobile or on vacation.

So when we set up shop at the Humboldt County Library just a few minutes ago, we expected we'd maintain our incognito status. This time, we were wrong.

Oysters and Ale: a fundraiser for the Humboldt County Public Library

Friday night, the bookmobile will be making an appearance at the Oysters & Ale Fundraiser to benefit broadband services and free wi-fi at the Humboldt County Library. We're so excited!

We're honored to be a part of this event, and our spirits rose when we saw this banner as arrived in Arcata:

on the bookmobile

The Internet Archive Bookmobile is a real draw and is real fun for everyone. Most people can't help but stop and learn what we're doing, parked near the doors of public libraries. We've chatted with people of all ages and of all stripes. What fascinates me most is what interests people about the bookmobile. Librarians talk about collection development and linking to the online texts, while kids and adults get excited about free books, music, and film, and ALL ages love the slicer (we named it Sally):


One of these things is JUST like the other

Sad days have come upon the Internet Archive bookmobile and a mysterious computer problem has surfaced with my work computer. Good thing I brought backups: we may be forced to turn my Subaru into a bookmobile, and I'm using a spare laptop to access the Internet.


A five-exit town with one horse

We’ve established a daily ritual on the bookmobile tour: upon arriving to each town we find and follow the signs to the public library. This exercise is a good indicator for how the library fits into the community. Is it on the outskirts? Is it near the center of town? Are there clear signs indicating the way there? Are there signs? Depending on our answer, we can surmise what type of town we're entering.


I am not from around here

I love traveling the back roads, stopping at small towns, and musing about what makes them tick. That's why this trip has been so special: I'm doing what I love and learning while I do it. I've never visited small towns in California, and I've enjoyed comparing and contrasting them to my own experiences in small, Midwestern cities. There's a slight adventurous side to these West Coast towns, a wild west personality that's absent from the more staid and reserved heartland.


The flip of a coin

When we see a library, we stop. And when we leave our keys in the bookmobile ignition and smartly lock the doors, we stay a little longer.

This was the case when we arrived at the Redding Library on Sunday, when James, ever conscious of safety, made our trip a little more interesting. Lucky for us, we were at the the perfect spot to research our next stop while he chatted with Robyn from AAA about our predicament.

Our first day off

We spent a lovely day on Saturday in Weaverville, CA, a town of about 3000 at the foothills of the Trinity Alps. As one 20-something put it, "it's a sleepy town" (he used this phrase 7 times during our 10-minute chat about his hometown). But it's a charming town, too. There were antique stores, a few cafes, a bead store, a large logging mill, the historic Joss House, and a library just barely out of town, on the main street.

Technology at your fingertips.

My traveling cohorts, James and Shinjoung, are tech savvy librarians who love sharing tips with other fellow librarians. On Friday, they got their chance at the Orland Free Library.

Plan a stop at the Orland Free Library

What you may not learn from a drive through town, you’ll soon understand when you spend an afternoon at the Orland Free Library in Orland, CA. Others may consider Orland a drive-by town, or a blip off the highway, but we’d call it a sweet town with a thriving library that sits literally and figuratively as the center of the community.