Tag Archives: Vacation Library Visits

Vacation Library Visit: Evanston Public Library

We all know that visiting libraries is one of the best parts of being on a vacation, right? (It definitely is!) When employees of CMLE HQ travel, of course we visit libraries along the way!

I recently visited the Evanston Public Library, in Evanston, IL. (It’s north of Chicago, and also the home of Northwestern University.) This is a really nice library, with a ton of great programming (we featured them in an early Linking Our Libraries podcast episode).


The Book Sale room is nice and prominent! I love to visit libraries – but it’s hard to find books I love, and cannot check out. So I do always enjoy library book sales. As it’s obviously out of the question for me to leave any library without books in my hands, this gives me a way to support the library, and also have fun vacation books!

When you take a left, after coming in the front door, you enter a fantastic Children’s area! You can see the thought and effort that has been put into making this a welcoming and fun place for kids and their adults to visit. I always love to see libraries making this effort to bring people to the library! One of our important functions is to serve as places for all members of the community to gather, to enjoy themselves, and to have fun connecting with others – and it’s clear this space makes that happen!! (Yes, there are also tons of fun books; and yes – it was hard to tear myself away from them too!!)

As you enter the Children’s section, there was a special display set up. Librarian Betsy Bird (you may know her from School Library Journal, or her book podcast, or the books she writes!) made her annual section of 101 Great Books for Kids – and the books were right there to be grabbed by kids!

You can see this tree in the above photos, but it’s worth a closer look. Doesn’t it make you want to curl up and read books?? (I maintained a little dignity, and did NOT crawl into the tree to check it out…but it was a close thing!)



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Vacation Library Visit Series: Libraries of Quebec City!

We all know that visiting libraries is one of the best parts of being on a vacation, right? (It definitely is!) When employees of CMLE HQ travel, of course we visit libraries along the way!

I was lucky enough to spend several days in Quebec City last spring, and got to visit two of the city’s libraries! (If you’re interested in international libraries, make sure to check out our podcast episode on the subject!)

Our first stop was to the Maison de la littérature 

There was lots of construction happening outside so I was excited to get inside and check things out!

I was so impressed! The space is beautiful and housed in the former Wesley Temple, but has a very modern feel with lots of natural light.

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The library had several levels but was open concept so I was able to get a good view as I climbed higher. Lots of places to read, work on computers, or learn from a variety of computerized displays.

It was so fun to see separate work spaces, browse the shelves (even though it was all in French!) and admire displays.

To learn more about the Maison de la littérature, check out their website, which states, “Open to all, Maison de la littérature is a place for writing, creating, meeting, and participating—bringing literature to life in a lively, warm, and inviting setting. It is a space for the spoken and written word and for the creation and dissemination of the literary arts. It offers residents, authors, and literary professionals an inspiring space with a range of collections, services, activities, and events.”

Next on our agenda was to visit the English language library, the Morrin Center, which houses a library with English materials as well as the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec.

This building has a very interesting history and “reflects four major periods of Quebec City history and bears witness to the French- and English-language communities that contributed to its heritage and made it what it is today. ” For much of the building’s history it was used as a public prison, until it became Quebec City’s first English-language college.

Today the library definitely has a cozy vintage feel, with a wonderful smell of old books and creaky hardwood floors. I had so much fun exploring their collections!

When you first walk in, seeing all the books is pretty exciting! I loved that the second story of books was visible behind the intricate balcony.






There were lots of seating options, although I had to be careful around certain pieces of fragile furniture, like this couch. The sign reads (in both English and French): “This sofa is probably older than your grandmother. Please sit down gently, as you would on her knees.”

I enjoyed wandering around the library and admiring all their books and the beautiful building. We weren’t able to go on one of the guided tours of the building, but they look like fun!

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These visits to Quebec City’s libraries were definitely a fun (and free!) way to learn more about the city and see how residents utilize their library services!