Hello and welcome!
I’d like to discuss a related pair of fun topics for library lovers like us; library tours and library passports.
Have you visited every branch in your Home library system?
If you have library cards for multiple library systems, have you visited at-least one branch in each library system?
(Some library systems will send you a card in the mail; or simply email you a PDF of your card, for you to print-out yourself. So, it’s possible to have a library card without ever having physically visited a branch in the system.)
My interest in doing library tours started with my book requests.
I’d request books through my local branch (Bainbridge Island) of the Kitsap Regional Library (KRL), and when I received the books, I’d notice the name of the KRL branch that the book came from.
All of these different branch names sparked my curiosity.
What do these branches look like? What unique personality do they have? How do they reflect the communities that they’re in?
Are you curious, as well? Have you thought of exploring your library branches?
When we travel to other countries, we use a passport. It’s a treat to get a new stamp in a passport.
So, I thought it would be fun to make a library passport.
This tweet shows and lists the ingredients for a library passport:
Here’s a few more details about the supplies, and why I picked them:
- Blank Book – I found a three-pack of blank books that are the same size as my passport! I picked the pack that was all shades of blue, as blue is my favorite color, and US passports are blue.
- Picture of Me – This is a passport photo I had taken of me, at my local drugstore.
- Stickers – As I mentioned, the custom is for passports to get stamped when you visit someplace new. I decided not to get a stamp, as I didn’t want to worry about the possibility of the stamp leaking in my purse; so, instead I picked a bunch of cute stickers.
- The KRL Newsletter – The back cover of their newsletter always lists details about the various branches in the KRL system. I’ll need this to markup my library passport.
Here’s how I put-together my library passport (it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3):
- I taped my passport photo to the inside front cover of the blank book. (You could staple your photo, or use glue, instead of tape.)
- On the first page (just opposite the inside front cover), I printed (with my blue-ink pen), “Library Passport of Mina / @LibraryGirl” and wrote my signature (I also added a heart after the signature, as blue hearts have become one of my things). I was planning to put all of this on the inside front cover; however, there’s a pretty floral pattern on the inside front cover, and I didn’t want to write over this pattern.
- At the top of each of the following pages, I printed “KRL” and the branch name (“KRL Bainbridge” for example), then underlined this printing to create a header on the page. (I used the list of branches from the back of the newsletter, for this step.) You could also add the branch’s open hours &/or phone number to each page (or other details that you may want stored in your library passport); I like a minimalist look, so I just have the system acronym (KRL) and the branch name.
As I visit each branch in the KRL system, I’ll add a sticker to that branch’s page in my library passport.
(I’m storing my stickers in a Ziploc bag, so that they’re safe until needed.)
This Summer and Autumn, my Beloved and I will be visiting every branch in the KRL system!
You’re welcome to join us in-person &/or follow us online.
Here’s a list of all of KRL’s branches, if you’d like to join us in-person: https://www.krl.org/locations
And if you’d like to follow our KRL Tour online, I’l be tweeting our adventures, using these hashtags:
#KRLTour and #LibraryTour
These URLs will take you to Twitter’s search page, with results for these two hastags:
Once we start the tour, I’ll also publish a post here on my blog with a URL to that first adventure.
I’ll update that post, as we continue to explore the KRL system.
(My apologies, but I don’t have a first date or location, yet. When I do have these things, I’ll share them with you in a tweet.)
Is a library passport a silly project? Yes. Making a library passport is a prompt to go out and explore the libraries around you. Once you’ve started collecting your stickers (or stamps, or notes) in the pages of your library passport, then it’ll also be a memento; something to remind you of the delightful experiences you had on your journey.
Libraries are sacred spaces for me; they fill me with joy and peace. I hope that you have a similar experience when visiting your libraries, and I’d love to hear you share your stories from your library tours.
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PPS: Just before we part, I’d like to note that these blog posts are only half of what I do as Library Girl. The other half is on Twitter. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you may still visit my twitter page and see what I’m up-to, here:
If you are on Twitter, please join the bookish conversation with me.