Hedberg Public Library opens travel resource center
JANESVILLE Two months ago, travel materials were spread throughout Hedberg Public Library.
Today, they are housed in one area—the Great Escapes Travel Resource Center.
The new center is easy to spot: its bookshelves are decorated with globes, maps, postcards and suitcases housed in one of the library's half-dozen "neighborhood" sections.
"These are books that got lost in the regular sections of the library," said Carol Kuntzelman, head of technical services and collections manager.
To highlight the items, they were pulled from the far back corner of the library's collection and placed between adult fiction and nonfiction—behind do-it-yourself materials—where they are more visible and more easily accessible.
"This is a one-stop shop," Kuntzelman said.
The center features DVDs, books, travel guides and atlases containing information on area tourist sites, plus hotel and restaurant information. Travel magazines soon will be added, she said.
Public response has been good, Kuntzelman said.
"Now that we've got signage, it's less confusing to find them (the travel items)," she said.
Also housed within the new center are five travel totes that focus on the country's most popular destinations: Orlando, Las Vegas, New York City, Chicago and the state of Wisconsin. Each contains durable maps, travel guides, DVDs, and lists of websites and digital download information.
"If they are popular, we will create some (totes) for foreign destinations because we know everybody likes things bundled," said Elizabeth Hough, library public information coordinator.
While travel information is available online and through travel agencies, Kuntzelman and Hough point out the new center's advantages.
"The library has all the resources together at your fingertips that have been handpicked by skilled staff. And it's free,'' Hough said.
Materials are kept up-to-date, saving research time cand the expenses of buying travel guides and paying for computer paper and ink.
Would-be travelers also can download free travel eBooks, audio books, movies and more from the link to Overdrive on the library's home page, all without leaving the comfort of their homes. Kuntzelman said the library added 300 new downloadable travel titles in September.
To learn more
Other travel center resources available at Hedberg Public Library include:
-- Amtrak, amtrak.com
-- Expedia, expedia.com
-- How Far is it? indo.com/cgi-bin/dist
-- Kayak, kayak.com
-- Metra Train, metrarail.com
-- Travelocity, travelocity.com
-- Travel Safely, usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Travel.shtml
-- U.S. Department of State, travel.state.gov
-- Wisconsin Department of Tourism, travelwisconsin.com
-- Universal Currency Converter, xe.com/ucc
-- Van Galder Bus Co., coachusa.com/vangalder
-- The Weather Channel, weather.com
-- Wisconsin Department of Transportation, dot.wisconsin.gov
-- Free eBooks, audio books, movies and more
Free databases funded by the library. Visit HedbergPublicLibrary.org and click "Research Tools/Research Databases":
-- CULTUREGRAM: Learn the history, customs, government and general attitudes of countries worldwide.
-- MANGO: An online language-learning system that can help you learn languages like Spanish, French, Japanese, Russian, Italian and more.
(Both CultureGram and Mango are only available to Hedberg Public Library cardholders)