Libraries: A Free Resource When You Travel
Libraries: Rich source of culture (and clean restrooms)
by Larissa and Michael Milne
from The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 1, 2015. Page N2.
'We often use libraries as a resource while traveling. Almost every town has one, they offer free WiFi, and are quiet, air-conditioned places to spend some time.
On road trips, we'll use them as rest stops. We seek out the familiar blue-and-white sign with the icon of a figure reading a book to point the way to the local library. We know we'll find clean restrooms and a place to relax, along with a used-book rack that offers plenty of choices at bargain prices.
In large cities, many public libraries are overlooked free attractions in their own right, providing noteworthy architecture and rotating exhibits.
A few examples:
The Boston Public Library offers free art and architecture tours of its Charles McKim-designed building and art collection. A massive gallery decorated with murals by John Singer Sargent stacks up against many museums.
. . . .
The Free Library of Philadelphia's Rare Book Department is hosting "Sacred Stories: The World's Religious Traditions" through January. Religious texts dating to medieval times are on display, including Martin Luther's first German New Testament, printed in 1522.
. . . .
The Egyptian Revival-style Los Angeles Central Library is decorated with wonderful murals, along with samples from its vintage travel poster collection, a must-see for anyone who dreams of far-away places.
Before visiting a city, do some research on the main library to find these hidden gems. . . .'