Have you heard of a grand tour? Maybe you just thought of the Amazon Prime show hosted by British TV legends Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond. If you enjoy watching flashy vehicles, ribald humor and running jokes like 12-year-olds would make, it is great entertainment.
On the other hand, you might have thought of the famous road trip through Italy called the Grand Tour. Made popular as a pastime for motorists in the early part of the 20th century, vacationers would pack up a week or so’s worth of clothes and necessities to sight-see around the Italian countryside. Stopping in towns big and small provided abundant opportunities for cultural exchanges between tourists and locals while also boosting economic growth.
Closer to home, we motorists in the United States often enjoy cross-country road trips. These multi-stop excursions mimic the Italian Grand Tour in their purpose: sightseeing with relaxation and an exchange of culture.
Did you know that you do not have to leave the comfort of your hometown to enjoy a grand tour? Your local library provides materials that will grow your mind and expand your understanding of the world.
We have literature, entertainment and knowledge to share with everyone because the library is for everyone! In fact, some of our youngest patrons are coming this time of year to explore the library with their teachers and classmates and have their own version of a grand tour.
Generally speaking, our school tours occur in fall and spring when the weather is milder. Teachers, their students and chaperones pile out of buses and other automobiles to line up in front of the library entrance. With excitement and anticipation the classes prepare to be amazed!
Not only do kids and their adult guides get an in-depth journey through library sections relevant to their age group, but we also take them to see the book drops and cataloguing department – a sort of “behind the scenes” bonus.
Often the library provides tours to Kindergarten through second grades and include a story time. Recently though, fifth and sixth grade classes have begun asking for ones with a focus on research.
This has been great because it gives us librarians a chance to really geek out and dig deeper into the resources available for learning! Seeing the excitement on kids’ faces when they finally discover the perfect book for their research is incredibly gratifying.
But we are not just here for children’s tours; we also do them for teens and adults! High schools, colleges and other learning groups come in to learn more about the library’s services as well. In fact, a group from one of the recent Citizenship Classes received a library tour just last month.
So while going on an Italian vacation is lovely, broadening your cultural experiences doesn’t have to cost money. Instead, groups can phone in and ask for a tour or fill out the Library Tour form that is linked to the website. Using this special program, you too can gain a deeper knowledge of the public library, its services, and the wider world around you.
Please call your local library or visit the website for more information – www.montroselibrary.org – we have lots of spaces left for spring library tours!
James Stetson is a Youth Services librarian at Montrose Regional Library.
Discuss the news on NABUR, a place to have local conversations The Neighborhood Alliance for Better Understanding and Respect ✔ A site just for our local community ✔ Focused on facts, not misinformation ✔ Free for everyone