A Library in a Mall? A Fantastic Idea!

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http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121202/NEWS/212020320#comment-275811304948776960

Many Americans this holiday season will be heading to the hundreds of shopping malls that dot the landscapes, and spending that hard earned money.  Lucikly, the librarian for the Newburgh Free Library (NY) had gone to the mall and noticed a vacant space that used to be a bookstore. Since they were able to obtain a 12 month lease for hardly anything, and the place already has ample shelf space, the library system jumped at the opportunity to place a branch library inside the shopping mall.

This is a great idea for several reasons:

1. It places the library in a high traffic area, where it will have great exposure to the public.

2.  It provides a place in the mall for those people who are not there for shopping.

3. The library is in a location where people who may not have used the public library before, now will see it everytime they go shopping.

4. The library provides free wi-fi, and a place to sit back and relax.

5. The library provides computer training, and the resources for self-education, and unemployment help as well.

Overall, more cities and towns should be considering this option when pondering as how to build a new branch. This methodology lowers the costs of opening a new branch and increases the funding for building the collections and resources to fit the informational needs of its user population. Since bookstores are on the decline seeing more of these take places in the near future is not only probable, but must be done in order for the public library to stay relevant.

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Great Hiking Trails Right Here in the U.S.A.

NCT_7StatesMost people know about the Appalachian Trail, and Yellowstone National Park, but there may be some other long-distance trails and parks that are not as well publicized but still provide wonderful outdoor experiences with tons of natural beauty.  The first that I will discuss is the little-known North Country Trail, which is one of the 11 National Scenic Trails that exist. I will be going through each of them one by one by a blog post dedicated to each.

The North Country Trail is around 4,600 miles long and is actually the longest of the National Scenic Trails.  It runs from northern New York, through northern Pennsylvania and Ohio, then up through Michigan, horizontally across the northern part of Wisconsin through north-central Minnesota, then all the way out to Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota.  Many of my hiking friends did not even know about this amazing trail.  The trail does have an online presence, and more information can be found at the following locations:

North Country Trail Association     http://northcountrytrail.org/

North Country Trail-National Park Service Web Page

http://www.nps.gov/noco/index.htm

North Country Trail Association Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/northcountrytrail?ref=ts&fref=ts

North Country Trail Twitter page

https://twitter.com/nctrail

I know most people would not attempt a thru-hike at something like this. However, this trail goes through quite a few states, and people can hike some of it at least. Overall, this is my number one hike I’d like to accomplish as a thru-hike, but I’ll settle for even just 50 miles of it, if that’s all I get to do.  Hopefully I have opened you to a trail you may not have known about!