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Friday, April 26, 2013

Support Your Local Library

Did you know that your local library has a lot more to offer than just books? We in Contra Costa County are fortunate to have a remarkable library system that serves not only as a learning center but as a social center as well.
Throughout the Contra Costa Library system, you’ll find not only books and reference services but author talks, book discussions and special events. I recently attended a delightful talk by Alexander McCall Smith, author of “The #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” sponsored by the Lafayette Library. And the Walnut Creek Library is hosting Michael Polan, author of “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation,” at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek on June 20th. Special events such as these provide excellent opportunities to learn more about the people who write the books we read and care about.

Check out some of the other things you can find either at the libraries or on their website:
  • An online Virtual Reference Library with topics approved by teachers, i.e. a series of eBooks dedicated to the California Missions for all you history buffs.
  • A Tumble Book Library – online picture books your kids can either read or listen to.
  • The Walnut Creek Library sponsors a citywide book club called One City, One Book; Live! From the Library – a free speaker series; and an annual Student Poetry Celebration.
  • Under “Find Books” online, there’s a “Kid’s View” section with a revolving wheel of topics that allows kids to select books about things that interest them.
  • For all readers, there is a “Read Alikes” section with suggestions for books that are similar to ones you’ve already enjoyed.
  • Online tutorials to help you connect your Nook, Kindle or iPad to the library.
  • Information about Project Second Chance – a one-on-one tutoring program that offers free and confidential literacy instruction to adults.
  • And I saved the best for last – Discover & Go, a program where the library has paired with over 40 museums in the Bay Area to provide free tickets. Though the tickets are limited and on a first-come, first-served basis, they afford you a chance to visit such places as the Aquarium of the Bay, the Asian Art Museum, the Bay Area Discovery Museum, the California Academy of Science, the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, the Oakland Museum of California to name but a few. What an incredible opportunity to explore the Bay Area and learn something new.
Have I piqued your interest? If so, take a moment to check out the Contra Costa County website at You’ll be amazed by what you find there.

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