Month: March 2014

Celebrate libraries with Flat Andy

The Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2014 with a photo contest called Flat Andy. I saw this fun way to mark a major library milestone when I visited the John H. Germany Public Library in Tampa,…

Hurrah for independent booksellers!

These days, when most bookstores have become insubstantial online warehouses or indistinguishable big-box retailers, it’s gratifying to find independent booksellers who still offer unique environments to browse for books. Used bookstores are more likely to embody this feeling of old-time…

Dragon from down under

The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Florida staged a special exhibit called “Dragons Down Under,” featuring sea dragons, sea horses, and pipefish, which live in the waters around Australia. The highlight of the exhibit was the rarely seen leafy sea dragon,…

A library quacker

On a recent visit to the Naples Public Library in Florida, I was greeted at the front door by a Muscovy duck!

Here’s looking at you, kid!

As much as we think dolphins are cute, they are fascinated by us too. At the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key in the Florida Keys, I saw dolphins giving visitors the eye and coming back for more than one…

Books by boat

In my travels, I’ve seen several different ways of returning materials to libraries (drive-thru overhangs, boxes on the street, self-serve RFID chutes), but this method at a library in the Florida Keys is one I hadn’t seen before. According to…

At home at the Four Arts Library

Cozy, comfortable, and the feeling of being at home. That’s what it’s like to walk into the Four Arts Library in Palm Beach, Florida. (I don’t have a library like this at home, but my ideal personal library space would feel like…

Palm Beach fountain

The Mizner Memorial Fountain is a beautiful water feature located in a park beside Palm Beach City Hall. It was built by Addision Mizner, an architect who constructed many of the houses and buildings in this Florida city in the…

“We choose to go to the moon!”

John F. Kennedy repeated those words several times in a speech he gave at Rice University in 1962, inspiring Americans to take up the challenge to fly a man to the moon before the decade was out. I was a…

Around and around

…and around up 219 steps to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum. It’s not as bad on the legs as some lighthouses and tower monuments can be, because it has landings at regular intervals for rest breaks,…