Explore Tahoe: These days, area libraries are about a lot more than just books | SierraSun.com

Explore Tahoe: These days, area libraries are about a lot more than just books

Toree Warfield
Toree’s Stories
Activities, games and puzzles are waiting to be explored by your inquisitive toddler.
Courtesy Toree Warfield |

If you haven’t been to your local library in a while, perhaps it’s time for a visit. Not only can you find there just about any book that you might seek, you will also find magazines, newspapers, books on CD, DVDs, music CDs and so much more.

Libraries have various displays and programs, which may rotate among libraries, pertaining to current events or other local items of interest and each library hosts a variety of speakers on various topics each month. Libraries on occasion host book sales, where participants can find used books at great prices.

Currently at the Incline Village Library, you will find a rock display containing specimens of rocks found in the area. Also at the Incline Village Library, in the “Studio” room, for the next two months is “Grow It!”, an opportunity to try your hand at seed planting and growing with the help of library staff.

The Kings Beach Library offers an online book club. Each month, library staff choose a book. Participants have one month to read the book and post comments online.

This library also hosts technology classes on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Thursday of the month from 3-4 p.m., no reservation required. On the second Thursday, one hour is offered as an open Q-and-A forum, fielding technology questions answered by a tech expert.

For the third Thursday, learn iPhone basics. The fourth Thursday has a changing topic so do check the schedule at placer.ca.gov/departments/library for this and more information.

At the El Dorado County Library in South Lake Tahoe, check out a microscope or explore the difference between igneous and metamorphic rock by checking out one of the Beyond School Center science kits. Some items need to be requested from other branches, which means it will take a day or two to get it at your branch.

In an average year in El Dorado County, volunteers contribute 16,000 hours of service at the library, staff answer 17,000 reference questions, 1,900 programs take place at all of the county’s libraries with 38,000 people attending.

Libraries offer a variety of teen and toddler programs, such as Inventor’s Club, Toddler Story Time and poetry slams. El Dorado County hosts a monthly LEGO block party and also has a variety of family games that patrons can borrow.

Drop into the Zephyr Cove Library, as at all the libraries around the lake, to hook up to Wi-Fi, make photocopies, send faxes or scan documents. Children’s computers are available, ready with learning games and programs.

All the libraries have meeting rooms that can be reserved by the public on a first-come basis. Meeting rooms have tables, chairs, projection equipment and Wi-Fi, a coffee maker, microwave and refrigerator. Some rooms require a minimal fee, others are offered for free.

Wander into your local library to find a quiet nook to work or study, write your first novel, browse the internet, or just relax with a good book. Libraries have comfortable seating, televisions with DVD players, desks and tables.

The staff at your library are excited about the programs they offer and happy to help patrons find whatever they might be looking for, whether it be an enjoyable novel, research material on virtually any topic, or perhaps a specific periodical.

Incline Village Library offers a place for local artists to display their work. In return, the artist is asked to give a scheduled presentation to the public regarding the composing process, what inspires them to create and perhaps to offer tips to other budding artists.

Visit your library to attend a class on memoir writing, get job training or to join courses in learning a language, where you work at your own pace.

For those who enjoy perusing computers for information, all libraries have a vast digital presence. Search your county’s library system to tap into this resource. To take full advantage of online materials, information seekers need to have a valid library card.

To get your library card, you can sign up for one online but you will need to visit your library in person with a valid state-issued ID to get the card and all the benefits the card provides. Truckee/Tahoe residents are welcome to obtain a library card at any or all branches around the lake.

Anyone interested in learning, conducting research or simply reading for pleasure can benefit from a visit to the library. Library hours vary so check your county’s website for complete information and start exploring.

Toree Warfield is an avid nature lover, and writes this column to teach and stimulate interest in the marvels that surround us. Visit saveourplanetearth.com to read columns and to find links to bird song recordings, additional photos and other content.