For the Love of Libraries: Mackinaw Area Public Library

Today’s submission is from Susan Porter, a freelance writer, poet, and prolific twitterer. You can find examples of her writing and more information at or find her on Twitter @susellwrites.

This post is an installment in my For Love of Libraries series, about libraries and travel, and intended to show my personal support for the 2010 Columbus Metropolitan Library levy. Although these posts are not meant to represent the authors’ support of the library levy, Susan writes that she is in support of it, that “books and libraries are vital to the enrichment of communities”.


We visited a fantastic library in Mackinaw City, MI last year while camping. It was tiny but we went because behind it was a letterbox and my daughter is into letterboxing.

The children’s area was posh. It had games, puzzles and a story cottage.

Mackinaw Area Public Library

Mackinaw Area Public Library, Mackinaw City, Michigan

I am emailing you from outside the Carriage Museum Library [Carriage Museum of America, Lexington, KY], but I doubt we will go there–my kids are bored with culture and are enjoying playing games on my iPod and insisting we find a playground.


I tried to find pictures of the story cottage Susan mentions, but was unsuccessful. The search did get me thinking about children’s areas I’ve known and loved.

Here in Columbus, the children’s section at the main branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library has a tree house you can read in; the public library in Old Worthington has castle turrets and murals. These sections are often fanciful monuments to imagination, beckoning visitors to enjoy the act of reading and the act of dreaming about reading as much they might enjoy the books themselves.

Where is that invitation for adults? Granted, we often turn to libraries for research or business purposes, but many of us go to the library just looking for a good book. Print readers always talk about the sensuous aspects of reading, but libraries don’t often recognize that need in adult readers.

Friends, regale me with your tales of whimsical and imaginative reading rooms–for children or adults–that you’ve encountered in your travels.

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