Perhaps you, like many readers of Michigan Family Travel, cannot imagine being away from books for more than a few days at time. Maybe your family is like ours- Yes, you have your electronic reading contraption and the paperback copy of The Goblet of Fire, that your eighth grader is reading for the 47th time, but there is still a need to include at least one stop at a library while traveling about this great state of ours, the Marvelous Mitten!
So, during 2017 we are going to celebrate the legacy of Ben Franklin and Andrew Carnegie by featuring 12 libraries that you will want to include as part of your Michigan Family Travel Plans.
This month, we are featuring a small gem in the heart of the Huron National Forest- the Curtis Township Library in Glennie, Michigan.
Driving north on M-65, heading through the rolling farm lands and pine forests of the Huron National Forest, you will come to the small town of Glennie. There are many reasons to stop and spend time in this area, kayaking along the Au Sable, fishing on one of the many lakes, hiking to the High Banks, or staring at a small tree, waiting to see an even smaller bird. Perhaps you want to stop to stock up on supplies at Roger's, where they often have hummus! Maybe even have an amazing scoop or two of ice-cream. Whatever brings you to Glennie, be sure to add a stop at the Curtis Township Library as part of your adventure.
A small, white building at the bottom of a hill, with lovely landscaping, the library, like so many throughout our state serves as the cultural hub of the community. Regulars stop in to chat with the knowledgeable staff about books, grand kids, fishing, and life. Teens come in to connect to the internet and families plop on comfy chairs in the back corner and savor some quiet time and a well-curated selection of children, YA and teen books. What it may lack in sheer quantity of books, it more than makes up for in having excellent books in a clean, bright space, with just enough room to spread out with the cousins and be grateful for air conditioning. Can you remember when "up north" was occasionally cool on a July morning, like I can?
I can remember several rainy mornings of cabin fever, when escaping to the Curtis Township Library to play checkers, color, and read Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watts, were highlights of our trip.
In the summer, the library features a fund raising book sale which often has an incredibly rewarding selection of eclectic books to choose from. They have a variety of events throughout the year, including plant sales, book clubs, Halloween Parties and other events that add to the culture of this wonderful part of the state. They are in the beginning process of planning for a labyrinth, perhaps the first in the National Forest? Here's hoping this project comes to fruition, making it another reason, the Curtis Township Library is a "must-do" for our family when we get "up-north" to the Huron National Forest.
Though small, the library is "just right" in comfort, charm, and conviviality and we are grateful for it each time we make a visit and we hope it is around for a long, long time.
Family Questions for Discussion
1. What role does reading play in your family travel?
2. What is the history of public libraries in the United States?
3. What is your favorite book at the Curtis Township Library?
4.How does going to a library while on vacation help you better understand the people of the community?
5. What is the history of the Curtis Township Library? When was it built? How many books does it have?
The audiobook of Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watts is available for purchase on the iTunes store.