This time of year is often when families begin to plan their summer vacations - what exciting destinations can be picked? What will appeal to everyone? Staycation, or go somewhere you’ve always wanted to go? Unfortunately, COVID-19 may squash those vacation dreams and plans before you’ve even had a chance to make them...but your Abilene Public Library has some resources that you may enjoy for dreaming about travel abroad or in the US - and even better, some can be useful in the home classroom. And, still better than that, they are all free with your library card!
A to Z: the USA contains more than 115 country-based articles and 115 state articles for each of the 50 US states, five US territories, and the District of Columbia. Each state profile includes biographies of famous natives, climate information, food and recipes, a gazetteer for physical landmarks by county or parish, and information about state symbols like the flag, state bird, mottos and more. An interesting feature for students, or anyone who just wants to test their knowledge are downloadable crossword puzzles which can be printed off. This is a fun database for browsing, it has beautiful pictures, and could be something the entire family will enjoy.
A to Z:World Travel is a comprehensive travel resource with information about points of interest, security, transportation, food and recipes, culture, language, and more. With 202 World City Travel Guides covering 67 topics each, plus an additional 57 travel resources, from Aberdeen to Zurich, you can wander the world at will. For instance, each city profile includes an insider’s guide that gives you information you might not find otherwise. Travel essentials, information on the monetary system, the climate and activities from shopping to nightlife make this a wonderful way to visit cities all around the world you may have only dreamed about in the past.
Global Road Warrior is an extensive country-by-country resource for learning about culture, customs, history, and language worldwide. Global Road Warrior consists of 174 Country Guides of 119 topics each. While it concentrates on business travel, it also has excellent information for the tourist as well. One of the features of Global Road Warrior is great guidance for women traveling and/or doing business in that country - ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s which can make a difference not only from a safety standpoint, but in not unknowingly being offensive in another culture. Those tips on culture, including greetings, whether to shake hands or not, and cultural taboos are also extremely useful for any traveler and could lead to some stimulating discussions in a class setting about how and why those things may be unacceptable in one country, and fine in another.
Last but not least, a fine language learning tool is Pronunciator. Pronunciator is a fun and free way to learn any of 160 languages with personalized courses, movies, music, and more. In the language you want to master, simply select the topics you love, the skills you want to build, and how much you want to study each day, and Pronunciator will build a personalized course just for you — in a matter of seconds. It can also create a personalized study guide in PDF format, and dozens of personalized audio lessons, for every course you build.
And, if you’re learning a language for your job, Pronunciator can help. Whether you’re a nurse, a firefighter, a cashier, a carpenter — or any of 60 occupations — you can build a personalized course designed specifically for your job. Or perhaps you want to learn American Sign Language, or Mexican Sign Language! Pronunciator has 20,000 instructional videos each for those.
All of these resources can be found on our webpage, www.abilenetx.gov/apl by clicking on E-Resources and going to the alphabetical “T” section for Travel. And all are free, thanks to your Abilene Public Library card. If you don’t have a card, give us a call at 676-6025 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and we’ll get you fixed up. You may be physically homebound for now, but with the resources your library provides, you can travel all over the world!
Article Contributed by Janis C. Test, Information Services Manager, Main Library