So, I’m starting out this morning with 10 counties, 16 libraries under my belt. Yesterday was such a beast of a day that I had to remind myself that this is supposed to be fun. Driving from Warsaw (where I spent the night) to Plymouth, I decided that even if it meant not getting in as many libraries as my original plan described, I was going to enjoy the ride.
And what a ride Tuesday was! When I got to Plymouth, I spoke to the library director, and when I got to the point where I wanted to take a picture of her with the materials, she decided to bring in a sub. To my surprise, she pulls in Barb, who knows me. We’re related. Her uncle Joe married my dad’s first cousin, Delores. We tried to figure out what that made us, and the best we could come up with was some kind of cousins by marriage. Anyway, the library director took a photo of us together. Here we are, in the mystery section at the Plymouth library:
As I left the library, I happened upon the Java Trail coffee bar on nearby LaPorte Street. I desperately needed caffeine, but since I gave up coffee for Lent (don’t ask…it’s tough), I went in hoping they would have tea, which they did. I just want to say that it was a great little coffee house! I wish I’d had time to sit down and enjoy the atmosphere there. But I knew I really shouldn’t take the time. I took my tea with me and jumped on U.S. 31 south to the Fulton County Public Library in Rochester.
There I met up with John, whom I’d spoken with on the phone. John was a great guy, very supportive of what I was doing, and we had a nice visit. Here’s a photo of him holding the contest materials. (Notice how many of these photos take place in front of the mystery section!)
I drove back up U.S. 31, past Plymouth (wish I hadn’t had to backtrack, but I felt I needed to cover Rochester while I was up north…) until I reached S.R. 104, which I took over to Bremen. Though I’d already checked Marshall County off my list by hitting Plymouth, I wanted to stop at Bremen because they have a great readers group there that loves mysteries, and I’d spoken to the group before. Here’s the library at Bremen.
Isn’t that a great little library? I went in and introduced myself to Ruby, who looked really familiar. She took the contest materials envelope and promised to pass it on the library director as well as their readers group. (This time the photo is near the magazine section, just for variety…)
From Bremen I took U.S. 331 up to U.S. 20, and then U.S. 20 into South Bend, where I stopped at the St. Joseph County Public Library. As you might imagine, St. Joe’s is a huge library, and I couldn’t reach the person I needed to talk to, but a very helpful young man at the reference desk, Jeremy, took the materials and promised to give them to the public relations department and have them call me. Sorry, no inside photo, but here’s a shot of St. Joseph’s central library in South Bend from across the street.
I drove from South Bend over to Elkhart in Elkhart County. Here’s a photo of me at the main library.
I went inside and found Jeanne, the Readers’ Advisory librarian who handles mysteries. She’d read the letter I’d sent ahead and had even ordered a couple of my books! Thanks, Jeanne! All you mystery fans in Elkhart should know you’ve got a great resource if you’re looking for a good mystery! Here’s a photo of Jeanne with the envelope.
I had lunch in Goshen and then stopped at their library, my second stop in Elkhart County. There I met Vonda, who had read my advance letter and had already looked up my novels and knew about me. Here’s the Goshen Libary, and Vonda, holding (or should I say modeling?) the contest materials.
Trains seemed to have been my evil nemesis that day. I had already been stopped by three trains, and train #4 caught me as I was trying to exit Goshen. It slowly rolled back and forth, blocking the road for over fifteen minutes (I counted). Not sure what it was accomplishing. Anyway, I finally joined the other cars in vacating the area and trying to find a way around the train. Unfortunately, not knowing the area, I got lost and took a cross-country road trip on county roads until I located U.S. 20, which I then took it into Lagrange.
The Snag: Well, here’s where the plan to visit libraries in all 92 counties hits a snag. The Lagrange County Public Library is closed because it’s moving to a new location. Seriously. Here’s a photo of me in front of the library and a close up of the sign at the door.
Clearly they will be closed a long time. I probably should have checked on that before I started out. The strange thing is, the Shipshewana branch is also closed. So, I decided that technically, I did visit the library, and that I would send the materials to them in the mail so they would have them when they re-open on April 4, which is still within the 30 days. (Later I discovered they had one other branch, in Topeka, that really was open, but I didn’t know that at the time…)
Anyway, it was on to Noble County, and to my good fortune I located the Limberlost Library almost immediately upon entering the county in Rome City. The library is quite picturesque. It’s a branch of the Kendallville Public Library. I went in and found a patron checking out a bunch of mysteries. I introduced myself to her and made a friend, who immediately asked the branch manager, Bridget, to get a copy of Saintly Remains in for her. Bridget was very nice also, and we chatted about favorite mystery authors, especially those who had recently passed away, like Robert B. Parker and Dick Francis. I left her with the contest materials.
Would loved to have called it a day, but I still had two more libraries on my list and they were on the way back to Warsaw anyway. So I drove south on S.R. 9 into Whitley County to Columbia City’s Peabody Library. It’s a large library and looks like it’s fairly new. I met Ray at the dult services desk, and he accepted the envelope with the contest materials for the library.
The last stop for the day was back in Warsaw in Kosciusko County. Unfortunately, the people I need to talk to weren’t there, but Carole in the adult services section was very helpful, listened to the tale of my 30-day adventure and accepted the contest materials. Since then, I’ve heard from the person who handles their library programs, and so I may be coming back to Warsaw for a talk. (Watch the Appearances page for that!)
Eight counties, ten more libraries covered. That makes 18 counties and 26 libraries total. Just 74 more counties and 75 libraries to go!