Got a late start this morning because I was trying to finish up my blog from Tuesday before taking off, but it worked out. My goal was to start in Madison County at the Anderson Public Library at 9:00, forgetting to check their website to make sure they were open that early. Well, I got there at 9:45, only to discover they didn’t open until 10! But at least I only had to wait 15 minutes instead of an hour…
So, it’s hard to describe just how big the Anderson Public Library is. I took this photo, but it doesn’t really do it justice. The place is huge.
I had talked to Tyson at the library last week, and I was looking forward to meeting with him, but Amy at the information desk told me he wasn’t in yet. I ended up leaving the materials with her. Tyson, if you’re reading this, send me a photo of you holding the envelope (you can always take it with your cell phone) and send it to me, and I’ll put it on the website.
From there it was back to I-69 and onto Marion. But before I drop Anderson, a big shout-out to Wes at the circulation desk for giving me exact directions to get to I-69. He made sure to tell me that “even if you think you’re lost, you’re not lost.” And he was right!
So I took I-69 to the S.R. 18 exit and headed west into Marion (Grant County). Honestly, I hadn’t expected Marion to be as large is it was. And it seemed like a nice place to live. I found the main library easily on South Washington Street, and went around back to park in the lot. The same building also houses a museum, and I gather it was at one time the U.S. Glove Manufacturing Company. I went in and went upstairs to the reference desk, where I met Mary. When I told her who I was, she said, “So you really are doing it?” and we had a nice talk about the stresses and joys of undertaking this 30-day adventure of mine. Mary accepted the materials. Here’s a photo of the back entrance to the library (sorry, it’s not a great photo…) and of Mary.
From there I went back on S.R. 18, stopping briefly at Arby’s for a quick lunch. I continued past I-69 until I reached S.R. 3, which I took down to Hartford City. By this time I was in Blackford County. The Hartford City Library has a stately feel to it. I went inside and spoke with Jolene at the reference desk, who seemed to be manning everything by herself that day. I discovered that the library director was the person I needed to speak with, but since she wasn’t there, I left the materials with Jolene. Here’s a look at the library and Jolene with the envelope.
From there I got turned around and made an extra trip around the library trying to find my way to S.R. 26, and then I headed east into Jay County. My destination was Portland, Indiana, home of the Jay County Library. The library was well-marked on S.R. 26, and I found it easily (even if I did go the wrong way into their parking lot. No one was injured by this mistake, however). The Jay County Library is located in a fairly new building (I think I saw a construction date of 1995), and so it’s very up-to-date inside. The director I needed to see wasn’t there, but the assistant director Gail was very helpful and, after I explained to her why I was there, accepted the contest materials and said she would give them to the director. Here are the photos from my visit.
I caught U.S. 27 out of Portland and drove south to Randolph County’s Winchester Community Public Library. The library must’ve started out in the front half of this building (as you’ll see below), but built on in the back. Though it looks traditional outside, it’s a very modern library inside. I introduced myself to Jana, and she exclaimed, “I know who you are!” which was a very nice reception to get. Jana was charming and I enjoyed chatting with her. Here’s a photo of her holding the envelop, and a photo of the library.
From there I headed back west on S.R. 32 into Muncie. My older daughter Liz and her husband Tim went to Ball State, and one of my favorite mystery conventions, Magna cum Murder, is held in Muncie, so I’m familiar with the city. Or so I thought. I’d never been through the east side of the city before. It was very different to come in that way, and I wondered if I was lost until I reached the downtown area, where the Horizon Convention Center is. Once I located that, I was able to get up to McGalliard. My destination was the Kennedy Branch of the Muncie Library, where my friend Harriette is a librarian. Harriette is a mystery enthusiast, and we know each other from being at Magna, and also from Bouchercon, where she won a ticket to an event the Mystery Writers of America sponsored. (Bouchercon was held in Indianapolis this past year.) Anyway, Harriette was working later that day, so I spoke with her supervisor, Mary Lou, who knew I was coming but wasn’t sure why. I explained about the adventure and the contest, and she accepted the materials. Here is photo of the Kennedy branch and Mary Lou.
From there I took the back way out of Muncie so I could go by Yorktown, where my sister-in-law Lisa’s sister Bobbie lives, and where my daughter Liz had a fabulous student teaching experience at Yorktown Elementary. I wanted to make sure this town had the materials. The Yorktown library director, Liz, had received my advance letter and was expecting me, which was nice. She wanted me to meet Jennifer to talk about a possible program there, but Jennifer was teaching a class, so Liz accepted the materials. Here are the obligatory photos. I hope to come back to Yorktown to talk to their reading group sometime.
I completed the journey back out to I-69 and took it down to S.R. 13, which I thought would get me into Fortville (in Hancock County). Wrong! The road is under construction. Fortunately they warn you before you get too far. So I got back out on I-69 and took the S.R. 238 exit and went south into Fortville that way. I located the Fortville-Vernon Township Library with only a couple of turnarounds, and went in. This was not one of my planned stops, so I hadn’t sent an advance letter. Rebecca, who greeted me at the circulation desk, was very nice and explained that their director had left for the day. So I went over the 30-day adventure, the contest, and gave her the materials. She said she’d give them to her director. (I think she got a kick out of the idea of winning a character name in the next book.)
Here’s the library and Rebecca.
There’s no good way to get back to I-465 from Fortville other than take S.R. 67 through McCordsville and Lawrence. There was a lot of traffic. But I finally got to 465, then I-70, and then home. Another exhausting, but pleasant day. And guess what? I managed to hit the halfway mark. I realized it when I got home. Fortville in Hancock County was my 46th county, halfway to the 92 mark. And since I hit two libraries in Delaware County (Muncie and Yorktown), I’m now even. I have 46 counties under my belt, with 46 to go, and I have 55 libraries down, with 46 to go (to reach the magic 101 mark). Yeah!