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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Getting Where You're Going - With Less Baggage

Ah. If only everything in life was as simplified as this map -- a humorous map, by the way, from a Web site entitled, "Kansas City is in" According to those good folks, "94.3% of Americans believe Kansas City is in Kansas," so they've created a rather silly site to remind us of KC's rightful home.

There are two purposes to today's PlainTalk. One is to let you know the many ways the Library can help you get where you're going. The second is to inform you of a new way we can help lighten your load of "stuff." Both topics, perhaps, are slightly off the beaten library path, but then again, we're good at multi-tasking. :)

First, let's talk about travel help. Have you visited the "Maps & Travel" Subject Guide on our Web site? Maps & Travel
There you will find links to online databases with maps and country information and Web sites on just about every kind of travel. So our Subject Guide makes an excellent starting place. I probably don't need to tell you we have travel books and videos - lots of them, including guide books and atlases. You can search for them in our Catalog - it's also fun to go up to the 4th floor and browse the 900 aisles. It may inspire you to travel somewhere you hadn't considered.

There's another particularly useful travel resource on the 4th floor which may have eluded you until now. It's called the Map File and it's located in some unassuming file drawers behind the banks of elevators. In the Map File you'll find full-sized maps you can check out and take on the road with you. Now, you might be thinking that sounds old-fashioned - after all, so many free map services are available online. If you've ever tried planning a long driving trip with those online maps, you know it can be frustrating. The maps tend to show you only one route, or, a small portion of your route is all that will fit on 8.5" X 11" paper. That one route might be fine, but what happens when it's closed for construction or traffic is backed up for miles? Having a full-sized road map at your fingertips means you can quickly plan an alternate route or take a detour through a scenic locale that might become the highlight of your trip. In short, look to us for your travel needs. We're a lot cheaper than the travel bookstore, map seller and GPS service!

Now, I said that we can also help lighten your load. As part of our desire to become a more "green" organization, we continue to look for ways to help our patrons reduce, reuse and recycle. So we're proud to introduce our new TechnoTrash Can.

You'll find our TechnoTrash Can in the first floor lobby area, near our other collection bins. What items can you safely dispose of in the TechnoTrash Can?

  • CDs, DVDs, diskettes

  • Videotapes, audio cassettes

  • Jewel cases, VHS cases

  • Printer cartridges (the Kiwanis Club is also collecting those for recycling - please, home computer cartridges only. We cannot accept large, office copier cartridges.)

  • Pagers, PDAs

  • Rechargeable batteries

  • Cables, cords
If you're like me, you've got a ton of that stuff at home, because you can never figure out how to properly get rid of it. We do ask that you limit yourself to the smaller items listed above - we pay for this service by weight, so we are unable to take big, heavy items. Remember, if you've got an old cell phone, you can also bring that in to donate (in a separate container) for the "Cell Phones for Seniors" project. Old eyeglasses? Bring 'em in, the Lions Club needs them. And if you lug all your stuff here in a plastic bag, please put it in our plastic bag recycling container, located near the indoor book drop. In just a few weeks, we'll be introducing another new service -- reusable, washable, recyclable, high quality book bags for just one buck. We're excited about offering all these services to our patrons as a way to make Des Plaines just a little bit safer and greener.

Got questions about our collection bins and recycling? Check our our Green/Environmental Resources Subject Guide or Email the Green Team:


  1. Hi Karen,

    The Lions Club accepts donations of used eyeglasses, not the Kiwanis Club.

    Just an FYI.


  2. Hi Bob and WHOOPS,

    Thanks for catching that -- not good to write in a hurry. Bob is correct, the Lions collect eyeglasses, and Kiwanis collects ink cartridges. Either way, you can bring all those items to DPPL for recycling and reusing.



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