If you're planning to travel, whether it's in Florida, around the United States or the world, the Manatee County Public Library should be your first destination to find information on the specific place you'd like to visit. You can find many of the established and time-honored travel book publishers such as Fodor's, Frommer's and AAA, in addition to newer publishers such as DK Eyewitness, Lonely Planet and Rough Guides. Another excellent resource is travel author Rick Steves, who has written many informative travel guides, as well as equally excellent travel documentaries.
To find books simply enter the name of the place followed by the word "guidebooks" as a subject search and you'll be able to see what books are owned and their current status and branch location. If you just want to browse, travel guides can be found in the 910-918 Dewey Decimal areas, but if you ask a librarian they can quickly help you narrow your search.
Find DVDs by typing the destination name in a "keyword" search and then selecting "limit by" DVD in the drop-down menu.
In addition to the above-mentioned travel guides, there are also have street atlases for areas all over the country, which can be useful if you're planning a road trip.
The library also has online travel-related databases that can be found by clicking on the "Research and Learning" box located on the Library's website's (www.mymanatee.org/library) home page and then clicking on "All Databases by Title." You will need your library card and four-digit PIN to access these databases from home.
The Fodor's Travel Guides database is a full-text, online version of the print titles (without illustrations, however). You can search this database by entering the name of the city, state, or country you're interested in visiting into the search box. (Be aware that depending on the title that there are a range of publication dates).
The Hospitality, Tourism, and Leisure Collection database offers a wide-ranging collection of scholarly journal, magazine and trade publications on cultural and economic aspects of travel and tourism. It also provides well-rounded coverage of both the historical and current state of affairs in the hospitality and tourism industries.
Need to learn a language for an overseas trip? Check out Mango Languages, where you can immerse yourself in 71 different languages in self-paced courses. You also have the option to create an account on Mango to keep track of your progress.
But wait, there's more. The library recently purchased access to Hoopla, a database that contains music, movies, audiobooks and eBooks. It also features a nice range of travel related videos and eBooks that can be viewed either on a PC or a hand-held device. Make sure you are logged in to a wireless network to view/listen to materials on Hoopla. You'll just need to create an account (very quick and easy) and you can browse and borrow up to eight items per month.
Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday.