Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday & Thursday

Mrs. Mimi planned a fun visit to the library for CoOp on Wednesday. Reese loves to visit the library, but we've never seen the "behind the scenes" stuff. We all gathered on the bench for a Welcome talk and a review of the rules. Mrs. Sue, the librarian, was very kind & helpful as our tour began.

Everyone listened to Mrs. Sue carefully.

We always return our books in that "hole in the wall," but where do they go after you put them in the hole? We got to visit the book deposit room & everyone got to see books being returned through the drop. Then we got to see another librarian checking the books in. I didn't realize they flip through every single returned book to check for damages or lost items. Just a few weeks ago, my library card was stuck in a book by mistake & they had it when we went back! Mrs. Sue said people often use dollar bills as bookmarks, and they always call the person back to come claim their money.

We also go to go in this very special room. This is the book drop room for the drive-through book drop. We use this more often than the inside book drop, and it was interesting to see that the books just fall onto the floor. I always pictured them falling into a big canvas sided bin! Mrs. Sue said that every single day of the year, even Christmas, someone on library staff has to come to the book drop room and collect the books. She said, even Christmas morning, people are returning books!

Some other really neat things we got to see: the staff offices with tons of puppets, books, flannel board things; Mrs. Sue's office, which was a big hit; & the librarian break room where we slightly disturbed a kind librarian in a lounge chair reading a book!

On Thursday (today), Reese and I went to check out the American Railroad Museum in Fair Park, Dallas. At our GLECPTA auction last year, I won some free passes, so I wanted to use them before they expired!

Actually getting to the museum took about twice as long as it should have. The Texas State Fair begins next week, & the entire Fair Park area is fenced off, re-routed, separated by gates. My poor GPS had us driving in circles trying to find the museum. How on EARTH could I be missing a massive collection of trains in a rail yard???

I finally pulled over and called the museum (duh) to ask exactly how to park & get there. We'd passed the entrance twice already, so once we found the correct gate to enter & park, we were very happy to see lots of BIG trains!

The museum was very neat, but slightly disappointing because they were currently renovating most of the trains (that you could go inside) for the State Fair. They did have two cars & an engine that we could go inside, but it would have been much more entertaining if we could have gone inside the other five or six cars they have open normally!

We got to check out this sleeper car which was attached to a passenger car. They had the different "compartments" set up as if someone were in there. Some were set up for daytime use and others were set up for night time use, with the beds pulled down & even suitcases open!

Here's Reese in the passenger car. I absolutely LOVE the smell of old, musty antique things and this train enveloped us in it! Reese thought it was really novel to walk between the sleeper car & the passenger car, and we talked about how when the train was moving people walked between the two! I haven't been on a train ride ever, but I was amazed at how much room was between the rows of seats. Nothing like an airplane!

Another room in the sleeper car.

This was the steam engine you could walk up into. I was amazed at how industrial it was, and it seems like it would have been absolutely NO fun to be driving the train up here. Reese thought the mass of lever, buttons, knobs, & wheels was fascinating.

More of the steam engine driver's seat. I wish we had been on the guided tour (which I plan to do sometime) so they could explain more. My knowledge was severely limited, and there were no information signs (that I could see!) to explain what we were looking at. But, it was so neat to see it all!

Check out the size of the train wheels!

There are a small handful of trains you can go inside, but there are numerous train cars to look at & read about. Reese was mostly interested in the ones we could go inside, so we didn't spend much time looking at the other trains.

Here's the little red caboose, and Reese found a steering wheel which he had to drive. Actually, I doubt this was a wheel used for steering, but Reese pretended it was.

They had a little picnic area as well in between all the trains. Everything around here, from the trains to the artifacts & train parts scattered about, are very old & definitely not newly painted! So when Reese saw these tables, he said "These tables must be very old tables too!". Just made me laugh. Because these "very old tables", through Reese's eyes, were just as precious and valuable as all the old trains. Too darn cute~!

1 comment:

The Chance Family said...

I'm so excited to hear that the library does this kind of tour. What a great way to get children more excited about the library!