Author Archives: jshaffner

Dauntless D. C.

The main DC Public Library (DCPL) was closed for renovation when I was in our nation’s capital at cherry blossom time last spring, but I got a chance to visit the West End Neighborhood Library (WE), one of its 25 branches. Daffodils were blooming … Continue reading

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Bountiful Baltimore

Just a short Amtrak ride from DC, I got a chance to see this fascinating city at the end of March and to visit the grand Enoch Pratt Free Library (EPFL) . Director of Communications Meghan McCorkell had emailed they … Continue reading

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Harmonious Hanoi

Like Lao, I couldn’t get a reply from any libraries in Vietnam despite repeated attempts via translated email.  Just in case, I contacted the US Embassy.  Though the American Center in Ho Chi Minh City was closed for renovations during our … Continue reading

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Looking for a Lao Library

Or Laos if you prefer, but the embassy’s page has the nicer sounding and more accurate spelling – as in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, its official name.  It was once the three kingdoms of Lao; Vientiane, the modern capital, was one … Continue reading

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Serene Spot by Angkor Wat

I tried to find a public library near Siem Reap, Cambodia, but after a lot of searching, the most substantive information seemed to be from the Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient who wrote me that “public libraries are only available…in the capital…”  … Continue reading

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Titanic Taipei

Wow!  Taipei Public Library’s (TPL) main location is one of the tallest public facilities I’ve encountered. Next to lovely and vast Da’an Park, the eleven story building has thirteen floors not including subterranean parking.  A wheelchair ramp leads to a … Continue reading

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Flourishing Fort Williams

Fort Williams Library (FWL) is situated in the town center’s tree lined pedestrian precinct. Next to Ben Nevis, Scotland (and the UK’s) tallest mountain, FWL serves the municipality’s 10,000 people and used to be funded by its council, but is now one … Continue reading

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