2017-01-05 / Columns

All About The Town

By Betty Browning

What do you like to read on a cold winter’s night?

Are you a mystery and suspense reader? Maybe you favor a romance novel that can take you to a city far, far away, or maybe you like to pick up a cup of coffee and bury yourself into a science fiction thriller that takes you to a planet in a galaxy millions of miles from home. Whatever you choose, a book can take you there.

At the St. Ignace Public Library, director Skip Schmidt and assistant director Barb Zimmerman are among the people who are working to make sure people have access to whatever they would most like to read.

Two reading clubs meet at the library. The morning group is reading “The Opposite of Everyone” by Joshlyn Jackson, and the evening group is reading “Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman.

The clubs are open to all. The morning book club meets on the third Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. and the evening book club meets the same day at 5 p.m.


At the St. Ignace Public Library, Barb Zimmerman points out the novels selected by the two book clubs. At the St. Ignace Public Library, Barb Zimmerman points out the novels selected by the two book clubs. Each group decides what to read about five weeks in advance, so that if they do not have the books they need, they can contact other libraries and get copies of the books.

Mrs. Zimmerman pointed out the library’s newest section, especially for teens, by the front door. There is a varied array of books, from Native American factual books to adventure stories. Adventures and thrillers are a big hit with the younger crowd at the library, she said.

In the summer, there is a program for school children from June to August. The program will have a theme, such as building and engineering, and guest speakers will come in to talk to the children about their field.

The library offers a genealogy room for a group that meets every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the library in the winter and they meet every Wednesday in the summer at the Fort de Buade Museum downtown. The public is welcome to join them, and for those trying to trace ancestors or find history on any subject, these folks can help.


A cozy corner of the children’s area at the St. Ignace Public Library. A cozy corner of the children’s area at the St. Ignace Public Library. A reference section and current selection of newspapers are both available to library patrons.

In the children’s section, I was reacquainted with books I had read as a child and books I had read to my children. Tables are covered with books and little chairs are everywhere. There is a corner dedicated to very small children and painted like the ocean, with fish swimming on the walls, an octopus painted in bright colors, and toys ready for play.

There is a collection of puppets that have books to go with them, and families can check them out to take home. What a great way to fuel a child’s imagination.


Abigail LaLonde of Book World shows off a popular selection with youth readers. Abigail LaLonde of Book World shows off a popular selection with youth readers. Digital books are available from the library, so if patrons can’t get to the library to check out the book they want, they can go online and digitally download it. This is wonderful! So now no matter where you live, as long as you can access Internet, you have access to read what you want.

To access the digital online library, go to digitalmedia.gldl.info. You must have a library card to download the thousands of books available.

St. Ignace Public Library hours are; Monday, Tuesday and Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The library can be reached at (906) 643- 8318. You can also go online to stignacelibrary.org or uproc.lib.mi.us/sti

Reading material is also available in St. Ignace at a downtown book shop, as well as used books at the Hope Chest Resale Store on Ferry Lane. Other local shops carry racks of reading material, too.


Brittany Brown (left) and Haley Goodin, both from Naubinway, came in to buy the newest in the line of manga books. Brittany Brown (left) and Haley Goodin, both from Naubinway, came in to buy the newest in the line of manga books. At Book World downtown, clerk Abigail LaLonde of St. Ignace said the newest craze in young adult reading is the manga book.

A manga book, or a backwards book, as the kids call it, is a book written in comic book style that is read from the back cover to front. The teens enjoy them.

Brittany Brown and Haley Goodin, both from Naubinway, were at the store to buy the newest in the line of manga books.

Of the books, Miss Brown said, “They’re different, and cool, and I like the cartoon style.”

The magazine section, Mrs. LaLonde said, is the most popular section in the store. No matter what people are looking for when they come in, they always stop here and browse. Another popular section is the local authors section. This includes authors from St. Ignace, Mackinac Island, and some from the Lower Peninsula. Included are authors such as Jennifer Powell and Mary Lynn Swiderski, both of St. Ignace, retired Detective Joseph Heywood of the Upper Peninsulas Department of the Natural Resources, Alison Ruegg DeCamp, who grew up in St. Ignace, and Tyler Benson, a Coast Guard officer who was once stationed here in St. Ignace.


The U.S. Coast Guard and St. Ignace station dog Onyx feature in this series of story books by Tyler Benson, formerly stationed with the Coast Guard in St. Ignace. The U.S. Coast Guard and St. Ignace station dog Onyx feature in this series of story books by Tyler Benson, formerly stationed with the Coast Guard in St. Ignace. With local adult readers, action and thriller books are the most popular genre, said Mrs. LaLonde, and romance novels are always a favorite with women of all ages.

The store manager is Sherri Hill.

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