Jack’s Journal: Traverse Area District Library Sight and Sound Department

At the Traverse Area District Library they have more than just books. 

A visit to the Sight and Sound Department is a walk through a diverse collection. One of the largest in the state and, in relationship to the size of the community it serves, it is huge.  It all started back in 1975 with a vinyl record collection.

“And that continued with director Mike McGuire who saw audio visual material videos on VHS as a way forward for libraries. He was an early innovator, and helps us grow,” says Aaron Olson, Sight and Sound manager.

This section of the library is fun to walk through. If it’s a film or documentary or an album, they probably have something of interest for you. 

Aaron tells me come in with something you like and the staff will direct you to something else you would probably enjoy from blockbusters to the unique.

“They’re shocked to find so many AV titles and different collections. A foreign film, there’s a TC Film Festival collection. So our collection responds to different interests. Documentary films, lots of titles no matter how hard you dig on Netflix you won’t find,” explains Aaron.

The Sight and Sound staff have a good time, and who wouldn’t being immersed in great music and film!

“It is a good time. There are all sorts of people, all stripes from the community that come in. We’ve had patrons who have been regulars for 25 years and we have those who we share it with that are brand new,” says Aaron.

Another area that they are expanding is the borrowing of a telescope provided by the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society. Also coming soon are musical instruments to borrow and learn with.

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