The library staff challenges you to read a book or listen to an audiobook that you may not otherwise choose. The tendency to stick to a few genres is tempting. We all check the new shelves for our favorite authors’ latest releases. The familiar has great appeal.

But, as our colleague Kelly Tamblyn reminded us “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.”

There are plenty of benefits to trying out stories that may be out of your comfort zone:

1. You will be a better conversationalist. The wider your reading habits, the more likely you will be able to connect with someone over a shared interest.

2. Your vocabulary will broaden. The more knowledge you have at your disposal the more able you are to present your views articulately.

3. Your writing will improve. Non-fiction and biographies are excellent sources for credible narrative.

4. You will enjoy new perspectives. Unless you deliberately read outside your comfort zone you may inadvertently limit yourself to books that only mirror your own beliefs.

5. Your greater understanding of diverse ethnic, gender, religious and socioeconomic conditions will help develop empathy and compassion.

“Stories are a special kind of magic. They allow you to peek through a window and then slip through and step right into another person’s life. Inside of a story, you can experience another person’s perspective by seeing through the eyes of an author or character. This magic grows compassion and empathy and can even change perceptions. Whose life will you dare to try on?” Jennisen Lucas said. Lucas serves as the District Librarian for Cody School District.

The librarians will be registering students for library cards at the schools this month. “To start the school year off right, September is always marked as ‘National Library Card Sign-Up Month’ and we agree that all school-age kids should have their own card,” said children’s librarian Holly Baker. “It’s used not only for physical checkout in the library, but for access to amazing online resources.”

From the Reference Librarian

One way to find books outside your comfort zone is to use the library’s subscription to Novelist Plus – an online comprehensive reader’s resource. Have questions? We’re happy to help. Contact Nicholle Gerharter at (307) 527-1880 or ngerharter@parkcountylibrary.org.

Grizzly Hall

Library programs are free and open to the public.

•Singer/songwriter Garrett Randolph will debut “Badlands: Concerning Postcards and Portraits of the American Dream,” 6-7:30 p.m., Thursday. 

“This album is dedicated to the immortal souls that made this country great; the pioneers, the forgotten veterans, those faces you see in the old photographs of the dust bowl. Those lost postcards that never made it to the intended loved one,” Randolph said.

•Park County Archivist Robyn Cutter will provide an illustrated history (1894- 1993) of the Cody postal service; at 6 p.m. Sept. 12. The public is encouraged to share old local stamps and correspondence and any stories about family mail carriers.

•Early (1900-1930) Hunting in Park County with Park County Archives curator Brian Beauvais, 6 p.m. Sept. 19, celebrates the heritage of guided big game hunts in the surrounding mountains. Beauvais has collected photographs of area camps, pack strings, local characters and lots of trophies.

•One Book Wyoming “In Our Time” by Ernest Hemingway discussion, 2-4 p.m. Sept. 28 will be facilitated by Carol Bell for Wyoming Humanities and the Wyoming State Library. Copies are available at the library.

•“Read Outside Your Comfort Zone” prize gathering, 6 p.m. Sept. 30. Beginning Sept. 3, you may agree to read one book beyond your comfort zone and be eligible for a drawing of Cody Bucks sponsored by the Friends of the Cody Library. Come tell us about what you read.

Banned Book Week,

Sept. 22-28

American Library Association Banned Books Week spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. Details at ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned.

Our Read Outside Your Comfort Zone challenge can be met by reading a banned book.

Senior Computer Day

Bring your electronic device; phone, tablet or laptop to the Teen Room for one-on-one problem solving with Shelly Waidelich, 9 a.m. Mondays in September.

Teen Room

A library for students in grades 6-12.

•Homework Hour, 4-5 p.m. Thursdays. No computer gaming during this quiet time.

•Movie Afternoon, 2:30 p.m., Sept. 13. Treats will be served.

•K.B.A.R. Kick Back and Relax, 2:30 p.m., Sept. 20.

•Check out a challenged book during Banned Book Week (Sept. 22-28) and get a treat.

Stop by for a calendar or visit parkcountylibrary.org/teens. For details contact Shelly Waidelich (307) 527-1889 or sw@parkcountylibrary.org. On Facebook follow Park County Public Library Teen Room.

In the children’s library

Drop in for:

•Toddler Time for ages 1-4, 10 – 10:20 a.m. Mondays.

•Story Time for all ages, 10-10:30 a.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

•Crafternoon, 3-8 p.m. Thursdays with Take or Make craft kits, snacks, games and books. Enjoy a screen-free afternoon.

•Kind Bomb the Library, 2-3 p.m. Sept. 20. Youths in grades K-5 can come continue Summer Reading’s theme of “Kindness Rocks” by kind bombing the library! We will write and draw encouraging notes to put in random library books.

For details contact Holly Baker, (307) 527-1884, hbaker@parkcountylibrary.org or visit parkcountylibrary.org/cody/kids. Follow codykidsread on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information call (307) 527-1880, visit parkcountylibrary.org/calendar/, find Mabel Wilkinson or Park County Public Library, Cody on Facebook or email news@parkcountylibrary.org.

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