One of the joys of reading a book is to be able to travel anywhere in time and space inside of your mind. By extension, the library is the best TARDIS ever--full of books and electronic resources with facts about history geography and space, as well as stories that can take you back in time and beyond this universe.
Want a map of a historical time period? Visit the “historical” tab of our Maps LibGuide. You can find roadmaps on that same LibGuide, or information on how you can make your own maps. From our links to the Gale Virtual Reference Library, you can go to the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture or the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World or books about travel in other countries, and much more.
There are many travel books in our libraries but, because of my penchant for the strange, one of my favorites is Weird Maryland: Your Travel Guide to Maryland’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. If you don’t know about the Goat Man, you will after you read that book. If the book is checked out, however, after you’ve put your hold on it, go look at a fun website, Roadside America. There you’ll find links to the weirdest tourist attractions across the United States, from the World’s Largest Office Chair to the Miracle Horny Toad of Eastland Texas. If you want to find giant lumberjacks and Dinosaurs, this is the place for you. You can search by state, or by themes such as "Pet Cemetery" or "Big Fruit". They will even point you to hotels near these marvelous sites.
You may enjoy perusing the copies of National Geoographic in your local library, but pull a seat up to one of our public access computers and look at their website. There you can not only find the beautiful photos you have come to expect, but also stunning videos of places and people around the world. Check out the daily news features, too. Of course. If you want something a little more obtuse, navigate to Atlas Obscura. On that site you can read articles on such things as figurative coffins in Ghana, explore an attractive index of unusual places, or click for a random selection and find yourself in The Boiling Lake or The Heidelberg Thingstatte, a Nazi edifice built on a sacred mountain site used by various German cults. This website sponsors local events if you want to join up with other fans in real time and space.
Heavy Equipment is a treat for anyone any age. The book has huge elegant pictures of a wide variety of trucks and heavy equipment, including construction, mining, transporting, tunneling, harvesting, recycling, and more. You can find it in the Oversize section of the library. The authors give brief history and explanations of the various kinds of giant trucks and machines. They pack a lot of information into very little text so there is plenty of room for the marvelous selection of photos.
In Montgomery County and the DC area we generally see big trucks and heavy equipment in road construction or building construction, we also often see those eternal favorites, fire engines. To see more heavy equipment up close, and to get a chance to talk to the operators, you can usually find a county's best at the county fair. Keep your eye out for announcements of county fairs in July and August. Look for the Montgomery County Fair here.
Here are a few of the book's fabulous photos starting from the chapter heading for mobile wheeled cranes. Below that are pictures of mining shovels and the Komatsu 930E Giant Dump Truck, and last, the giant Krupp Bucket Wheel Excavator. Click on a picture once or twice to see it larger.