Before the trip began, I decided that my ultimate goal was to get books on my Eminent person, Benton MacKaye, and his legacy of a trail. I wanted to sort through the books before taking anything out to make sure that I would take out only the ones I needed and leave the ones that had little to no useful information behind to work on making practical decisions. I asked myself: how are you going to make the most of this trip? What are you expecting from this trip? I decided that I really wanted an opportunity to see my project from a different angle to get new and creative about where I approach it from. At least three books, I said to myself, three good books that I will actively use in research. I decided to take pictures to document my experience.

As one of the organizers for the Vancouver Public Library and MacLeod’s Bookstore event, I can assure you that neither the planning nor the execution of this trip was all smooth sailing. There were certainly some hiccups, and I feel that is what I learned the most from this experience.

I found some fantastic books on the Appalachian Trail at the Library. In fact, when I walked in and used the search engine to find some materials, the first place it guided me was packed full of trail stories, facts, routes, and history. I also looked for tow other sections, I found one but the other was in an the archives. The problem with the archives is that they are a section of the library with automated shelved that move open by shifting back and forth to preserve space, meaning that if your book is in a closed section you have to find someone to help you open it which, believe me, is a task in itself. My issue however was that my book had a number that was skipped past in the labeling of these shelves and I couldn’t find any staff to help me out.

When I returned to where I had left my books I began to sort through which ones I planned to take out and which I would leave. I selected six that I felt would be useful to me and would give me different insight than that I have already witnessed in my online research. Unfortunately, I just had to take the largest and heaviest book to carry around for the next four hours.

After we checked out our books, both groups met outside the library to check in for lunch. As we were waiting for people to come out of the library, we watched as an assortment of people set off the security gate alarm for one reason or another, and had to empty their bags and present their receipts. Everyone arrived more or less on time, and we split up for lunch.


Post-lunch, it was my group’s turn to visit Macleods. The walk there was rather wet and gloomy, but the payoff once we arrived was huge. We were asked not to take photos unless we asked permission, so quite a few people did not ask. The store was packed with books, there was not a single free spot. It was really quite amazing. At a glance, it could have looked terribly disorganized. Once you looked into it, however, you found that all the books had incredibly precise arrangements. I found a quiet isle to sit and read in. As I scanned the thick walls of literature surrounding me, I noticed that the books on indigenous culture were separated into individual nations and these nations were alphabetized. It was really cool to see how much love is put into keeping the store up and functioning in the manner intended. I did not buy anything, but it was a really cool experience and I think¬†that I will go back in the future.


Now that I have this experience and these resources, I am feeling a lot more comfortable in getting the information I need for my Eminent study. I know that I have the materials I need to improve the level of interest of my project. I want to be sure that people will actually be engaged in my presentation and will enjoy themselves. I want to take the information I have collected and take it in an unexpected angle. I am now ready to take off and I have a clear goal in sight. Can’t wait to share it with you!

8:45am Meet at Lougheed Station
9:00am-9:45am Travel to downtown via Skytrain
9:45am Arrive at Granville Station
10:00 Split into groups 1 & 2
10:10 Walk to Vancouver Public Library or Macleods bookstore
11:45 Meet up at Vancouver Public Library for Lunch
11:50-12:50 Eat lunch
1:00 Meet after lunch
1:05 Groups switch activities 
2:40 Meet back at Vancouver Public Library
2:55 Walk to Granville Station
3:10-4:00pm Travel back to Lougheed Station via skytrain
4:00pm Arrive at Lougheed Station