Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, January 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 39° Cloudy

Going Mobile

This library in Yosemite National Park was a real lifesaver

This historic building is home to a branch of the Mariposa Country library, a lovely one-room resource that boosts strong WiFi for all. (Leslie Kelly)
This historic building is home to a branch of the Mariposa Country library, a lovely one-room resource that boosts strong WiFi for all. (Leslie Kelly)

It's no secret we love to visit libraries while traveling. Not only are these welcoming spaces a wonderful way to get to know a community, they are always an inspiring place to get some work done. Quiet and comfortable, and almost always providing free, high speed WiFi. 

While we've been impressed with many libraries we've visited across the country, there's a new leader for the title of most charming. 

The Yosemite branch of the Mariposa County library is located in a building that dates back to the park's early days. It's just one room, and its opening hours are limited this time of year to Tuesday through Thursday, yet the WiFi signal is going strong 24-7. Patrons who know the password -- bearjam2019 -- can sit outside at the picnic table or on the bench to check their emails or upload photos to social media no matter what time it is.

Inside, librarian Christine Reynolds is friendly and helpful, swapping stories with regulars and newcomers alike. She and her husband, the resident postmaster, are part of a community of roughly 2,000 full-time residents at the park. The library has such amazing energy, its rugged rock fireplace sparking conversations about its somewhat mysterious history. It was being cleaned while I was hanging out, and I only wished I had been able to see a fire roaring in the hearth, stirring imagined scenes of what it must have been like when it was used as a primary source of heat.

While the place was busy, I was able to buckle down and get my work done in the comfy armchairs provided. I even managed to thumb through some books and pick up a few bargain DVDs from the sale shelf. 

Yes, there's a whole lot to do while in Yosemite National Park, but when you find yourself there, please take a moment to peek into this special place. 



Leslie Kelly
Leslie Kelly is a freelance writer.