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Sometimes You Buy a Book for the Halibut

Sometimes You Buy a Book for the Halibut


“I was born in the late 1930’s in Seattle where my father was the Captain of a fishing boat that went north to Alaska and south to the San Francisco Area. Before I was born, my father had made a notable catch that was recorded in the World Book Encyclopedia. He and his crew caught a very large halibut which they brought down to Seattle to be stored in ice for study at the University of Washington. The picture and story became part of the explanation of “Halibut” that was printed by World Book for many years. For many years, decades really, I had the original picture, the book and a related article in the local Seattle newspaper. Over time, it saddened me to realize that I had lost track of the picture, book and article and no amount of searching my home found them. I recently decided that I should try to find an old (1940-1960) set of World Book Encyclopedias or, at least, an “H” volume.”

“But where to start such a search? eBay? Amazon? Good suggestions but, I decided to check the Scottsdale Civic Center Library. I filled out an inquiry card and wondered if I would ever get a response. To my delight, I received a call from Brandon Chapman, Supervisor of Volunteers. He had found a 1958 set of World Books in his donations inventory. We arranged to meet and I have regained what I consider to be a real family treasure. I’ll share with my children and their children. but I may keep this copy in the safe.”

“To be clear, I regained a family treasure through a community treasure…our local library. It’s wonderful to have the on-line resources we do but may we never lose the incredible resources of our libraries.”



Bob N.

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