By Brian Freitag
TASPL Director

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “The hard soil and four months of snow make the inhabitants of the northern temperate zone wiser and abler than his fellow who enjoys the fixed smile of the tropics.” I like to think that Emerson was considering the inhabitants of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan when he said this, but I’m biased.

Recently I was standing by the library’s front window watching a pedestrian be dragged by his dog over the new snow. He must have had smooth soles on his shoes, because he accelerated in an extended slide every time his dog accelerated gleefully sniffing.

Ever wonder why dogs seem so driven to sniff more after the snow? Have you also observed sniffing dogs zealously sliding their owners along the easement after a snowfall pursuing an attractive scent trail only they can fully appreciate? “Why does Rover do this; he didn’t act this way during the summer,” you might ask after hanging-up the leash yourself at one time or another.

The answer lies in how quickly dogs habituate to objects that they play with. Snow changes the sensory characteristics of everything it touches such as visual appearance, and perhaps more importantly, scent. Snow has the potential to renew a dog’s interest in familiar surroundings and inspire exploratory behavior. This might help explain the human reaction to a good snowfall as well (in the U.P. anyway).

With snow in the U.P. air, it is time to talk about how inclement weather affects the library schedule. The general rule is if the Tahquamenon Area Schools (TAS) are closed due to the weather, the library will be as well. This means no staff will be available to take your calls. If TAS is on a two-hour delay, the library will be on a two-hour delay as well. That means staff will be available to take calls starting at 10:30 a.m., instead of 8:30 a.m.

Please remember that two-hour delays can and have turned into full closures when bad weather persists.

Inclement weather doesn’t always mean snow and ice. The library has been closed a couple of times in the past due to wind knocking out power.

The best way to find out about closures is to check the local television or radio stations. The library is never listed on its own, but if you see a delay or closure for TAS, the library is closed or delayed as well. Our Facebook page is also updated as soon as closure information is available. You can find that at If ever you’re in doubt, you can call the library. If you leave a message and staff is available, they will call you back as soon as time allows. If you don’t receive a call back during normal business hours, it is safe to assume we are not open. Especially during the harshest Winter months, it is always safer to check these sources before making the drive in.

Remember that our school district/service area is so large that it might be sunny in one part, but white out conditions in another.

In the event of a closure, our Hoopla and Overdrive collections are still available 24/7. With these services you have access to over 700,000 items. If you need help setting up these services it is better to plan ahead and contact us prior to a blizzard. Please call 906-293-5214 or email for help.

In closing a final shout-out for those who might be interested in a book club for adults at the library. Please call the Circulation Desk if you are interested at (906) 293-5214 to register. Take care and keep reading!