Along the Trave – reading

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Gerald Schleiwies

When I’m not here, I’m on the sun deck.” was the summer hit in 2001 sung by Peter Licht. But where is here? Professionally, this is usually quickly explained. A librarian belongs in a library. But when the library director is doing his job of sorting and organizing, giving inquirers the information they want, he doesn’t get to what outsiders think of first: reading!

Wasserwandern entlang der Trave in Lübeck

A water hike towardsLübeck

Media consumption falls into the realm of leisure, as it does for most professionals. At least from spring to fall, much of this takes place on the water for the writer of these lines. The home port in Travemünde naturally has a district library. And so the tour follows the river Trave in the direction of the Dummersdorf shore for a first coffee and the study of the daily paper on the tablet with a view of the soft green grasslands on the shore. Only a few minutes away from the tourist hustle and bustle, you are often almost alone here.

Water hiking along the Trave in Lübeck

Access to the newspaper is provided by the library with its digital offerings. Then we pass Kücknitz , where there is another district library, and head for Schlutup. The weather invites you onto the sun deck and you continue listening to the next exciting chapter in the audio book on your smartphone. You guessed it, this is another one of the library’s digital offerings. In the middle of the water, in the middle of green surroundings, in the middle of a big city. The tour up the Trave leads closer and closer towards the Old Town with its towers.

Further along the Trave

The Old Town island offers several mooring possibilities for the recreational skipper. You could have an ice cream here, a second breakfast or even visit the city library in real life. Regularly there are guided tours in the old halls, where already with statute of 1620 the books were accessible to all Lübecker:innen.

Water hiking along the Trave in Lübeck

Around early afternoon, we reach Moisling in the south of Lübeck. There would also be a district library we could visit, but for the afternoon tea on the sun deck there’s a short story that waits on the EBook reader. In paper, the pile of unread books (PUB) and the pile of started books (PSB) would weigh heavily, the “Läsplatta” (Swedish for e-book reader) doesn’t bring any flak on a boat. Up to the first lock of the Elbe-Lübeck Canal, you still drive through the middle of the big city.

The return trip along the Kanaltrave offers another glimpse of the Wakenitz, another waterfront in Lübeck, before the journey continues at a leisurely top speed past the Schellbruch nature reserve and the picturesque port of Gothmund back to Travemünde.

Water hiking along the Trave in Lübeck

The decision to spend the evening on the boat is a spontaneous one. There is still an unseen movie on the tablet, which now ends the evening. The film comes from a media library, you guessed it, the library.

Water hiking to the World Heritage Site among the happiest Germans – on the Trave you get the recreational value from every side.

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Gerald Schleiwies

Gerald Schleiwies, Director of the Library of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck, has been back in his home country since 2021 after 20 years of working in four German states. The 400-year-old municipal library is the largest public library in the country in terms of holdings. Due to its history, not only historical titles, but of course also the latest literature and digital offerings are available. The idea of the library to make knowledge and information available to all interested parties has lost none of its relevance since its foundation. In addition to the 5 locations in Lübeck, the library is working intensively on the 6th location - the location that is always where you are. For me, it's on the sun deck.