This was contributed by Katie Flanagan: One of my favorite places to prepare for active travel vacations is the local library. Now, I don't say that because I like to fill a backpack full of books and hike up and down the stairs (although that may be a good idea). I say it because, the library is like a FREE Barnes & Noble. You don't need to buy a year-long subscription to Backpacker Magazine to read the latest travel tips - the library has present and past issues available at no cost. You can check out books about wildflowers in the area you plan to visit, travel guides for National Park trips, books about the best backpacking trips, and anything to do with international adventure travel. One of my favorite things is to find a novel set in my destination - books on CD from the library are great for that - especially if you plan to drive to the AGC meeting spot. The AGC trip info sheet also includes suggested reading - no need to purchase a new book - the library is a great place to practice green habits: reusing and recycling. If you're like me and enjoy researching an area before you go, start with your local library. You can walk out with a bag of new items with no buyer's remorse!