The Most Valuable Card in My Wallet

by Larry

Picture 1159Do you remember in the movie “Good Will Hunting” when Matt Damon’s character gets in a verbal scuffle with a pony tailed Harvard student. Will tells the student that he will eventually realize that he spent over $100,000 on an education that he could get with $1.28 worth of late charges at the public library. Really think about it for a minute. Assuming you have a good library, you should be able to get the knowledge of any student at any college. And yes, this includes Harvard. Sure one could argue that you can get the same knowledge through the internet but there is no card in my wallet that gives me access to the internet. I had to dash your cynical rebuttal somehow. And no my cell phone is not a card and it definitely doesn’t fit in my wallet.

I know I have blogged previously about my love of the library. But I have been putting more thought into it and the more I think about it the more I realize how valuable the library really is. The library gives you free access to, in theory, an infinite amount of knowledge available through Books, eBooks, CDs, and DVDs. Before we even knew what the internet was, there was a physical internet in everyone’s back yard. Back in the day, the library was the internet. Maybe you live somewhere in which your library is a ghost town. In my neighborhood the library is consistently busy. In fact, if you go there soon after any regular school day its like Grand Central Station. We do have the luxury here in that the library closest to my house is only a few years old. There is, however, a library 20 minutes from my house next to a mall that has been there for at least 20 years. It is the smallest library I have ever been to. Just recently they decided to track the number of visitors they get. In a years time, a dinky little library more than 20 years old had over 100,000 visitors.

And just when you thought the library concept was slowly drifting away into non-existence, you have underestimated its value. It may very well be the most valuable building in your city. If not, the library card you own is definitely the most valuable card in your wallet. What?!? You say you don’t own a library card?? What are you waiting for? Not getting a library card is like not picking up a $100 bill lying in the street. Grab it, get it, use it, and be rewarded.

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