Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Library as Disney World

A recent survey suggests that most Americans don't use their public libraries very much, about once a year. So if you pay $100 in taxes to support your local library and only visit once a year, to me, that sounds like Disney World. It's $90 a day to enjoy the Magic Kingdom.

But Disney World has Space Mountain, you say. Big deal. A 45-minute wait for a 2-minute ride, in the dark. Not nearly as terrifying as a 2-minute walk to your car through the library parking lot at closing time with half our lights burnt out.

Disney World has The Country Bear Jamboree with those wacky backwoods bears. The library has five guys sitting by the newspapers who smell like bears, and might not be wearing pants.

Disney World has The Haunted Mansion filled with spooky creatures who occupy a cemetery. Ditto what I said about the guys sitting over by the newspapers.

Disney World has a parade. But have you been in the library when the doors open in the morning to see fifty people make that "I'm almost running, but still walking" beeline for the Internet computers? It's just like a parade, in fast forward. We're considering asking them to carry a banner.

Disney has Fast Pass and we have self check-out. And we both have long waits for anything new.

It costs $14 to park your car at Disney World. The library has free parking. If you still count having your hubcaps stolen, free.

So visit your local library once a year. We can't legally call it the happiest place on earth, but we do have a mouse for a mascot. Several, actually, and they just ran over into the Children's section to play with your kids.

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