Open To All Comers

 “The only true equalisers in the world are books; the only treasure-house open to all comers is a library; the only wealth which will not decay is knowledge.” (from “The Praise of Books”, 1880)    J. A. Langford

What jewels public libraries are in this day and age of wireless data transmissions. I find myself away from home with an iPad and smart phone, which is fine, but with recently needing to complete financial papers with signatures, I had no way to print pages that needed signatures. And completing the forms was, for me, more time consuming on a touch pad rather than the trusty keyboard attached to a PC. I know, I know I can get a keyboard for the iPad, and I actually bought one  a couple of years ago, but truth be told the keys are small and it takes an intelligent owner to remember to charge the keyboard so it works. Here’s where the libraries come in. They have computers, printers, and copiers available all day long. The computer time is free, and the charge for printing and copying has been $.10 per page. If you go to one of those shipping and packing stores and want to copy or print, it is usually $1.00 a page. Libraries are a bargain.

The library pictured below is located in Lee, Massachusetts and was built in 1907. The nice part about older libraries like this one is that despite all the modernizations, the environment still maintains all the charms of days gone by; very warm and inviting.

When Peg and I first moved to south Florida in 2001, she had a big-shot position with multiple offices across the bottom third of the State, including Key West, that needed visiting on a regular basis. I had the little- shot position called unemployed, and to help me pass the time, and help her with driving, I sometimes volunteered to accompany her on these multi-day trips. When she was at an office, I found the nearest library and hung out most of the day. Clewiston, LaBelle, Naples, Ft Myers, Port Charlotte; I was a member in good standing at them all. I’ve read a number of books within library walls. I’ve looked at newspapers from all over the world in libraries. It was in a library I read a great quote from  Frank Zappa… “If you want to get laid, go to college? If you want an education , go to a library.” Being dyslexic, I often found myself in the library for the wrong reason, but I learned a lot during my celibacy phase.

When was the last time you dropped in to your local library. Try it sometime soon. You might experience something helpful, educational, or just plain delightful. If anyone asks, tell them J.A, Frank and Alan sent you.



About Alan G Billingsley

My career has been varied, including time as a newspaper deliverer, lifeguard, bubble gum maker, door-to-door detergent promoter, telephone book proofreader, short order cook, private employment agency counselor and owner, office and credit manger, infantryman, pots and pans salesman, Chinese restaurant cook, Chinese restaurant owner, public employment counselor, budget analyst, tax analyst, grant administrator, radio announcer, radio and television show host, disk jockey, automobile valet, child advocate, and now retiree. I've seldom been bored.
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One Response to Open To All Comers

  1. Barbara says:

    I love this library. This is where I’d go the first few years (pre 3-G) when staying at the lake house. It’s so much nicer than the outlet mall!
    P. S. Very funny post.

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