By in Writing

Frequent Libraries, Occasional Motels, & A Donkey

My home computer bit the dust (I suspect, with some unsavory help from certain people who wanted to "declaw" me) late in the evening on Saturday, June 22, 2013. Of course, I became officially homeless on Monday, September 9, 2013, so I wouldn't have had anywhere to plug in my computer even if it were working (at least, in the case of a desktop computer).

On one occasion, I was able to afford to spend a few days in a motel that had a single computer out in the lobby for guests.

For awhile (until it got stolen), I even had a tablet that (for very good reasons) I named Donkey and was able to tune in whenever WiFi was available. is why Donkey:

And here's a bit more on the same subject:

Anyway, for the most part, my Internet access has come from libraries.

Each of these libraries have their pluses and minuses, but I find them all to be really decent, and I've been grateful for all of them.

The one I go to the most these days, of course, is Anderson Public Library. For a time, I was unable to continue there once it was discovered that I had been visiting it in stocking feet (against dress code) due to my lymphedema making it next-to-impossible to find ones that work for me. I've finally gotten some acceptable footwear -- which means that I can use this library again.

The hours here are reasonable (though I wish that it would open at least 30 minutes earlier and stay open at least an hour later during the week), and computer usage for guests begins at 60 minutes with 30 minute increments added after that depending on whether or not enough computers are empty so that others can use them even while I'm online.

When Donkey got stolen, I desperately needed to get online and start changing my passwords, as I had simply kept things open so that I was immediately connected to this or that site instead of having to log in all of the time. I drove to Lapel to see what kind of a dress code was there, and I found that I was able to stay with no problems while I changed all of the passwords over -- and it turned out that no dress code had been written against stocking feet there, either, so I would drive over to use it almost daily (that is, on the days that it was open). Unlike APL (of which it's a branch location), this library was totally closed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

A great discovery that I made there was that it played YouTube videos -- which APL doesn't.

Its hours are shorter than APL but still sufficient on those days when it's open.

The next library I checked out came during my first road-trip.

This was Krannert Memorial Library on the campus of my alma mater (UINDY).

Though (during the summer, anyway), it had shorter weekend hours, Monday through Thursday found it open from eight in the morning until eleven at night. I was told that it closed at midnight during the regular school year.

Guests could use three computers indefinitely just so long as current students didn't need them, and the only problem I had with these computers was that there was a choice of my climbing up onto a high stool to use them (impossible for me) or else remain standing the entire time. All in all, this was probably good for me -- except when I stood for so long that my feet began to feel as if the soles were being attacked by fire ants!

No serious problem, however, as there were plenty of places to sit and take a load off when standing became too much for me.

During this last road-trip, I discovered the library down in Greenfield (birthplace of James Whitcomb Riley -- the town, that is, NOT the library).

When it came to guest use of the library, this was the most restrictive, as it was one hour per day per guest with no exceptions.

Therefore, I didn't get a whole lot of computer time while in Greenfield.

Even so, I still enjoyed spending time in their library and found that it had been put together in such a way that it was not only a great library but, also, a bit of a community center.

Greenfield was also where I was made to feel like one of those Queens For A Day that used to be on TV -- but that's a whole other story altogether.

My conclusion?

Even when I finally become the owner of a laptop, I'm still going to be going to all of those libraries and then some to spend time, as they're just great places to visit for so many reasons, even when Internet use is no longer one of those reasons!

Have you visited a library lately? If not, please do, as they all have a lot of wonderful experiences to offer!!!

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MegL wrote on August 3, 2014, 5:13 PM

We have internet access in our local library and free WiFi too. We also have free WiFi on the trains, which I use a lot.

Scorpie wrote on August 3, 2014, 5:17 PM

We are blessed with a very extensive public library. They have an atrium with plants and comfortable seating for reading.

indexer wrote on August 3, 2014, 7:43 PM

I'm glad to hear you like libraries! I qualified as a professional librarian in 1976 and have worked in them ever since, albeit only part-time since 2002. My experiences have included setting up a library inside the British Embassy in Moscow and being in charge of a network of libraries that served the needs of a major UK telecoms company. Libraries come in all shapes and sizes but with the same basic aim - namely to make it as easy as possible for their clients to get hold of the information (or other reading matter) that they need. The Internet has not made them redundant - far from it, as your experience suggests.

AinsleyJo1952 wrote on August 4, 2014, 4:31 PM

indexer -- It sounds as if you have a very active relationship with libraries as well -- and one with which my own relationship pales! You're so right about how the Internet enhances rather than detracts from other uses of the library.

AinsleyJo1952 wrote on August 4, 2014, 4:33 PM

Scorpie -- This sounds very pleasant!!! I love how you've described the reading area of your library! I'll have to see where you are, and, if I'm ever in your neck of the woods, I'll be checking out your library!

AinsleyJo1952 wrote on August 4, 2014, 4:35 PM

MegL -- Sounds like another fun library -- not to mention fun trains!!! I'll have to see where you're at...