Sunday, August 16, 2009


I have just discovered that the Ontario City Library – that’s Ontario, California, folks – has a new café in it, and that café is presently applying for a wine and beer license and hopes down the road to have a full bar.

Now how are them potatoes!

I know the big city libraries have been doing this for some time. For several years the LA Public library has had a “fast-food” type restaurant inside the building and I have partaken of the food there several times. In the old days when I’d go there to do a day’s worth of research, I’d bring something that I could surreptitiously pop into my mouth while sitting at a table, or if there seemed to be a lot of staff around, I could manage to down a few bites amid the stacks. Because that library has not always been in the best part of town, one didn’t really want to stand on the sidewalk to eat.

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has always had, as long as I have been going there, a little “break room” where you could use vending machines to get simple foods. But that was different, I thought.

But I don’t believe I have ever been in a library where a café served liquor. However, things change. The library is no longer tiny like it was when I lived in that town. It is a really lovely new building – and since libraries are going digital faster than I can count my digits, I suppose this new building is just the spot for a café with “a something different.”

As long as I don’t get sticky dried soda pop on my hands from using the now-computerized catalog, or find crumbs on the table where I’m trying to do my research, or have a waft of alcohol pass by my nose I suppose there is not a problem. I do think the food is not to go into the library, but between you and me, I am not even sure that is a rule anymore.

Oh golly’s it is hard to grow old and expect things to stay the same. They don’t. And like it or not, YOUTH RULES! Fusty and crusty old library users are almost redundant, even if they (we) don’t feel like it. So we have to get with it, guys! Let a beer and a book be our new approach. But take your Kindle with you, because soon there won’t even be books as we know them. A Coors and a Kindle. Now how does that sound?

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