Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Footloose! (Or The Library to the Rescue)
photo by the Nebraska Library Commission on flickr
Last Thursday night, I drove to the Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival on Concordia University's campus in Seward, Nebraska, where I would present on Saturday. It was, as they say, a dark and stormy night and it had been a hectic week. I threw professional clothes in my suitcase and took off.
One hundred miles down the road, my memory clicked. I had forgotten my dress shoes! What to do? I could drive into Lincoln on my way to Seward and see what I could find. I could cut out of Friday's activities to drive to Lincoln to buy shoes. Neither of those options appealed. Then I literally saw a sign--Fremont, Nebraska, was coming up. Fremont was big enough to at least have a Walmart. (You now sense my desperation. White sneakers wouldn't do!) Maybe I could get shoes there and get it taken care of.
The highway went right by the public library. It was 8:20. The lights were still on! I pulled around the corner and into the parking lot. "Yes," the reference librarian said, "we have a Walmart," and she gave me excellent directions. Backtracking, I turned onto another highway. Before I got to Walmart, I encountered--even better!--a Payless Shoes.
I sped into the parking lot with 20 minutes to spare before they closed. I yanked the door open and held up 5 fingers as the clerk asked,"May I help you?" He could tell I was desperate.
"Size 5 Women's." I strode toward the area where he pointed. "Jackpot!" I called. Not only did I find the pair I needed, at their special rate, I got another pair, too.
Once again, the public library came to the rescue. From research to programming to apparel, they know their stuff, and it's there for everyone. Thanks, Keene Memorial! (And Payless.)