Colorado is unusual in many respects, but not least is the way we make it easy for people to use our libraries. I've lived in states where crossing an invisible line meant that you suddenly had to fork over $100 a year to use a nearby library. And if you wanted to directly connect to your local library's computer, then the next library to it, that meant two phone calls, usually running two different telecommunication protocols.
While these two events are not exactly equal, they do teach similar lessons.
The first event is that one day you realize your eyes need adjustment both for distance and for nearness. So you get bifocals.
The second event is that one day your last parent dies. In my case, it was my father. But once again, I found that I began to see through two kinds of lenses.
I frankly admit my biases about this issue: I am flabbergasted that as part of a post-Columbine response, all across the country we're loosening laws regarding access to guns - which do kill people - and locking down library terminals - which don't.
Back in June of 1995, I described what struck me as an extraordinary situation.
One of our very own patrons walked into the Bemis Public Library to use the copy machine. Dissatisfied with the quality of the copy, he abruptly shattered the top glass plate of the machine with his walking stick. Then, with a grunt of satisfaction, he headed for the door.