Friday, February 8, 2008

Bringing People Together


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

Super Bowl, Super Tuesday and Fat Tuesday are all in the past now and yet the reign of excitement lingers on. What did all these events have in common? They brought people together. And, that's a good thing.

So often we tend to get into ruts and isolate ourselves from the world. We get off work, drive straight home, have dinner and park ourselves in front of the television or the computer. We're losing the human element in our lives. The "super" week, last, brought us together.

While mingling with so many local folks from all walks of life last week, it occurred to me that there were a lot of people from diverse backgrounds who had a lot of knowledge and skills they had acquired over the years. We could learn a lot from each other. Wouldn't it be great if we could tap into this valuable resource? Well, how about this?

The best source of knowledge in our community is our libraries. If we want to find out about something, we go to the local library and check out a book, a DVD or a book on tape that will help us with our questions. What if we could check out a human being?

"May I help you?"

"Yes, I'd like to check out a plumber."

"All right. Ralph Smith is available on Thursday afternoon at 3 o'clock in the audiovisual room for one hour. Can I have your library card?"

"Yes."

"Thanks. Next?"

"Hi. I need help on taxes."

"Don't we all, pal. Friday at 2 p.m."

"Perfect."

"Joan Roberts in the A/V room at 2 on Friday. Next?"

There are a lot of retired folks and people on disability in our community who have a lot of knowledge to share and need to keep busy. These folks become the library's database. The project would take a lot of coordination and time scheduling, but wouldn't it be great? It would be a "life-brary." It's all about bringing people together and solving problems and it would be free.

Of course, there would be the problem of keeping your expert out for a long period of time, but that's why there are late fees.

Nice talking to you.




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