Everyone today seems to have a bucket list — things they want to do before they die: climb Mt. Everest, jump from an airplane, wrestle an alligator, circumnavigate the world in an inner tube, run for office.
For those who have more dream than dare in their blood and for those who have plenty of dare but like to be prepared, there’s a place right around the corner that can help: the library.
Have you ever visited your local library?
Put your local library at the top of your bucket list and set yourself a deadline – say two weeks from now.
If you have one of those daredevil bucket lists, you’ll find books and movies at the library about people who have “been there, done that” and can tell you how fun, hard, scary, awesome it was and offer you tips to improve your chances of doing it. If you’re too chicken to do it but love the idea of adventure, same books, same movies.
There are survival manuals at the library, too. Learn what to do if you find yourself stranded on top of the world or on the bad side of that alligator fight.
Aiming to become mayor, governor, president, king? Tons of books and movies at the library about people who have done it and plenty on how to get there.
Maybe your bucket list is more modest. You want to prepare a meal from every cooking tradition on earth. Library. You want to learn some good dance steps before strutting your stuff in public. Library. You want to fine-tune your vocal cords before applying to sing the national anthem at your kids’ soccer game. Library.
A library is a place where you can find almost anything — how, when, where, why, what, who. There’s entertainment in the form of books, audio, movies, classes and activities. You can trace your family history, try new music, borrow a cake pan. You can take classes in everything from writing to knitting. You can expand your social life by attending movie nights and poetry readings and “coffee and coloring” clubs at the library. The list goes on and grows all the time.
Maybe your bucket list is humbler yet — you just want a couple of hours to chill and get a break from the kiddos. Your library will teach and entertain the kids for an hour or two while you relax nearby with your ever-trusty phone, flip through a magazine or listen to an audio book. Or just stare into space or close your eyes and enjoy the peaceful ambience of a no-pressure place.
The thing about a library is that no one is trying to get you to do anything — no one is selling anything, no one is harping on you about your diet, your weight, your career choices, your bills, your cell phone service. The library is all about helping you find what you want — or not. Your choice. There’s no fee to get in, no fee to borrow stuff.
So, put the library at the top of your bucket list. It’s a place to expand your horizons or escape from them for a bit.