I’m sitting here in the Saratoga Springs Public Library and have finally done all my Facebook checking, email scanning, and twittering. Although I do feel that I should be being a bit more productive, this is a vacation day after all. The fact that it is 12:15 and I haven’t accomplished anything beyond that is not a problem.

The question now, of course, is what to do next. Should I step into the cafe to have a bite to eat? Head over to the “Used Book Room” (which is actually two rooms) and spend some money on more paperbacks that I won’t have time to read? Attack the piles of papers in my backpack, some of which have literally been sitting there for a year (as I distinctly remember being in this very library last August with similarly productive intentions)? Continue to procrastinate and write more posts in the blog? Choices, choices, choices…

2:30 p.m.

Well, reader, I decided to have a snack. The nice thing about this particular library is that it has a cafe in it; and in the cafe, it still has access to the wifi. One granola bar and a string cheese later, I wandered around a bit, trying to find a suitable location to hang out for the rest of the day. The cafe was high on the list of possibilities, but it seemed a bit too social. The absolute last thing I want today is to have someone who I don’t know chatting me up; and since I seem to have a neon sign that hangs over me flashing ‘Get Your Mindless Conversation Here!’ I thought it better not to take the chance.

I found my spot in the Young Adult section (with an actual neon sign). I’m attempting to send a picture of it to myself right now.

Oh my gosh. It actually worked. Sure, it’s a blob of light, but still – is technology not the neatest thing? I’m blowing myself away. Must post it here:

The "Young Adults" sign at the Saratoga Springs public library.

The "Young Adults" sign at the Saratoga Springs public library.

O.k. That was fun. Moving on…

I have to say – I’d forgotten how much I love libraries. I know that’s odd coming from me, the person with the degree in Library and Information Science, but I think that in a way I’m much too close to libraries to think about them much. And when closer to home, it’s hard to be in one without running into someone I know. Even at the big BPL in Copley Square, I probably know at least half the librarians there. Forget the A/B branch libraries – those are a minefield.

Here in Saratoga, though, I am reminded about what a wonderful place a public library is. There are people of all shapes (darn, how I wish I hadn’t worn the shorts that are a bit snug), sizes (from the 18″ tall toddler, to the six+ foot man I saw earlier), ages, nationalities, etc. Why, here in the young adult section, I see two teenagers, one 30+-yr-old (o.k., 38-yr-old me), and four folks well into AARP territory. The coolest thing? The twenty-something fraternity boy type sitting on a bench at the end of the row and reading from his stack of hardcovers.

As you might have guessed, I found what I consider to be the perfect spot — hanging back in the corner, but on the first floor so that I hear all the activity around me. And maybe it’s the way they designed it (meaning that there isn’t a preponderance of seating), but it feels like this place is beyond hopping. Not just the ongoing chatter at the circulation desk, but every seat I see is taken. It’s only fifteen minutes away from the time when I can check into the hotel room, but I’m not sure I want to leave. It’s the perfect place to be around people and yet be impersonal.

The other thing, of course, is the books. As much as I adore our little local branch, there’s something about endless rows of books — all there for the taking — that is just wonderful. Since this isn’t my home state, I dare not even browse as it will be too tempting. That said, there’s still the Used Book room (full of barely read paperbacks on sale for $1 each). I might have to tear myself away from this seat yet.

As to other things, I decided to work on old email. Managed to get through April 15, 2006 in the Inbox; sadly discovered that I still go back to February 06 in my “Sent Items” folder. And what a February oh-six was. Geesh.

Well, three pages of “Sent Items” down, 487 to go.

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