The Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association, is an organization dedicated to serving public libraries and helping public library staff better serve their communities. Their current promotional campaign is “The Smartest Card. Get it. Use it. @ your library.”
In a recent conversation, Michael S, a co-worker, reminded me why I whole-heartedly believe that the Public Library Association is right on with this campaign. Here is Michael’s story:
A few months ago, my computer crashed and I was devastated. It took some time for me to realize that all of my precious information was lost forever. With the blue screen of death and one little code error, I realized that countless photos, mp3s, and writings were gone. But, as those feelings of grief passed, I realized that I was at a crossroad with my e-life. I had to decide if I should fix my computer or buy a new one.
Not ready to part with this computer and realizing my limited knowledge of blue screens and code errors, I decided to seek a professional opinion. Off I went with my computer to a repair shop. The expert at the repair shop believed the problem to be a bad hard drive and that a new one should be installed. After a few estimates for a replacement hard drive that included the cost of labor, I decided I would try to replace the hard drive myself. What did I really have to lose if I could not repair the computer?
With the help of internet forums, such as lifehacker.com, a handy instructional video from YouTube, and books from the library – Repairing and upgrading your PC, Troubleshooting your PC for dummies, and Building a PC for dummies, I replaced the hard drive myself and have a functioning computer once again.
I am still working on retrieving all that was lost from my old hard drive, but I am now more comfortable with opening up my computer and trying to repair and upgrade it myself. This experience and all the information that the library offered has given me the “smarts” needed to fix my computer. With this knowledge and the inspiration from another co-worker who happens to write blogs on open source software, I am thinking about building a computer from scratch.
His experience is a perfect example to me of why a library card is the smartest and most valuable card in a wallet. So, readers, how is a library card the smartest card in your wallet?