Thank You, Austin Public Library : As A Matter Of Fact Public libraries save the author's day.
NPR logo Thank You, Austin Public Library

Thank You, Austin Public Library

Manchaca Road Branch, APL / Anthony Yoder hide caption

toggle caption
Anthony Yoder

We've been hearing about how people are getting more from public libraries during the economic downturn. At the same time the recession means public funding is stretched to its limits. In Austin, TX, where I spent the weekend, folks are asking, "How many librarians equal one firefighter?"

And this brings me to how I came to be standing in front of Austin's Manchaca Branch location on Sunday afternoon posing for this photo with 2 freshly printed Southwest Airlines boarding passes.

Problem 1: Need to check in for tomorrow's flight in case it's oversold (let's just say, lessons learned)
Problem 2: Gracious host, like self, has gone paperless at home and chucked her inkjet
Solution: Is the library open on Sunday?

When we pulled into the parking lot it was about 70% full, and every reserve computer was taken. But our task was brief, so after getting a visitor ID from the helpful staff, we scored a short-term use computer that didn't require a reservation. Fifteen minutes and forty cents later, we were already debating where to eat next. Added bonus: we even made it into the "A" boarding group. Thanks, Austin!