The City Council of Pomona tabled for a week its consideration of a budget plan that would close the city's only public library. The delay gave David Allen, the columnist for the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the opening he needed to apply for a library card. He's used the library's materials for years, but it turns out you don't have to live in Pomona to check things out.
"All this time and you've never had a library card? All your visits here?" circulation desk employee Martha Ramos tut-tutted as she gave me the form to fill out...."You can check out up to 30 items. They're due back in three weeks," she said. She added dryly: "After that, we don't know."
That's because the library is due to close Aug. 15 unless money can be found to keep it operating...
For years I've used the Pomona library for research purposes, and it may be my favorite of all the Inland Valley's libraries, but I have no great need to borrow books. More books is about the last thing I need.
Yet the thought of free access to the library's 300,000 volumes, not to mention magazines, videos and other materials, was unexpectedly thrilling. Not only is it a bargain, but suddenly I was again part of a tradition going back to Alexandria...
To quote Daffy Duck when he and Bugs Bunny stumbled across Ali Baba's treasure: "It's mine, you understand? Mine! All mine!"
Photo: The Alexandria library in Egypt