Steve Fruth asked me in his letter [It's not higher taxes, it's what you get for your taxes, Viewpoints, Dec. 7] what I would cut at the Oak Park library.
I judge myself eminently unqualified for such an undertaking. However, this did not stop me from offering financial advice to the Hemingway Society, and I will submit the benefit of my ineptitude to the library at no charge as a public service to the community.
I would freeze the library budget. The library would still need additional funds because of inflation, burdens of the Patriot Act and right-wing censors, etc., but the library could make up the shortfall in other ways. I offer one suggestion:
Did you know you can't sleep in the library? I have seen security guards gently wake up people snoozing in the chairs. Isn't sleep considered a First Amendment Right?
Until the ACLU takes the Oak Park library to the Supreme Court and has this injustice overturned, the library can make money from it. The library could sell snooze cards that would allow the holders to sleep in the library. Somnolents, 40-winkers, siestalytes, and Zs-freaks could buy them as a day, a monthly, or an annual snooze card.
In addition to a standard snooze card, the library could offer a premium edition of the card that enables the holder to lie down and sleep. When you look at the bookshelves in the library, you will notice a lot of space between books. If the library staff crammed all these books together, they would make aisle upon aisle of empty bookshelves, providing ample room for people to lie down and sleep. The library also could rent pillows and blankets at the front desk. And for the ultimate in library sleep, a librarian could read you a bedtime story for a fee, gratuity not included.
You can read more of my suggestions for the library at http://www.brain-defying.com/trickytext.