My goodness. There are iPads, Kindles, Nooks, Vooks, and more. I play Scrabble on mine. Now you can download short stories. Google is copying every book in the world. If I were a librarian, I might be worried. 

But leave it to Yale University to come up with the solution. According to the New York Times, the Yale Law Library has dogs to lend. That’s right. Harried law students can now, along with books about Torts and Statutes of Limitations, check out a dog. What could be better than that? The Times reports that the dog is very popular. I think he must be exhausted. Apparently, the dog is lent out in half hour increments, and the poor thing must be Frisbeed out by the end of each day. 

I think this is a great solution to the library dilemma. Since dogs are not downloadable, I think even Amazon won’t be able to counter this. I am going to suggest that my local library consider both dogs and cats, since some of us are getting older, and playing Frisbee isn’t an option. 

Here are some other things that I would love to check out at the library. Home cooked meals would be nice. All you would have to return is the casserole dish. I would be the first one in line for those. The librarians would be very busy checking out the entrees. They would probably have to get some freezers in the reference room. 

I think Yale also missed the boat on this: if they think that dogs are a good idea, then what about old ladies? We all need them. Especially law students. Old ladies mend socks, make tea, listen to all your troubles, pat you soothingly on the hand or head, and they just make you feel loved. Who needs love more than stressed out students? And some old ladies like to straighten things, so all those dorm rooms would be much the better for library-lent ladies. And so many older ladies are widowed and lonely. It’s a win-win, as far as I am concerned. I bet there are also plenty of ladies to go around. In a few years, I will be available. 

It seems to me that libraries have to get just a little better at thinking outside the box. If no one is checking out the books any more, then there is going to be a surplus of space at all the libraries. They might consider having us lend them things to fill all the empty shelves. I would love to get rid of two of my sets of dishes. I would be happy to lend them out until one of my daughters wants them. Good grief. If the library wants, I could lend them some wedding gifts that I have never even used: I hear that young people today are rediscovering Fondue. Who wants to actually OWN a fondue set, if you could just check one out of the library? 

Really, Benjamin Franklin was a visionary. But we have become fixated on books and CDs. It’s called a lending library, so we just have to modify the concept, keep the libraries going, and make a few adjustments. I know that some people love chickens. However, checking out a chicken might just require some pre-requisites. On the other  hand, I think just about anybody could check out a parakeet for a day or so without any trouble. World peace? Give me about a week, and I will have some suggestions on that.

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