Yesterday provided one of those "adventures in closing a library" moments. A patron and member of the military was required to have several online forms completed and printed to be turned in tomorrow. I honestly can't say why he waited until almost 9 pm to do this. Though he is a father and had the little one in tote, so I can't judge that he had nothing better to do prior to that time. Of course we ran into snags with the website, resulting in my staying a half-hour after closing to make sure the patron got what he needed.
What I can say, is that I'm proud of our library. We're an academic library on a public university campus, which means we welcome community patrons to use our facilities. I respect that we make computers and the internet accessible to all. With our hours even in summer, we remain open later than most public libraries in the area. We truly were this guys last chance to get the forms he needed. We also provide the ability to search/retrieve forms and troubleshoot computer gliches that you wouldn't get if you were attempting to do the job at your own computer.
Sure, not everyone in America needs these services, but there are enough out there who do. And while I'm not the biggest fan of turning libraries into huge computer labs and viewing librarians as constant technical support crews, this is becoming a big part of what libraries do. For people like my patron last night, this is why libraries matter.