I live in one of those places in southern California that is far from the coastal breezes and cooler air. This region is called the Inland Empire. And like much of Orange County with its Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm fame, it is land-locked. The IE encompasses some pretty vast desert spaces, too, like the Mojave and Palm Springs. Though I don't technically live in a desert, it is just about considered high desert and as such, can be pretty unbearable weather-wise this time of year.
At least it's a dry heat.
Our household budget has been stretched to the extreme lately, what with sporadic income on my part, and huge bills...also on my part, I'm afraid, due to an author's ridiculous personal expenses for travel and promotion. So we've had to cut back on almost anything we could. In the summer, our air conditioning bills used to top $600 a month at the height of summer, but we can no longer afford to indulge ourselves with air on day and night. We switched to having a window air in the bedroom and in my home office, but even that will run too much.
Enter the library.
In the years following the beginning of the Great Recession, library funding got cut to the bone. Some had to close their doors for part of the week to make ends meet. Ours did. But now they seem to be on healthier fiscal footing (I know that this is in large part to the efforts of their Friends of the Library, that raises a rather hefty sum from their in-library bookstore [alas, this also means that if you donate books to your library, more than likely they won't end up on the shelves but in the library bookstore. It still helps your library, but if you want to help your local author, consider asking the library to order their book instead.]). My local library in Sun City is open every day and so I decided to avail myself of their hospitality...and their air conditioning.
|Huntington Beach Library's atrium.|
|Cerritos Library computer banks.|
|Children's section, Cerritos Library.|
I was surprised, after spending day after day there, like my nine to five job that I used to spend at home (and perhaps less efficiently since I had loads of distractions, especially of the furry kind), I discovered how very efficient and valuable and NEEDED are libraries. Not only does it supply a place out of the heat (or cold, or rain, depending on the time of year) but its computer banks also supply much-needed access to the internet for folks of all stripes. You can't apply for a job anymore without being able to log onto the internet, and some people either can't afford a home computer or can't afford the internet, or both. Shut down libraries
|Agoura Hills Library|
|Mission Viejo Library|
Thank you, libraries, for being there when I needed you!