things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #17

A customer comes to the reference desk to ask about Zinio. I tell him that Zinio allows him to get full access to hundreds of magazines, all at zero cost, through his library account. His eyes light up.

"This is all free?"

"Yes, it's completely free. Do you use a computer at home?" He does.

"Do you have a tablet, by any chance?" Even better, he does.

I show him how he can create an account, then sort magazines by language or interest, then download or read anything he wants.

"When I was growing up in my country, my brother and I walked 12 kilometres to the library. The names of the books were written on little cards. The librarian would write our names on the cards. We would read the books like this." He pantomimes opening a book a tiny bit, to preserve the spine. "And now, look at this..." He sweeps his arm to take in the entire library. "There is so much here." He shakes his head, speechless. "So much. It is so wonderful."

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