In the Future Library
by Kathleen Kirk
In the future library, patrons
will wave a hand in the air to summon
answers, a map of what’s to be done.
They will watch movies in invisible cubicles
and Wii historic battles and sports events
side by side, face to face, one on one.
They will be “literal” armchair travelers
in ocular hats, visiting a bog in Ireland
or the Eiffel Tower, the Amazon or the river Nile.
In the future library, patrons will “turn a page”
in a cookbook, and the meal will appear
in real time and real space.
Yes, people will come hungry (and smelly)
to the future library (as they do now)
and be fed.
The Cookmobile will travel to the West Side
to serve an area of greatest need.
In the future library, the director
will have tips for the staff
on how to handle the difficult ones,
the needy and the crazy, the vulnerable,
the ones on meth or legal meds.
There will be a social worker
with an office on the first floor. Or two.
Patrons will be able to stay overnight
in the future library,
surrounded by Playaways and audio books,
eBooks and music CDs,
all hooked up to disposable earbuds.
There will be hundreds of batteries
and thousands of silent lullabies.
Copyright © 2018 by Kathleen Kirk.