When we think about the Future That Never Was, the first thing that comes to mind is usually transportation: jet packs, flying cars, towering monorails, and rocket ships.
But that Future, like ours, is filled with people; and it's the ideas and the hopes and the dreams of those people that actually make their world go. Just like ours. So where do they top up the tanks of their minds? At the Public Library. The same way we do.
Because at the Public Library you'll find a vast hoard of knowledge that's been carefully stored away in a form that doesn't require electricity or network connections; you can read all about quantum physics, hydroponic gardening, or even the adventures of Buck Rogers... even if you have to read by candlelight. Because of, you know, the nuclear devastation outdoors, or the hordes of shambling zombies. Whatever.
The point is this: the Public Library is an investment we make in civilization. You could call it an insurance policy, if you like that better. But in any case,and in any Future – including the one we're living in – the Public Library is a filling station for the mind.