You can set your watch by the opening time of the Central Library at 8th and I streets these days. And judging from the number of people waiting to get in, a lot of people in Sacramento can tell you exactly when 11:00 a.m. is.
A crowd of at least 25 or 30 had already gathered at the front door and others were still arriving as I approached the library entrance near the middle of the block.
Some of the people chatted casually and others seemed to be quietly making last minute assault plans as they waited for the keeper of the keys to arrive on the inside of the large glass doors. One or two among the crowd looked as if they had been waiting all night on the benches along the sidewalk. In fact, they had, but their wait had not been to get into the library.
Then at precisely 11:00 a.m., the doors opened. As if a starting gun had been fired, the crowd became one. The throng quickly merged and passed through a portal into another dimension. There they were, seeking data, information, knowledge, Cliff Notes. Once inside, the more experienced visitors bypassed the information desk, heading straight for the computerized "card catalogues" or to elevators which would take them to one of the floors above us.
To see school-age children easily moving from one computer screen to another was indeed a humbling experience. But to have one of the little tykes offer to show me how the system works was downright embarrassing.
So, if you are planning a visit to the Central Library, come on down Tuesday through Saturday between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. On Sunday, the hours are from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The price is right and the service is topnotch. If you're lucky, you might even see the famous 11:00 a.m. rush.
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