Vacation is coming up soon. And we’ll be near Washington, D.C. We’ve visited DC several times before—there’s so much to see and most of it is free, which is important when you have six people in the family. There are some places we always revisit like the National Gallery—where else can you see a Da Vinci in the US? And we still have a list of places we’ve never visited like the National Zoo.
But there’s one more place I’ve got on my itinerary. And one more thing I want. I want to go to the Library of Congress and get a library card (actually it’s called a reader card, but we won’t quibble over titles). I’ve always wanted a card to the Library of Congress. I don’t know why. But to a reader and writer like me, it seems like the ultimate prize. To have a bit of plastic that allows me access to one of the greatest libraries of our time.
I’ve done the research. I know where to apply (Rm LM 140 of the Madison Building), what identification is necessary (driver’s license/state id/passport), and what paperwork is needed (computer-based questionnaire).
What will I do with the card? I’ll look at some books, maybe do a bit or research. After that, I’ll probably just carry it around in my wallet for two years. That’s how long they last. And I’ll carry even after it expires like a talisman.
Now if only I could get a card to the library at Alexandria…but it’s too late for that.