Michigan Libraries up north are not like the ones in Oakland County. Up north tourism is big business and the libraries roll out the red carpet for guests. From affluent communities like Leland on the Leelanau Peninsula to modest ones like Kalaksaka, non residents are given equal access to computers and on the premises facilities. In Northport a visitor may even request a library card. Many libraries have wifi high speed Internet access but what Northport's Leelanau Township Library provides is extraordinary.
|24-7 Computing and Internet access on the Northport library bench. This picture was taken on Sunday Morning|
My wife told me she saw people typing on portable computers outside the Leelanau Township Library. She thought they could connect to the Internet out there. I told her they couldn't. They had portable computers that ran on batteries but that was about it. .When I visited the library I asked about this and the librarian assured me they had outside wifi. I was impressed. The outside stuff only worked during library hours right ? No it was good 24 hours a day. OK but there was no electricity right ? You had to bring your own batteries right ? No there was electricity 24 hours a day. Just plug in under the bench. I was amazed and soon found myself using my computer and connecting to the Internet 24-7 in company of boaters and fellow tourist who also were in rapture of what is often referred to as the Northport Library bench.
Northport is the last town before the tip of the Leelanau peninsula and the Grand Traverse Lighthouse. Every fall the lighthouse hosts Haunted Lighthouse tours. The only other thing north of Northport, is Woolsey Airport, a world war one vintage landing strip whose only guidance is a wind sock. The airport also features a functioning pay phone. In Northport you half expect Angela Landsberry of Murder She Wrote to ride by on her bicycle. Northport is like New England but Pure Michigan.
And the lesson for all of us ? In tough times you can't go wrong by providing more than people expect.