My great little library card, Part 2

The life-changing possibilities offered by the humble library card continue. The free classes at New York Public Libraries stretch beyond English literacy, basic computer skills and genealogy research.

Many computer classes are even offered in Spanish. In Queens libraries, instructors teach in Mandarin on subjects ranging from how to start an e-commerce business to avoiding the pitfalls of homeownership.

At some NYC branches, I could sign up for free career counseling or résumé preparation by myself or in a workshop setting. If I wanted to reinvent myself as an entrepreneur, I could attend a seminar at the NYPL's small business resource center on the basics of trademarks, business fundamentals, or creating an advertising plan.

Perhaps knowing I'm often pressed for time, the library also offers free online seminars to download at home (as video files or audio podcasts) on topics like accounting and bookkeeping, starting a fashion line, obtaining credit, selling techniques, conducting market research, exporting, running a restaurant or a store, and pricing one's product.

I could even use the business library as my office and book one of its meeting rooms for free. Or I could just stop by for a free business-solutions counseling session.