In a perfect world, you’ll have significant assets of varying liquidity to leave, and people to leave them to.
(This won’t necessarily be the case, though: You may die close to penniless, your wealth having been usurped by our robot overlords. But think positively!)
If, however, you are among the ranks of the childless*, consider donating your estate to a library. One woman in Arlington, Virginia recently did, and while they’re going to put up a plaque in her honor, I’d like to think that a large enough estate might merit a small Hello Kitty statue. You know, if you were into that sort of thing, HYPOTHETICALLY.
In fact, we toured the New York Public Library a few weeks ago and a dude there also got a plaque:
Maybe if you end up rich enough you can get them to name the library after you. Or Hello Kitty. OR BOTH.
My library of choice is the Milwaukee Public Library, the only civic institution that I really took advantage of growing up. I went to private schools, I never had to call the cops, and the fire department was a placed I worked at rather than used. But the library? I’ve spent thousands of hours in Milwaukee Public Libraries. Reading, attending kids’ programs, using the internet, and just roaming the stacks. I’m generally uncomfortable in public, but I find all libraries soothing and immediately familiar. Some people have bars or parks; I have the card catalog.
(During the NYPL tour, the guide asked if everyone in the group knew what a card catalog was, and looked specifically at me, and I was like, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU START BECAUSE I SHALL FINISH IT.)
The Milwaukee Public Library is already amazing. I just hope to make it a teeny** bit more so.
* The glorious unsticky ranks of the childless!
** Though if I do end up getting a book deal, Imma make it rain. Say hello to the Hello Kitty Reading Room.