Libraries are one of our top resources for finding educational materials. There is such a variety and amount of information it would take a lifetime to consume every bit of material.
Every library is different. Some have more resources than others, but they all have something educational. Librarians will also be able to help you locate a specific resource you might need even if it’s not found at their location.
Libraries often hold events both educational and fun for the community. Story hour is always popular for the younger kids, and older patrons might enjoy a book review. Sometimes authors are invited to speak, and sometimes other experts in the community are asked in to share their knowledge and experiences with everyone. Most of these events are free. If you’re not sure, just give the library a call and ask.
Are your kids learning more about their ancestry or do you just want to know more to have a better grasp on teaching them your family culture? Either way, the library might have some excellent resources for you to check out. Anything from how to books, online resources and maybe even classes to help you track down your family history.
Most people are familiar with the magazines and newspapers libraries often have available for you to browse through, but did you know that many libraries are also connected to online journal databases allowing you to review peer reviewed journals? This is a great way to research what you want to teach your kids, as well as teaching them how to read and research with peer reviewed journals.
Are you teaching your child a second language? Check with the librarian to see what kinds of educational resources they might have. You might find books in the language you are teaching, videos and even audio lessons. If these aren’t available at your library, they may be able to do an interlibrary loan to get them for you.
Many libraries have an extra room or two that they will let you use for non religious or not for profit gatherings. Talk to your librarian and find out what the application process is and you might just have a new place to get together with others for some co-op learning or study time.
Talk to your librarian and learn more about the artwork that can be found around the library. Sometimes there are paintings or sculptures, other times there may be some historical pieces hanging around. Often, they have connections to the community. This might be a great place to go to get out of the house and learn about something a little different when you need a change of scenery.
Don’t forget the classes the library holds. Many times libraries will have computer classes, library use classes or even classes about community resources available to the public. Sometimes these are free, other times a small fee, but worth it if you want to learn more about a common program such as how to use Microsoft Windows, Excel, Powerpoint, Word or more.
Do you have a collection you’d love to share with others? What about meeting up with some others who love to knit, quilt, or something else? Sometimes libraries are meeting places for people who have specific interests and you might be able to meet up with some likeminded individuals to learn even more about your chosen hobby (or maybe even share your expertise.)
These are just some of the resources you might find at your local library and by no means a complete list of things you can learn while you’re there (how about learning about mastering the dewy decimal system or the history of the library?)
How do you use your library? Tell me in the comments.