Looking to Change Your Habits? The Library Can Help
If you’ve been interested in trying something new, your local public library may be able to help. As a vital community service, many libraries offer their services with little to no fees. These include books, classes, expensive technology like computers, ways to improve your health and wellbeing, and resources to learn new skills. Libraries are always about making basic life needs as accessible as possible. If you’ve been looking for a change, try visiting your local library to see what they do to help.
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A Safe Space for Reading
When used for their primary purpose, libraries will always be a safe place for reading. This includes books that aren’t for educational purposes, but they can certainly be beneficial for people in need of a quiet space. For example, a college student in need of a place to study can use their local library’s community rooms.
Even so, reading is a form of self-care on its own. Studies have even shown that reading may contribute to overall longevity. Plus, many connections have been made to reading and reduced cognitive decline. In summary, reading exercises your brain. Thus, by encouraging communities to read, libraries promote overall well-being.
Try Out a New Meal
Interested in cooking but don’t know where to start? Your local library can help! Cookbooks are available to purchase, but they can be very expensive. Instead of spending money on a book, you’ll barely use, try checking out a library cookbook. Recipes can always be transcribed, helping you save money and focus on recipes you truly enjoy.
Plus, libraries usually offer services that go far beyond lending cookbooks. Public libraries often offer free or discounted classes for cooking, nutrition, and life skills. Even if they don’t offer these resources, your local librarian will be happy to help you find an affordable alternative. These are often well-rounded cooking classes with healthy, delicious, and affordable recipe selections.
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Learn More About Yourself
Everyone should have access to physical health resources, especially if you’ve discovered something new about yourself. Whether you’d like to learn more about a life-changing diagnosis or want to read a book about human biology, your local library can help. Even if you’re living through a period of financial insecurity, a library can provide important information for free and help you save money.
Some libraries have even started partnering with other community service organizations to provide as many physical health resources as possible. For example, the Farmingdale Public Library in New York offers Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi classes alongside their regular services. At the library, these physical wellness programs are often free or offered at an extremely affordable price.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Along with access to physical health education and improved cognitive function, reading greatly benefits mental health. People living with depression may specifically benefit from reading due to its ability to reduce feelings of extreme loneliness. When people make connections with characters they love, it makes them feel less alone.
Plus, there are just as many library resources for mental health as there are for physical health. Decreased mental health usually coincides with environmental factors such as homelessness, financial insecurity, or lack of access to healthcare services. Libraries have always been a refuge for people in need, and many of them provide these services, sometimes more. If you’ve been struggling with your mental health, find out what your local library can do to help.
Public libraries play an extremely important role in the community. They’re neither personal residencies nor are they office buildings (although they can certainly act as “offices” for remote workers and students). Quite frankly, they can be whatever someone wants them to be, a museum of historical documents, a community center, or a book club location.
No matter what you consider your local library to be, it will always be a community service. There’s a major reason why people living through homelessness rely on local libraries. Many library resources are free or extremely affordable, providing refuge for people in need. Some libraries even offer free health services in areas with prevalent financial insecurity. For example, certain libraries have on-site social workers available to help community members in need.
Embrace Overall Self-Care
All these points together prove that libraries are essential for overall self-care. Plus, many of these details coincide with another. For example, people living through homelessness may have a difficult time accessing physical health resources while struggling with their mental health. Also, college students may not have immediate access to all the resources libraries can offer.
In summary, supporting libraries means that you’re increasing self-care options for all people. Libraries can offer free healthcare resources, career support, and opportunities to learn new skills. Today’s librarians are even being trained in basic community service skills that are specific to health, social work, and public education.
Visit www.everylibrary.org to learn how you can support the important resources that libraries offer their communities.