Four Reasons Why Libraries Are Homeschooling Hotspots

As an experienced children’s librarian, some of my favorite and most frequent library visitors have been homeschoolers and their families. Nope, libraries aren’t the “shhh-ing” spaces they used to be. We have so much more to offer to homeschoolers than ever and we love the families which make up our local communities! So, why are libraries homeschooling hotspots? Here are four of reasons why libraries should be indispensable for homeschooling families, and what your library can do for your homeschoolers and you:

Free Teen Audiobook Season Arrives

Local libraries can enhance their services as an essential information provider for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs, turning librarians into heroes that help grow local economies and new jobs. In the last 30 years, nearly all net new jobs have been created by small businesses[1]. Public libraries provide service to small businesses 2.8 million times each month, according to the OCLC report How Libraries Stack Up, verifying how important libraries are to small business success. As an example, the Free Library of Philadelphia by itself was reported to have provided over $4 million in direct support to local businesses.

A Summer of Reading, a Life of Adventure

I was eleven years old when my mother gave me my first Trixie Belden mystery one summer. That may have been one of the most impactful events in my life, setting the course for my eventual education and career choices and successes. More importantly, the love of reading first inspired by the Trixie Belden series resulted in many opportunities to instill a love of reading in other children, including two daughters (one of whom became an ELA teacher and school media specialist), my grandchildren, and more than a dozen students I’ve worked with through various volunteer mentoring programs over the years. I currently volunteer at the Center for Success in Detroit, which extended its programming last year to include the summer months. Alana, the 5th grader I currently mentor, improved two grade levels by the start of the new school year, especially impressive considering students typically lose some of the gains made the previous school year over the summer.

It’s called a Public Library! Here’s how it works…

Let’s start with the basics: A public library is publicly-funded institution that provides access to information through materials-lending, research services, events like classes and workshops, and sometimes preservation of heritage through special collections. Public libraries do a great many other things, but those are a good start because you can find the first three at every public library in the United States.

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Literary Awards

The prestigious history of literary awards and prizes goes back thousands of years, with cultures around the world seeking to identify and celebrate the greatest achievements of literature through history. In the past century, awards such as the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Man Booker Prize, The Hugo Award, and more have been highly-competitive events in the literary world and have had a tremendous impact on the public exposure and sales of the prize-winning works. Some awards even have associated cash prizes in the tens of thousands of dollars!

School Libraries Empower Students

School libraries are the buzzing hub of a school learning environment. That excitement around learning does not start and stop when the school bells ring. More and more, school librarians are offering programming before school, during lunch, after school, and during summer breaks to maximize the opportunity to reach all students and to meet their unique educational needs. Here are some of the great programs offered in school libraries across the nation.

Use Your Library, Land the Job!

Applying for a job is a job itself. It’s so important to get the best job offer possible, so don’t take a chance: add a librarian to your team — they’re information experts! How can your librarian help you to search for your next job and gain new skills to bring with you to the workplace? Let’s take a look at some of the resources and services libraries offer job-seekers!

Books That Will Make You Go “Whaaaat!?”

If you’re like me and read around a variety of genres, there have surely been books you’ve encountered that affected you in weird and unexpected ways. And then there are those books where you put them down and have no words. Sometimes the book was so profound that you could think of no immediate response, other times you just read the equivalent of being given the gift of a seven-legged tiger. “What the heck was the author trying to do here?” You might ask, or, “What did that even mean?” or more simply: “Whaaaat!?” Below are a few books that made me and some of my friends say “Whaaaat!?”:

How Librarians Kindle Creative Sparks in Young Writers

I don’t remember the first person who saw something in my writing. I can’t recall the first time I volunteered to share a story in class, or even the moment I had the impulse to put pen to paper on my own. And yet, the cumulative impact of these instances and others like them is clear: I was affirmed as a writer from a young age. Inside and outside of school, I grew into this identity. I raised my hand during English class, I joined my high school newspaper and relished the extracurricular “Write-Off” competitions, and as I became more confident, I even asked my parents if I could sign up for a creative writing workshop offered as an extension course through a local university. It was there that I had another first: I found myself surrounded by fellow aspiring novelists, screenwriters, and playwrights… all about a decade or two older than my teenage self.

Special Needs Populations — The Library’s Got It Covered

Whether it’s the books on their shelves, the classes on the calendar, or support for utilizing any of their services, libraries want everyone — and they mean everyone — to be able to partake equally of all they have to offer. For some adult customers, a special need or disability has the potential to make engaging with the library a little challenging. Thanks to some innovative solutions, however, there are many amazing services for folks with special needs to help them make the most of their local libraries and get involved in their communities. Read on to check them out!