The Joy of Lifelong Learning
As the name implies, lifelong learning refers to the act of educating yourself. This can include anything from college courses to self-taught skills and hobbies. Reading can be considered a lifelong learning opportunity. Books teach us about the world around us and the life skills needed to succeed. Even so, when it comes to libraries, the joys of lifelong learning expand beyond reading. Libraries provide public education, extra-curricular activities, and tools for research.
Being a lifelong learner makes you a great candidate for potential employers. This can be beneficial if you’ve experienced unemployment or are looking for newer career opportunities. Whether you’re a college student in the middle of obtaining a degree or a working parent preparing for your GED, your local library can help you succeed.
Many libraries offer career services for people living through unemployment. This can be very beneficial for community members living through financial insecurity or homelessness. This can include access to Wi-Fi and public computers for job searching. However, some libraries offer specific classes for career development or computer literacy. Essentially, libraries help people develop successful career skills in a professional and affordable setting.
Diversity and Inclusion
The goal of a library is to provide equitable and accessible services to all community members. This can be done through reading selections that showcase people in underrepresented communities and alternative reading options like audiobooks. Accessible library services, public computers, and public transit access are other essential aspects of libraries. Thus, libraries will always be safe places for all people.
However, while diverse and accessible reading selections are important, inclusion goes far beyond lending books. Lifelong learning is also about community-wide education that teaches people how to empathize with others. While reading is fun, books are also essential for public education. When we read about people living through different experiences, we’re more likely to understand them in real life.
Libraries don’t just house new, popular bestselling books. They’re essential for the preservation and protection of historical documents. Depending on the size and location of the library, they may archive historical documents that are centuries old. Librarians oversee preserving historical archives while making them publicly accessible at the same time.
This can be a fantastic opportunity for people interested in history. Whether you need it for research or are simply curious about your community’s past, perusing through archives can be fascinating. Some libraries even specialize in the documentation and preservation of historical records. Find out if you have a research or academic library near you and discover what services they provide for lifelong learners.
Affordable Classes and Public Education
Lifelong learning promotes brain health, social connection, and community engagement. Libraries can provide all these opportunities and more. Books are educational on their own, but libraries always encourage community members to engage in lifelong learning. If you’re having a difficult time finding research information, your librarian will be happy to help!
Libraries shine in public education pursuits. With a goal and a curriculum plan, you can learn something completely new using only your library card. Plus, many libraries offer free or discounted classes on several different topics. These can apply to people of all ages and are extremely affordable for all community members.
Libraries will always be an essential community service. For lifelong learners, this can be vital for your education and community members who may not have immediate access to certain information. For example, if you’re taking an online course, you can use the library for any resources you need for assignments. Plus, most libraries offer all these services for free!
Libraries have always been safe spaces for people living through financial insecurity and community members in need. Expensive office equipment like computers and printers aren’t always financially accessible, but libraries allow community members to rent their equipment for free. In summary, libraries offer vital community resources that greatly benefit all lifelong learners.
Libraries always make it a goal to offer services that are accessible to people of all ages. However, they can provide specialized services that are targeted towards specific age groups. Youth services are certainly fun extra-curricular activities for children, but they serve a broader purpose. Libraries can help you take an hour to focus on your work while your children enjoy books and puzzles. They’re also important for reading literacy, a vital life skill for children and adults.
Examples include public readings of children’s books, book clubs, and librarian-hosted events. Some librarians specialize in serving children, providing safe and educational resources for working parents. Older children and adolescents can benefit from their local library as well families to engage with the local library together.
Visit www.everylibrary.org to learn how you can support the important resources that libraries offer their communities.