When we think of learning at the library, we often visualize workshops for children and teenagers. Story time, test prep, or fun arts and crafts sessions come to mind. But the library offers a wealth of knowledge for adults as well — and reminds us that we never truly stop learning. Here are six lessons all adults can learn at the library, provided by USC’s Master of Management in Library and Information Science online program:
How to Be More Creative
As libraries evolve from print to digital, there are several ways to use them. Adults are learning how useful the library is, without ever checking out a book. Unemployed adults can use the library as a job center. If they are self-employed, they can use resources such as databases for client leads or use the computer lab as an office. The library teaches you to be more creative in making use of all the resources at your disposal.
How to Step Away From Your Phone
There are very few places left (except maybe during a performance or on a flight) where you can’t talk on your phone. However, the library is still a quiet place. You can browse social media or check your email, but talking on your phone is going to have to wait. For many, unplugging is soothing and leads to increased productivity.
Re-learn How to Share With Strangers
Adults often forget that they were once taught how to share their toys. Adulthood may come with your own car, your own computer, and a host of other things that are all your own. But when you’re waiting in a library for the next computer or to use the copy machine, you get a refresher about patiently waiting and sharing.
How to Use New Services
Libraries now offer 3-D libraries, audiobooks, passes to local attractions, and more. They also may have new hardware or programs such as self check-out or kiosks to reserve books. Adults using these new services have to learn their ins and outs — which makes for a good lesson in patience. Nothing keeps the brain sharp like learning new things, especially when it involves new technology.
How to Keep Up With Your Teenager
Ready to learn your way around Facebook and Twitter? In addition to useful workshop and seminars on helpful things like resume writing and job hunting, many libraries teach parents how to communicate with teens. In some programs, adults can learn about social media, sexting, how to spot cyber-bullying, and what some of those text abbreviations mean. This is helpful information whether you have teenagers or just work with them in the community.
How to Regain Your Love of Reading
Once you’re in the library, it’s easy to find out what the latest book is from your favorite author. It’s easy to relax in lounge chairs and catch up on the latest news about your favorite actor. Using the online terminals and electronic searches, you can also find books and magazines related to topics you like. Chances are, you won’t be able to get enough.
The library is a learning wonderland — and not just for youngsters. What discoveries await you at your local library?