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Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024

Making the Most of Libraries

library

They’re an incredible resource for students with much more than books.

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Libraries offer internet access for those looking to do school work or research, or even to apply for those first jobs.

Students can access magazines and newspapers to learn more about current events, or a treasure trove of music and movies. Libraries may also play host to special classes, field trips and Wi-Fi hotspots.

Unfortunately, in some cases, school libraries are faltering with lack of funding or staff issues. Some are closing altogether. That makes utilizing your local public library to the fullest all the more critical.

Studies show that library programs increase literacy, which plays a critical role in school performance but also ensure greater career opportunities and civic participation down the road.

Here’s how to get the most out of your library:

Audio/Visual

Look past the written page, and libraries typically feature a robust collection of compact discs, DVDs and vinyl recordings.

Many are available to check out. But even if they’re only for in-library use, these audio/visual aids add another dimension to studying, preparing a syllabus or relaxing after a busy school day.

Take A Class

For those who are interested in learning more about a classroom topic that’s not offered at school, the library is often home to free or lower-cost programs devoted to computer technology, foreign languages, local history, even yoga or chess.

Most libraries include information about their various offerings on the main website.

Students, their parents and teachers can also drop by your nearest library branch to learn more.

Event Space

Libraries are a great place to meet, and not just for friend groups who love to read. The typical branch also has space allotted specifically for meetings, studying or other local gatherings. These spaces are particularly useful if your campus lacks a quiet place to complete homework or develop lesson plans.

Other Special Items

Some libraries go a step further, loaning out things like artwork or tools. Someone studying art or history may have an opportunity to examine these pieces up close back home.

And all of this is free, with your library card. You’ll just need proof of local address in the form of things like photo identification or a utility bill.

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