Posted on April 15, 2014 at 6:00 am
When Andrew Carnegie immigrated to the United States as young boy he discovered that the library welcomed him and provided an opportunity to pursue his education. His first job was working in a cotton mill 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for $1.20 a week. He became an iconic figure of the self-educated, self-made man whose philanthropy funded public libraries and cultural institutions across the nation.
In Carnegie’s day, the library provided books along with recommended reading lists of the great works of literature. Today public libraries continue to support lifelong learning. You can find books on almost any topic that interests you. In some cases, we may point you to electronic resources that offer current information as well as self-directed instruction. Learn4Life offers online courses led by an instructor that you can do from the comfort of your home. If you are interested in personal development, you can take a class on leadership or interpersonal communication. Perhaps you are thinking about changing careers or starting a business, try a course on writing a business plan or supervision & management. If you are thinking about going back to school, sign up for a class to prepare for the GRE or LSAT.
Use the Testing and Education Resource Center to search for a college that offers the courses you need. Don’t want to leave home? You can limit your search to online degrees. Looking for a specialized program in physical therapy or alternative health? You can find colleges that offer these degrees. Need help navigating the application process? There are tools to help you write your application, build a resume and complete the process.
If homework is getting you down check out Help Now. This is an interactive tutoring service available between 2-8pm. Go to Live Help and connect with someone who can help you with chemistry, algebra, trigonometry or other subjects. Visit the writing lab to submit a paper for review before you turn it in. Not sure how to footnote your research paper? Find help by submitting a question. You can also brush up on skills organized by grade level.
These are just three of the many online resources available to support lifelong learning. The library offers lots of stimulating programs taught by local experts. In the past year we offered programs on financial planning, hiking, fly fishing, gardening and beekeeping. This month we are partnering with the Washington Humanities to present Hope in Hard Times, a series of author talks, music programs and stories about the Great Depression. Visit the art exhibit at the North Spokane Library or go to our website and listen to oral histories of people who lived through this historic era.
No matter what your age or stage in life, I hope you will find something that sparks your imagination and stimulates your mind at the library. Keeping an active mind is just as important to maintaining good health as good nutrition and exercise. Feed your mind and enjoy all that the library has to offer.