Libraries- Resolutions’ Solutions

January is almost over. New Year’s Resolutions have probably been forgotten or given up on by now. But I’ve found out the best time to do anything that involves bettering oneself is now. Start now. And if you fail, start again. And again. And again. Until you can check it off your life list (on paper, on an Excel spreadsheet, or from that notepad you keep in your head.)

And you know what might just help you achieve your goals? The library!

“The library?” you may ask. But, yes, the library. And let me tell you how.

1) Save money. The number one thing anyone who wants to save money needs to do is get a library card. That’s what’s going to let you borrow the books, movies, CDs, and many more items you normally would have had to spend money on. Ask a librarian to help you navigate the online catalog so you can request the newest or soon to be released titles.

2) Learn a new language. Do you want to brush up on your Spanish or impress that barista with your Italian? Or, be able to pronounce the entrées from the Chinese restaurant menu instead of just pointing to the number? Well, check out the extensive resources at MCL that will teach you to do just that: books, CDs, and even free access to the Mango Languages database.

3) Be more computer-savvy. Has Excel gotten you cross-eyed? Has PowerPoint left your mind feeling weak? Has Word left you speechless? Have I gone overboard with my barely coherent puns? While libraries may not able to help you with that last one, they do offer computer classes to help you learn the basic tools you need to navigate the Web. And the classes are free!

4) Find a job. Libraries know how tough it is financially out there right now. For those looking for a job, they have the books you can read to brush up your resume and professional skills. Sometimes, they offer free workshops discussing job search strategies.

5) Read more. Join a book club. If you love books, the library is where you won’t feel like an outsider. See if there’s a group who likes the same types of books you do. It’s a great way to meet new people, as well.

If you don’t love books, but you want to be a reader- the library is where you need to be. Librarians can help you find the book that might make you fall in love with reading again.

6) Volunteer. Most libraries sure can use your help. If you love shelving and pushing carts or doing whatever it is they need you to do, check out the possible volunteer opportunities they have.

(Make sure you check with your local library to see what programs and resources they actually offer.)

There are many more ways the library can offer resolution solutions, of course. What are some of your suggestions? Or what library resource have you taken advantage of to improve your life?

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