It’s been a great summer. I finished graduate school in Library Science in May. Though this summer “vacation” I’ve been busy training for my new job as a high school librarian, I’ve also had more time to listen to informative and fun podcasts, read for pleasure and establish the mini-habits I want in my life. There’s a little more guitar, writing, exercise and joy in my life.
Part of what has made my summer more interesting is putting the library at my fingertips by putting books on hold and through various e-reader apps that allow me to tap into the library.
It’s not that I am just checking out more materials. Getting more books and materials is part of being more excited about constant learning. I’m at the edge of jumping into a new career, I’m listening to great podcasts that lead me to great books and resources. Through the library I can have that extra information and inspiration within days or seconds.
The best learning happens when you can have a resource “just in time.” I have a growing but temporary collection of distraction free physical books and also a small collection of powerful books that I can read from my phone or tablet.
The library is an often untapped resource that can help you transform your business or skills. September is Library Card Sign Up Month but it’s always a great and convenient time to get a library card. If you are not a big library user here’s a couple of pointers:
- You can reserve the physical resources you want from the comfort of your home or from your smart phone. Many libraries have their catalogs online. You can put a book on hold and the book will be sent to the branch you request. When the book arrives, you will get an email and you pick it up at your convenience. I prefer books as a distraction free tool.
- Use Overdrive and other e book apps to give you instant access to valuable resources. I used to have a hard time with ebooks. It seemed like you needed to have a Masters to download a book. Now with Overdrive and other apps you can easily check out materials. There are times when this is the only format the information is available. Sometimes it is just great to have the inspiration or resource. The three titles I have on Overdrive now are titles that are helping me with the immediate issues of web marketing and setting up my school’s library.
- Remember that the Internet is great for real-time information but books still pack a whallop. Not all books are equally authoritative but they often go through editing process that not only make them more authoritative but also more interesting.
- Support authors by supporting libraries. People sometimes feel that they might be ripping off a writer by getting their work through the library. I’ve been to library trade shows. Authors and publishing companies WANT libraries to buy their books. Pay your fines or donate and support authors you haven’t even met.
Keep wielding that sword of constant learning. Slice through to your goals, skills and inspiration–with your library card.