Research consistently shows that when we teach children about basic life skills at a young age, they grow to become smart men and women. Frequent visits to the library can certainly teach the importance of life skills and our local libraries are important partners in both child and community development.
Today’s libraries are more than mere arenas where we borrow books. They are inherent citizen institutions with many events and activities for people of all ages. There are many benefits one can gain from participating at the local library. Here are my top seven;
1. Children, family & community bonding:
Libraries naturally instil the love of reading in children which lead to improved writing and research skills. The library introduces children to the dictionary at an early age and it expands their capacity for vocabulary and independence.
Using the local library is crucial during child development. The local library is built to ensure that every child can continue learning while away from school.
Visiting the library accelerates child literacy, and it’s a good space for connecting with children while allowing space and time for connection with other children. When we select books to read with children and for them to read on their own, it creates an inexplicable bond.
Children can now enjoy many free activities with their parents/guardian at the local library. For instance, taking an animation course and exam with mum at a Southwark library.
The best candy shop a child can be left alone in, is the library.
— Maya Angelou
2. Further education, skills & development:
The library is a treasure trove of free programs that enhance learning and life-long skills. The local library offers many courses, activities and resources for both children and adults alike. It is particularly effective for adults seeking a new passion. a new skill, finding a job or perhaps simply seeking to give back to the community.
The courses provided via local libraries are part of ongoing national and borough backed scheme. They exist to facilitate enterprising and life-long learning while inherently driving cohesion in local boroughs.
3. Save time & money:
Save time and money on services through the local library. Services such as printing, hiring workspaces, starting up a business and notary support services.
Save both time and money on the following activities or services through the local library;
- hiring workspaces and group rooms
- advice starting-up & business
- meeting new friends
- finding work online
- living and doing things online
- affordable printing
- events, courses and community engagements
4. Socializing & growing your network:
Some of the activities offered in the local library include reading clubs, game clubs, movie clubs and science clubs. These programs and activities have a social and community theme to them and are an efficient arena to meet people and grow your network in the local community.
Whether online, offline or both, there are all sorts of social support readily available through your local library – check with your local library.
It’s also a good space to meet like-minds, socialize and develop a network in your community. Local libraries employ a blended learning mix that includes the use of new media for continuous learning. Follow local libraries on social media to continue discussions, invent peer solutions and access solution directories.
5. ICT & Digital Literacy:
Local libraries champion, promote, and reflect important democratic values as part of the community’s political life. They’re inherent community builders and a communal space for diverse populations. I’m convinced that the local library has a gluing role in UKs 2017 digital strategy.
The local library is in a unique position to bring local issues to municipal governments and social agencies. It’s in a unique position to partner with local governments, agencies and the third sector. A great position to address the needs of the society through the philosophies of community and partnerships.
The local library is also a great source of data and information gathering. Keep up-to-date with third sector activity, government and non-government and community initiatives.
When a library is open, no matter its shape or size, democracy is open, too.
— Bill Moyers
6. Volunteering, internships, apprenticeships:
I’ve found the local library to be a great space for undergraduates interested in breaking into community activism. Whether it’s for a work-life-balance, for employability or giving back to the community, the local library offers various career schemes. For instance, the schemes at my local library are facilitated by the council through Library and Heritage services.
It’s a contemporary space for undergraduates to test their skills, acquire community experience and build a following in the local community. It is also a great space to observe and capture deeply entrenched social issues in the society, perhaps for research and teaching purposes.
7. Relaxation & Comfort:
I’ve never left a library feeling stressed out or low. It is such a relaxing environment with so much more to offer than books, and it’s only around the corner.
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
— Jorge Luis Borges
There are so many benefits and enjoyable things that we can do and achieve through the local library. Many of which policymakers and citizens are yet to explore.
These are my top 7 benefits of using your local library. Thank you for reading. Follow me on Twitter for more. There is a list of London libraries on Twitter below. Follow your local library on social media to continue the learning and networking online.