Learn More About our Lifelong Learning Resources

It being Spring, I’m digging and planting in my small garden out front of my condo. Past owners’ work shows up in the hostas that I’ve just about killed off (I don’t like them), in the misshapen Rose of Sharon bushes, in the landscaping fabric laid down possibly a decade ago and which I am pulling out as it gets in my way. Each year I put down more mulch to try to fight back the weeds, yet we still only have about three inches of sort-of-good soil over the clay backfill and it’s amazing how quickly the mulch breaks back down into lifeless dust. I’ve only had a butterfly plant thrive out there, and that only because it is planted up against the composter. So I am learning how to better garden this year.

There is information about native plants that thrive and soil-building here at the library, in our books, and also in our online resources. I’ve also used our library for a deep dive into travel writing, something I want to try this Summer. There are some great classes on photography, both for my travel writing and also for how to get great images for selling vintage online, maybe on Etsy. Do you have that sort of curiosity, always exploring and learning? Personally, I think no one should ever stop investigating the things they love. This is known as lifelong learning and is a handy skill for an adult to develop.

An elderly Black man in a blue sweater using a digital tabletLifelong learning is broadly defined as the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Library folk are usually passionate about providing you, our patrons, with as many opportunities for learning as possible. We love to share new offerings with you! Come up to any public service desk and we will help you find the best resources for your quest.

Starting this month, we invite you to come to a different type of reference opportunity: each month two of our staff will walk you through the resources that they would use to research something they are interested in. You will get to experience our path finding through the library’s electronic and physical holdings as well as our excitement for our subject. We hope to inspire you to begin your own journeys through our research materials and continue your own ups and downs of evaluating articles, lessons, books and more.

On Monday, May 22, fellow library associate Nathan and I will use our online resources to entertain and educate! Nathan, a pet owner, will show how he is using Creativebug to deepen his artistic ability. Nathan shares “Do animal videos dominate your “For You Page”? Do you have pics of your pet’s face you’ve shown friends and said “this is art.” Take your infatuation to the next level: draw a portrait of your little friend, with a photo and the “no-look” contour technique. Zero creative skill required.”

Image of a white woman in a white shirt working on a laptop

I want to show you how I am learning about travel writing, a form of writing that describes places the author has visited and the experiences they had while traveling. I’ve often thought of starting a travel blog… Let’s go through Creativebug, Linkedin Learning, Universal Class and more to find learning experiences I have used and will use to improve my skills.

The last 30 minutes of each session will be dedicated to helping you explore the wealth of online and physical resources we have at DBRL. As at any of our classes, we want you to gain new skills that you can replicate on your own. Or perhaps you will develop an urge to learn more about something we present; one of my coworkers is presenting on ink making in July. Biking and bike repair and flipping vintage collectibles are coming up in future months if this proves a popular program.

If you’ve not had the pleasure of investigating our topic guides, exploring an online encyclopedia or working your way through a creative online art class, bring your curiosity and your library card. If you don’t have a library card, stop in at your closest branch, fill out an online form, or plan to come a few minutes early to the Columbia Public Library to get one.


Image credits: Lifelong Learning, EpicTop10.com via Flickr (license); Woman on laptop, Wirestock via Freepik

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