By Lisa Ferrara, M.L.I.S., Young Adult Librarian, NSU Alvin Sherman Library
The library is an amazing place where people of all ages come to learn. Libraries have materials such as books, movies, video games, tablets, and more on their shelves, and you can borrow them from the library for free. Libraries also host classes for babies, children, teens, and adults that are educational, and fun too! From early literacy initiatives to adult learning, your library has something for everyone. Sometimes it is not always possible to make the trip to the library, though. But that does not mean you can’t use library resources to let the learning and fun continue, at home or wherever you and your family are!
Whether you’re stuck at home due to bad weather, a broken vehicle, or illness, you will always be able to access your library’s digital collections. Using just your library card, you can read and listen to books online for free, on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. In the digital collections you will find academic books that can help you with a homework assignment or a research paper, as well as popular books from your favorite authors that you’ve been meaning to read. The best part of checking out eBooks or eAudiobooks? No need to worry about due dates and late fines – when the checkout period is over the books automatically return themselves. And don’t forget to read the digital magazines, too, rather than waiting for the latest issue of your favorite magazine to come in the mail or trying to get to the grocery store to purchase a copy.
Librarians (On the Go)
When you go to the library, you will find many specialized librarians who are waiting to help you locate the information you need. But librarians can help you whether or not you are able to physically come into the library.A simple phone call will connect you with a librarian who can guide you to the eBook or database where you can find the answer to a research question. Librarians can troubleshoot problems with your e-reader, recommend a good book in your favorite genre, find a credible scholarly article on your research topic, or help with various other information needs over the phone, with no need for you to travel. Do you get poor reception on your cell phone? That’s okay, because you can contact your friendly librarians via email or chat, too. If it turns out your local library doesn’t offer virtual reference assistance at midnight, you can always use Ask a Librarian, a virtual reference service run by the Library of Congress. It’s a universal fact that librarians love it when people ask questions - never be afraid to contact a librarian and let them know how they can help with your information needs!
Bet You Didn’t Know the Library Has…
When people think of libraries they think of books and research, but libraries have many other ways in which they can help you learn and develop new skills. Are you looking for a job, or thinking about making a career switch? Library databases can help you spruce up your resume, walk you through writing a cover letter, find job openings, and even simulate mock interviews, all from the comfort of your own home. Are you a high school student looking to study for the SAT or ACT? The library has online test preparation materials and practice tests that will help make sure you to perform to your highest potential. Have you been thinking about learning how to code a website, exploring digital photography, or adding Mastery of Microsoft Excel to your Job Skills? You’ll find online courses like these ones, with no cost at all, through the library. Or, if you want to explore a new hobby, such as yoga or cake decorating or creative writing, your library has online classes on those subjects, too. All these sources can be used from anywhere you have an internet connection, turning the entire world into a classroom!
Libraries Mean Community
In difficult times, you can always turn to the library in order to find the quality information you need. No matter what is happening in the world around you, your library remains committed to providing you with the resources you need to be informed, and to helping you and your family continue to learn, wherever you are.
The Nova Southeastern University Alvin Sherman Library, Research, Information Technology Center is a unique joint-use library serving the residents of Broward County as well as NSU students, faculty, and staff members. To find out more about the Alvin Sherman Library’s free events for children and families and to signup for a free Alvin Sherman Library card, please visit sherman.library.nova.edu