Lifelong Learning @ your library
Megan McFarlane | December 15, 2011
Libraries are synonymous with lifelong learning. In today’s tough economy, the spotlight shines on the services libraries offer to job seekers, but libraries remain a place of lifelong learning for all, including library staff.
As part of its Online @ your library initiative, the Idaho Commission for Libraries provides library staff with access to free continuing education tools through Alternative Basic Library Education (ABLE). The classes teach basic library knowledge and skills for staff members who have no formal education in library science. The ABLE program is not designed to replace university level training in library science, but to provide library staff members the skills they need to best support librarians and help library users.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign library, in partnership with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), offers Lifelong Learning @ your library. The goal of OLLI is to remind people nationwide that learning has no age limit. Through its partnership, the University Library and OLLI provide library services to residents of Illinois and other members of the general public.
The Oak Harbor (Ohio) Public Library reminds parents that school hours are the perfect time for parents to visit and pursue Lifelong Learning @ your library. Parents are encouraged to use the library to upgrade their technology skills with such programs as “Book a Librarian,” a free one-on-one tutoring class, or by registering for the library’s “Tech Talk” series.
Recently, the Stratford Public Library (Ontario, Canada) encouraged parents to attend Lifelong Learning @ your library: Preschool Children’s Story Comprehension and Production. The presentation featured a visit from an area professor, who discussed the role storytelling plays in the thinking, comprehension, and language development of young children.
Earlier this fall, the Virginia Library Association compiled a comprehensive listing of free continuing education webinars and events under the banner of Lifelong Learning @ your library. Webinars included content from both the public and librarians, and were presented by such organizations as Booklist, Infopeople, and WebJunction.
Megan McFarlane is Campaign Coordinator for the Campaign for America’s Libraries with the American Library Association Public Information Office.