The Local Library School Education without the School

Did you know that some of the most intelligent, learned people ever to grace that face of the earth were self-taught? That’s right. There are people probably sitting right next to you at your job that never even made it out of high school. Yet, in speaking with them, you realize that they are smarter than you, though you are neck-high in debt after securing that all-important degree. What is the key? Library access?

Well, not always. There was self-educated people long before any of the libraries were around. But, with the advent of these treasures, there is no better place to supplement, or even to earn, and education.

Those of us fortunate enough to have access to the world wide web, believe we have the world at our fingertips. We can get information on any subject 24/7. Websites like Wikipedia have made this even more true. (Though it can be unreliable at times) But guess what? Libraries have the world wide web too. And they have information databases and journal files and periodicals on microfiche and stored electronically. They have continuing education courses offered for free, live events and a wealth of audio/visual materials. It’s the only place I know that I can walk into and get the latest book touted by the Oprah Winfrey book club, a copy of the Rolling Stones “Exile on Mainstreet” on vinyl or cd, and a Criterion Collection dvd of “The Last Temptation of Christ”. Not that any of that will help you learn anything too important, but delving into culture is always a good practice for stimulating growth and understanding. Maybe you will grab a history book on WW1 or read up on the development of socialism in the process.

The fact of the matter is, you have to get out of your house. Go to your local library. Take advantage of the services that your tax dollars pay for every day. Repeat. You will find soon enough how much of a school the library truly is.