Category Archives: Library Services

Budget Woes: IMLS Funding in Tennessee Libraries

By Lon Maxwell, Reference Department

Budget woes, everybody has them. Whether you are a minimum wage clerk or a fortune 500 CEO you have to decide how you’re going to parcel out your income. We all know what we have to have, our needs, and what we want to get, our wants. However there are a few gray areas that fall under headings like clothes and cars where what we want to get may be different than what we need. This discretionary funding is where the budget woes begin. The proposed budget for next year for the federal budget tries to trim the excess from a lot of these gray areas and one of those is the funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The Institute of Museum and Library Services was created in 1996 in order to “create strong libraries and museums that connect people with information and ideas.”[i] It was established by the Museum and Libraries Service Act which must be renewed every five years. So far it has been renewed by both the Obama and Bush(43) administrations.  In fact, George W. Bush augmented the IMLS by rolling the powers of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science and some of the activities of the National Center for Education Statistics into its purview in order to create a more streamlined system for federal support of library services.

In the past 21 years the Institute of Museum and Library Services has funded several programs and initiatives for the betterment of American society. They have maintained a very strong focus on funding science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) projects across the country and providing our country’s students access to education in the skills deemed most necessary for the 21st century. The IMLS has also shown a commitment to the technological side of libraries and museums by funding digitization projects, accessibility projects and forward thinking studies to predict the next tech that will be important for the people of tomorrow. They have a great focus on the future, but also know that our present and history are important as well. They fund collection conservation and preservation projects in order to make sure our history of knowledge and ideas is not lost, such as the Carton Plantation, and have a strong focus on community history and culture as well as programs for learning experiences in our communities. Finally they look out for the libraries’ customers by working on programs to develop staff to best suit your needs and by creating a focus on early learning so that the next generation will group up in an environment of knowledge.

The IMLS makes up a very small portion of the federal budget, but does a great deal with what it is given. The asked for expenditures of fiscal year 2016 for the federal government were almost 4 trillion dollars. The amount given to IMLS was 230 million dollars. That is approximately 0.00575% of the federal budget. To continue the analogy from before of a personal budget, if you had a budget of $50,000 then the IMLS budget would account for $2.88. You may ask, but what does that mean to a community like ours? Aside from the funding for rural communities (such as Leiper’s Fork and Bethesda) to increase and maintain their books for children, the IMLS does a great deal for libraries like ours.

What IMLS funding does for our library…

  • The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) is a collection of databases ranging from career help to research sources for students kindergarten through college. More than 70% of the databases available are brought to us through IMLS funding.
  • Library services for the blind and physically handicapped, funded by the IMLS, allow for braille, audio and large print materials that are circulated at a rate of 1000 titles a day, state wide.
  • IMLS provides support for library technology infrastructures that helps maintain those computers everyone seems to need from time to time.
  • If you’ve used the card catalog or requested an interlibrary loan, programs paid for by the IMLS have helped put the item you need in your hands.
  • Our adaptive tech stations, for individuals with disabilities, are from IMLS fund via a state grant.
  • The books in the career center are also from the IMLS fund via a state grant.
  • Most importantly, the IMLS funds Tennessee R.E.A.D.S. This is the system that our patrons love the most and is probably the most visible of the IMLS funded programs. This system is where your eBooks and eAudio-books come from. Three million titles were checked out through R.E.A.D.S. last year.

What it comes down to is the need versus want argument. Are the programs funded by the IMLS something we like having but don’t need, or something we need to maintain our educational, intellectual, and technological edge and keep America great? If you think IMLS is something Tennessee needs, then click here to go to the Tennessee Library Association’s legislative action center and tell your legislators.


[i] “About Us”. Institute of Museum and Library Services. 2015-02-19. Archived from the original on 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2017-04-13.

 

Why We Should Celebrate National Library Week April 9 – 15

By Lance Hickerson, Reference Department

This year’s theme supplies a good reason: “Libraries Transform.” Over twenty years ago, some were saying libraries would go the way of VHS tapes, floppy disks, and beanie babies. But libraries are still going strong! Again, one big reason is how libraries transform people who visit. Please let me illustrate with a few examples.

One morning as the doors open to WCPL, a very focused patron marched in and went immediately to the computer center where he started searching for jobs. After 20 minutes of what he called, “Nothing,” he asked for help. He explains how he just lost his job and desperately needed to find employment. A librarian responds to his request by leading him to a few of the better job search sites, while at the same time helping him narrow his search. This was so helpful that he found three promising jobs to apply for. But he soon asks for help again, as his computer skills were challenged by the application process. The librarian takes time to help him set up a profile and become familiar with just what the applications are seeking. Upon finishing the applications, the man stops to tell the helpful librarian, “Thanks for being so kind to me and taking time. It restores my belief in human kindness.” This patron continues to come to the library, and will never forget how a librarian took time to help transform his situation.

Several weeks later a library patron approached the reference desk with a request. She had retired from two careers but, in her words, “had missed the computer age.” Her children and grandchildren asked her again and again to learn computers, but she held back. Until today. The patron wanted to “turn over a new leaf” and learn how to use a computer, so as to surprise her children by being able to look up answers online all by herself. The librarian gladly set up a one-on-one time with the patron, during which time, the patron disclosed, “I have to tell you, I have arthritis and trembling so bad that I have trouble using the mouse.” Not to be deterred, the librarian scheduled three months of one-on-one times starting with exercises on using the mouse. Although slow going at first, the patron learned to control and use the mouse, which led to creating her first email account. She learned to make and evaluate online searches as well as how to make lists and write letters in Microsoft Word. Over three months she went from being fully dependent on the librarian to semidependence to joyous independence. She reported how her children were impressed with her “entering the computer age,” but that now she uses the computer just because she enjoys it. The patron and her family were grateful that “libraries transform.”

There are many other stories I wish we could relate about patrons who experience the library as a place for transformation. They would talk about learning new skills like Excel; finding interesting books never before considered; discovering Powerspeak Languages to learn a language for their summer vacation; enjoying their first eBook; seeing a program on square foot gardening that doubled their gardening production; tailoring a resume and cover letter for a new career; finding a dyslexia friendly font; and many other stories. All would tell of how libraries transform and become very personal reasons why we celebrate National Library Week.

 

 

 

A to Z World Culture: Finding your place

By Stephen McClain, Reference Department

The world is shrinking. Is Earth imploding? Have we taken so many natural resources out of the ground that the planet is actually becoming smaller? Not likely, but as global communication continues to advance; we are more connected than ever before in human history. Travelling across the Atlantic was once a dangerous trip that took months in a creaking wooden ship. Now, travelers can safely fly across the pond in under ten hours. Information can be sent around the world instantaneous by way of fax, email and cellular telephones. Fifty years ago, the chance that a child born in Appalachia would ever come in contact with someone from Southeast Asia or Latin America before leaving the region after adulthood was slim. In today’s world, because of various push/pull factors and globalization, that likelihood is high. We are in an age where it is increasingly important to understand the diverse cultures of the world as we are becoming progressively more linked. Information about the diversity of the cultural landscape was certainly available fifty years ago, but it was required that one go to a library to access the data in print form. Today, scores of data is accessible from anywhere at the click of a mouse button or tap of an icon. While there are countless websites and databases to choose from, A to Z World Culture provides an excellent resource for students who are doing a research project or anyone who is simply inquisitive about geography and world culture.

The home page of A to Z World Culture has a simple, user-friendly design that allows visitors to easily locate information, regardless of age or computer skills. Either click on a country on the interactive world map or choose one from the scrolling menu. After choosing a country, users are shown the “Cultural Overview” of that country, which includes images showing the global location, the country’s political flag and pictures of people or landscape. Here, readers will also find written information on the cultural diversity, religion, stereotypes and popular culture of the country. Much more detailed information is available within the menu on the left. For example, clicking on “Maps” gives users a list of seven thematic maps that are available to download as PDFs. Among the downloadable maps are Political and Provincial maps (showing place names and boundaries), Physical and Natural Earth maps (showing natural features and topography), Population, Precipitation and Temperature. In addition to the thematic maps, there are also two useful blank outline maps, which are often helpful in learning location and preparing for a test or quiz.

The Demographics tab under Country Profile is a valuable resource for population data. This page shows the total population for the selected country, the age structure, life expectancy, birth, death and migration rates and the population of major cities. Most of the data is relatively current, with estimates from at least the last year or two. This is useful information and an easy means for acquiring demographic data for comparative or survey purposes.

Exploring the other tabs reveal general geographic information about the selected country such as Climate, Culture, Education, History, Language, Music and National Symbols, just to name a few. Clicking on the Country Profile tab is a good place to start. Here, users can learn about the demographics of the country, its economy and government, and its current leaders.

For teachers, the Lesson Plan tab provides valuable resources for introducing place-specific geographic issues and topics to students in grades 7 – 12. Some could also be used in the college classroom for introductory social science courses. Most of these lessons involve role playing that allows students to learn interactively. All lesson plans are available to download as either a Microsoft Word document or as a PDF.

Finally, if you are using any of this information in a paper or project, you will need to cite your sources. A to Z World Culture has made this easy by providing a link that generates Chicago Manual of Style, MLA and APA citations for the A to Z World Culture website. Additionally, there is a “Print this Document” button that opens the document for printing.

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As our world becomes smaller and more global communication barriers are permeated, we are experiencing less friction of distance and an increase in space-time compression. Resources like A to Z World Culture are powerful tools in bridging the cultural divisions that we more frequently encounter. In today’s global landscape, understanding cultures other than one’s own is essential in defeating xenophobia, increasing our knowledge and being successful in the new global economy. Visit www.atozworlculture.com and pick your destination.

Awesome Box at the Main Library

By Jessica Dunkel, Reference Department

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Click image to go to our Awesome Box website!

Have you ever read or watched something from the library that you absolutely LOVED and wanted to tell everyone about? Well now you can! Next time you check out something awesome from the library, return it to our Awesome Box. From there, we’ll spread the word that it is awesome!

What is an Awesome Box?

  • An Awesome Box is a book drop for library items you think are awesome! It’s just like a regular book drop. But instead of putting items back on the shelf after you return them, we make a note of what you put in the Awesome Box and share it with everyone so they can know it’s is awesome, too!

What kinds of things should I put in the Awesome Box?

  • Any library materials including books, DVD’s, or Audiobooks you find awesome. They can be helpful, mind-blowing, your all-time favorites, etc. Whatever you think other people would enjoy knowing about.
  • Basically, if it was fantastic, helpful, amazing, valuable, entertaining, or just all-around awesome, put it in, so that everyone knows how good it was.

img_1271Does putting items in the Awesome Box actually return them?

  • Yes – if you put an item in the Awesome Box it will be returned to the library (and then Awesomed!)

Where can I see what people have put in the Awesome Box?

  • You’ll find what people have “Recently Awesomed” on our Awesome Box bulletin board just inside the Main Library’s entrance.
  • For a full list of what has been “Awesomed” in the past 30 days at our library, visit this website from our homepage: https://wcpltn.libib.com/i/recently-awesomed. You’ll also find links to everything that our patron’s have declared Awesome, including movies and Awesome books for adults, teens, and kids.

So the next time you’re returning something, remember: the awesome things go in the Awesome Box!

 


References:

Get free online Magazines with ZINIO!

By Jessica Dunkel, Reference Department

Did you know that having a Williamson County library card gives you access to a large selection of free online magazines? Our magazine database, Zinio, is a wonderful way to get your magazine fix without having to visit the library! (We do love when you visit, but we also appreciate instant access to free things. We’re sure you do, too.)

After you create an account (directions listed below), you can log in and start reading immediately on your home computer, laptop, tablet, or smart phone. You can also get the Zinio App and read wirelessly on your iPad, iPhone, Android, or Kindle HD/HDX.

Zinio gives you access to over 60 different magazines. A few titles include Good Housekeeping, National Geographic, The Oprah Magazine, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, Reader’s Digest, Food Network, Seventeen, Country Gardens, Weightwatchers, Popular Science, Women’s Health, The Economist, Bloomberg Business Week, Dwell, and many more!

Still not convinced that you need Zinio in your life right now? Here are some more cool features:

  • If you’re hooked up to a printer you can print the pages you want to keep, like recipes, articles for school projects, or those top 10 lists you want to hang on to.
  • Because you have instant digital access, you’ll always have the latest issue as soon as it’s published.
  • You’ll also have access to older issues so you can check out what you may have missed.
  • The magazines are simple to navigate. You can flip through pages one by one or select a specific page in the page overview feature. There’s a zoom feature if you want a closer look at the pictures or text. And if flipping through each page doesn’t appeal to you, there’s an option to scroll down through the magazine like you would on a normal webpage. Here’s a preview:

zinio

Screenshot from Prevention Magazine December 2015

How to get Zinio

  1. Go to http://lib.williamson-tn.org/
  2. Select eLibrary Digital from the menu on the left
  3. Select Databases by Title
  4. Click on V-Z
  5. To read magazines on your internet browser: click on Zinio Online Magazines
  6. To read magazines on an iPad, iPad, iPhone, Android, or Kindle HD/HDX: click on Zinio Information / FAQ for instructions

Discover or catch up on your favorite magazines instantly with Zinio! As always, call us at the Reference Desk at 615-595-1243 if you have any questions. Happy reading!

What Our Library Patrons Are Thankful For

During the month of November, we asked our patrons to share what they were thankful for. The entire month our interactive display just kept growing and growing until we had to attach the responses to the furniture beneath the display.  We had responses ranging everywhere from coffee, to politics, to sobriety, but by far what our patrons are most thankful for were their family and friends.  It’s a good community we’re working with here.

Here’s the unedited list of all of the responses we received. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • img_1051God
  • My family and friends
  • My therapist
  • God and Jesus
  • Friends and family
  • Post-it notes
  • Books and libraries
  • Me
  • My family
  • Dumplings
  • Friends and family
  • Family
  • That I have a family
  • Family and friends
  • For God and my family
  • Cute boys
  • Fuzzy friends (my pets)
  • Freedom
  • Food
  • People
  • The hope that is found in Christ
  • Food, God, hope and the Bible
  • Quadruple shot espressos
  • For god, family and my community
  • That I don’t personally know any Trump supporters
  • That God considers me
  • Food, friends and family
  • Doing great in class because of my teacher
  • The gift of family and a fresh new year to live to the fullest
  • For God and Jesus
  • This library and electronics
  • Friend of the Williamson County Public Library
  • My health, my family, my friends and all of God’s blessings
  • A loving mother and father
  • Family (and my brother)
  • My family and my life
  • My beautiful friends, even though we are separate
  • Friends and family
  • Us
  • Elie, Aiden, Asa and Ethan, rain and coffee
  • My family and dogimg_1054
  • What I have and all my friends and family
  • Harambe (the gorilla)
  • For God and God alone
  • This library
  • For my wife and kids
  • Jesus, love
  • Pokemon Go
  • Food
  • A great book
  • Small acts of kindness
  • Good health, family and beautiful earth
  • For food on my table, a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head; also that my Momma and Daddy love each other and we’re all healthy; I’m thankful that the sun came up this morning and that we live in a country with freedom for all, and definitely the pursuit of happiness
  • My family, my jog, my boyfriend and Twenty-One Pilots
  • Thankful god has blessed me to live 43 years.  If he does nothing else for me, he has already done enough
  • The library
  • The amazing school I go to
  • Faith
  • Books and the library
  • For my family and friends, for God and Mary and Jesus
  • Libraries!
  • For kindness in all its forms
  • For my kids, family and the path Goad has for me and my dearest friend
  • For wonderful parents and late husband
  • For the right to be heard
  • My cat, my jobs, my friends, my boyfriend, Dr. Brunner, the refugee center, Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Very thankful for my mom
  • My sobriety – one day at a time
  • For my best friend
  • For NPR, national public radio, its great broadcasts and programs and for the kind people and wonderful atmosphere of the Franklin (WC) public libraries
  • Dolores and her wonderful staff and this beautiful library
  • For good health and lots of love from my family and friends
  • For my son!  Family!
  • For my family and other stuff
  • For the ocean
  • Our republic and the 2nd amendment and furry cats
  • My diagnosis
  • My awesome husband and kids
  • God and everything he’s given me and my family and friends
  • For god making us!
  • My mother, my cat and Trader Joe’s mac n cheese
  • New friends, music, beauty
  • My family, a God who loves me, a great job, my cat (most of the time) and living in a democracy
  • My mother and the love she has for her kids
  • New friends and family in Franklin, TN
  • Thanks to God for giving such a beautiful life
  • For easy ways to cheer someone on a gloomy day
  • For libraries!
  • The power of prayer and my new job and friends, and dressing
  • My family and friends
  • Thankful that Christmas is coming soon
  • For my mom and grandma and dad; I have three wonderful kids and their dad is OK, and to be alive and healthy and I love the Lord
  • Our President and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama
  • Random acts of kindness

    img_1060

    Someone left us a little origami menagerie.

  • A good job and friends who I like to work with
  • For education, parents and kids; for my life and such a loving family and friends, for everything and mom and dad; for all good things in this world and things that give hope that is light at the end of the tunnel
  • My life and everything else
  • For each new sunrise—each day is a new beginning
  • For my friends and family, especially my son
  • For my cat, Stevie, and Nintendo Funk
  • For the opportunity to start over in some situations, righting your wrongs
  • My friends, family and home/belongings
  • My best friend, my family and boyfriend, music and marching band, my other close friends, reading and the library, God and how he saved me and how he still loves me unconditionally, even when I mess up, Camp Crestridge
  • For my family and friends, for food and my safe home, for my city and each day of my life
  • Being able to learn and grow. To do the best I can
  • For my mother
  • My family: mom, dad, brother, cousins, uncles, etc.
  • For everything…family friends, scouts, God
  • For gymnastics and family
  • That I’m getting my gender reassignment surgery and moving to Canada
  • That Trump is now our president
  • For crunching leaves, laughter and the anticipation that Christmas is coming, and coffee
  • Family and friends, and books

Career Transitions

By Stephen McClain, Reference Department

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Looking for a new job can be either a frustrating experience or an exciting change. Many patrons use the library computers to access job applications or search for a new career. The reference staff is available to help those who are searching for jobs, but there are also many online resources that can answer simple questions and help with the application process. The Career Transitions website is a useful and powerful resource in helping to find a new career. To visit this website, go to www.wcpltn.org, move the mouse over eLibrary (on the left side of the page) and a drop down menu will appear. Click on Databases by Title and then select C-D. From there, click on Career Transitions, which is at the top. Here you can create an account that will save all of your information, but before doing that, it might be best to click on Take a tour of Career Transitions at the top right of the page.

Taking the tour will walk you through the processes of searching for jobs, writing a resume, writing a cover letter, tips and advice on interviewing, and also includes a simulated interview. If you are looking to start a new career and not sure what to look for, the next section provides an area to assess your career interests. After determining your interests and expertise, you can browse career paths and get an idea of what type of salary to expect with your particular experience and training.

Following this section, the tour continues with an area on discovering a new career. In this section, you can assess your career interests by taking a short survey. After deciding your areas of interest, you may browse career paths, salary and growth rates based on your selections or you can match your work experience to a new career.

career transitionsFinally, there is an area to search for schools and programs within a specific geographic area. Simply type in a job or career title (such as Electrician), select the distance you wish to search with your zip code or state and click the green Search button. If there are any schools, programs or courses within the area that you selected, this should produce a list of those results.

  • Many new job seekers, or those returning to the work force, have questions regarding resumes. On the Home page, click on Write a Resume. Here, you can write a professional resume by simply filling in data about yourself and your work experience. Before beginning to create a resume, it may be helpful to gather all of the necessary data, such as name and contact information regarding previous employers, education, and references. Start with your contact info. Type in your personal data and click save. If everything is correct, click the green “Go to next Section” button. Follow the steps and if at any time that you may have a question, click on “What Can I Do Here?” at the top right of the page. This area may answer many common questions regarding building a resume. There are also many helpful articles linked on this page in reference to writing a cover letter, uploading your resume to the web, and information on professional portfolios.
  • 14110060693_e2e54aef56_bMany job seekers ask whether or not they need a cover letter when applying for a job. If the job application does not specifically ask for a cover letter, odds are it is not a requirement. However, including a cover letter can only help your chances of being considered for the position. Click on “Write A Cover Letter” (next to “Write A Resume”). The process is very similar to that of writing a resume using the Career Transitions website. There is also a link to samples of cover letters if you need some help or ideas.
  • The Interview Simulation tab is a great way to prepare for the experience of an actual job interview. Clicking on this tab will first give you an overview of the simulation. Once beginning, users will choose a profile based on the individual’s personal level of experience. Then you will learn about the fictitious “company,” the open position and your profile. Based on this information, you will be asked questions regarding the job opening and your experience. You can choose whether to listen to audio or read the questions. After the questions are presented, three possible responses are given. You, as the interviewee, are to choose the best and most appropriate response. After responding to all of the questions, the simulation interviewer decides whether or not to conduct a second interview and feedback is offered regarding your responses.

With these simple tools on the Career Transitions website, you can create professional resumes, cover letters, gain valuable interview experience and will soon be on your way to an exciting new career. Visit www.wcpltn.org to get started.

Lest We Forget: Lost Library Books

By Stephen McClain, Reference Department

Most true Seinfeld fans will remember the episode called “the Library” way back in 1991. The first scene opens with Jerry in his apartment on the telephone.

JERRY: Let me speak with the head librarian. …Because it’s absurd. An overdue book from 1971? … This is a joke right? What are you? From a radio station?

KRAMER: enters

JERRY: Ya’ got me I fell for it. Alright, OK I can be down there in like a half hour. Bye.

KRAMER: What’s the problem?

JERRY: This you’re not goin’ to believe. The New York Public Library says that I took out Tropic of Cancer in 1971 and never returned it.

KRAMER: Do you know how much that comes to? That’s a nickel a day for 20 years. It’s going to be $50,000.

JERRY: It doesn’t work like that.

KRAMER: If it’s a dime a day it could be $100,000.

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Mr. Bookman

Jerry knows that he returned the book. Turns out he didn’t. Without giving away the ending, he had given the book to George in the locker room during gym class. George dropped it while suffering an atomic wedgie. Just watch the show. It will change your life.

The point here is that library books are often misplaced in obvious locations (such as in the car, under the couch, or next to the bed), but sometimes they are hiding in strange and unusual locales. If you received a notice and need to search for a missing book, here are some spots to explore from a list of actual places that people from all over the U.S. have found lost library books. My apologies in advance for the additional commentary.

  • Between the mattress and box springs (I thought this was reserved for illicit material of the adolescent male. Come to think of it, maybe Tropic of Cancer could be found there. (Look it up.))
  • Inside the box springs (After you return the book, it might be time to shop for a new box spring.)
  • In the crack between the front car seat and the console (…along with old French fries, straw wrappers and hairy nickels.)
  • In the dog house (“Fido; sit, roll over, READ!” Maybe we can blame this one on those dogs playing poker in that picture.)
  • On your own bookshelf, or with your other books (So you have call numbers on all of your own books? That’s how it got mixed up? Weird.)
  • Under the refrigerator (Yeah, be sure to clean off all of the lint and dead bugs before you return it.)
  • In the piano bench (“If you practiced more often, you wouldn’t have forgotten it here. That’s it! We’re not paying for any more lessons.”)
  • On the work bench (I guess it was easier to just watch a YouTube video on how to fix that toaster.)
  • In your fishing gear box (Makes sense. Fishing is boring. You know, you can buy fish, right?)
  • In the car’s glove compartment (Am I the only one who has never actually seen a pair of gloves in the “glove compartment?”)
  • Under the seat of grandma’s car (Over the River and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go!)
  • In the bathroom (Yeah. Just keep it and buy us a replacement.)
  • In the deep freezer (I got nothing. Were you maybe looking for your keys when you found the book?)
  • At another library (Because that NEVER happens… firmly plants tongue in cheek.)
  • Under stuffed animals (Beware!  The stuffed animals have gained awareness and are now stealing books to learn and plan world domination.)
  • At your summer home (If this is you, why are you borrowing books from the library? Just buy it.)
  • In the trash/wastebasket (Well, we understand that some people think they belong there.)
  • With the holiday wrapping paper (Were you planning to give the library book as a present?)
  • With the camping gear (Once again, makes sense.  You need something to do while sitting in front of the campfire.)

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This is just a partial list of the odd but true places that patrons have found missing library books. In all seriousness, someone may be waiting on that book that you need to return so please be sure to keep track of your borrowed library materials and returned them on time. We don’t have a library cop like Mr. Bookman from the Seinfeld episode (yes, the character’s name is actually “Bookman”) and you will not rack up a $50,000 fine for anything, but returning materials on time keeps everything running smoothly. Mr. Bookman, the library cop, gets the last word:

“Look. If you think this is about overdue fines and missing books, you’d better think again. This is about that kid’s right to read a book without getting his mind warped! Or maybe that turns you on, Seinfeld. Maybe that’s how y’get your kicks. You and your good-time buddies. Well I got a flash for ya, joy-boy: Party time is over. Y’got seven days, Seinfeld. That is one week!”

Seifeld — The Library Cop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9tP9fI2zbE

Resources for High School and College Grads

By Jessica Dunkel, Reference Department

Graduating from High School or College is wonderful. You’ve put so much effort into getting your diploma and now you’re finally done! Congratulations are in order, and unfortunately, so is the brick wall of reality that usually starts with these questions:

What do I do next? Can I afford college? Do I even want to go to college? Can I get a job with my Associate’s/Bachelor’s degree, or will I need an additional schooling? What do I even want to do with my life?

And that’s the million dollar question – what DO you want to do with your life? If you haven’t figured it out, don’t fret – you’re not alone. Even some adults don’t know what they want to do when they grow up (we may look like we know what we’re doing, but that’s very far from true). Unlike us adults, you – my darling, doe-eyed, young reader – have time on your side. And although you have more time to figure things out, how you spend that time is important.

That’s why we’ve put together a long list of resources to get your started. Note: this is NOT an exhaustive list. Putting some serious effort into researching these things can make a HUGE difference in the trajectory of your life, even if you already have a life plan. (Example: having to go back to college to get a second degree after realizing majoring in Psychology was fun, but careers in Psychology are not. True story.)

The list below is numbered, but there’s no real order when it comes to researching. If you feel like you’re all over the place, you’re still doing it right because you’re doing something. The resources below can point you in the right direction regardless of where you’re at.

1. Find out who you are.

Not all of us had a “calling” since birth, or even know what our dream job would look like. So take some time to explore your interests. Volunteer. Take career aptitude tests to see what you’re good at. If you put time into learning your interests, strengths, and values, you’re already ahead of a lot of people.

1Career Tests

Volunteering

Books at the Main Library (click to go to our online catalog):

2. Make a 5-year plan.

I know this sounds daunting and even unrealistic. Like, I can’t even decide what to eat for dinner, how can I make a 5-year plan? The thing is:2
A lot of students think that going to college or getting a job is enough – they don’t need to plan for their futures until later. But what will you do when later becomes now? When you plan ahead, you start envisioning your ideal future. And when you set and accomplish goals along the way, your ideal future becomes your reality.

How to make a general 5-year plan

  • WikiHow: Easy steps to get you started.

If you’re going to college

If you’re not going to college (or aren’t sure)

If you’ve graduate from college

Other tips

  • Create a 5-year-plan Pinterest board for visual inspiration.

Books at the Main Library (click to see the book in our online catalog):

3. Get to work on your plan.

After you’ve envisioned where you want to be in the future, you need to get to work on your goals. Below are some websites and books to help you get started on implementing your plan.3
If you’re going to college

If you’re not going to college

If you’ve graduated from college

Whew! That’s a lot of resources.

Figuring out your life’s path and working towards your goals is definitely overwhelming – but if you take time to find out who you are, make a plan, and work hard on it, you can be sure you’re on the right path – your own.

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