Have you noticed that there are basically two types of people in the world? In many ways we are alike, but a few basic character traits establish themselves early on and continue throughout a lifetime. Some people think or act like they know everything; while others feel that they are too dumb to take on any new challenges. It makes me feel sad when I hear one of my contemporaries say that they are too stupid to learn new things. I feel even worse when I hear someone defiant and angry because they feel that they know all they need to know. They both lose because they have closed their minds to all of the exciting developments in the world today. Very few people know it all, and even fewer are too dumb to learn.
It is never too late to learn new things. Learning how to develop and adapt is the foundation of who we are. Our family moved often. I never minded too much and thought of it as an adventure. My husband usually went on ahead to look for a suitable place for us to live. My only requirements were that the house had to have access to cable television and the internet (although even that didn’t figure in until fairly recently), and that the township had a good public library system.
I love my computer and I love my public library. The two work very well together because I can now access the public library right from home. In fact, my home page is the library webpage because I go there so often.
You may think that young students are the only ones who use the public library, and it may have been that way when we were kids, but it is different now. I can remember (and this really dates me) spending long hours pouring over reference books like the Periodic Guides to Literature when writing high school and college term papers. It is so much easier now; do you think kids appreciate that? Well I do.
Nowadays the term senior adult takes in a group of people from ages 55-100 and as you might expect, needs and services have changed a lot. The stereotypical “old” model has changed and the library system has kept up (better than most other public service forums) with all of the new trends. Libraries aren’t just for borrowing light fiction anymore (although I do enjoy a good murder mystery and I read so much that I would be bankrupt if had to buy each and every novel that I read). Requests for educational, intellectual and creative self development materials nearly equal the request for fiction. What does that tell you? Seniors like to learn.
Where else can you find information about social security benefits and entitlements, health, housing, nursing home care and home support services? You can find information on local events, and instruction on computer technology, art, culture and everything else imaginable. There are books written on everything!
Where else can you find a place that hosts community activities involving artists and writers? Libraries are very accommodating to patron needs. Wheel chair access, audio and visual aid materials are readily available. If you can’t get to the library, in many communities your library will come to you. You may pretend that you aren’t open to learning new things but I know that this isn’t true. You are never too old to learn and your public library can be your best friend.