Library strives to satisfy curiosity—November 19, 2010
Children are fascinating aren’t they? If you’ve met my four-year-old, you know what I mean. She keeps me guessing from one minute to the next with zany questions and wild, made up stories. A well-respected librarian once told me that we need to stimulate curiosity in children because it’s the key to life-long learning. I heartily agree. That’s largely why “Satisfy Curiosity: Lifelong Learning” is part of the library’s strategic plan. It applies to all ages and everyone in our community. From toddlers exploring literacy and storytimes, to adults exploring job opportunities or learning new languages, the library has something for every curious person.
You don’t have to be rich and buy a lot of CD’s to explore the world of classical music. Or maybe you already love classical music and want to give hip-hop a try. Start with the library. Perhaps you’re an avid reader of romance and you can’t get enough of the bodice-ripping paperbacks, but you’ve always wondered about the writing of Stephen King. Ask your librarian for a suggestion as to which one to try first. There’s no harm in trying it and finding out you don’t like it…but imagine the world that can open up when you do find a new author or genre. Try exploring the library’s growing collection of foreign films and documentaries; there are so many things to learn in our collections.
And there are many ways to learn without books and DVDs. Tonight I’m taking my daughter to the library to hear a guitarist play. She thinks she wants a pink guitar for Christmas, and tonight just may either seal the deal or change her mind. Sure she’s a little young to sit quietly and listen, but what a great opportunity to expose her to something new. Bring your school agers to the Imagination Playground or send your teens to gaming events at the library. Let them meet other kids and have fun while they’re at it. They might try something new, or make new friends.
It’s not hard to see curiosity in the faces of youngsters. Everything is a wonder around them. Every color, every sound, every feeling is a new experience and they are sponges absorbing it all. As parents, do your best to answer every “why?” question. If you don’t know the answer, the library has books or resources that can help you explore the answer together. But as we get past our school age years, we should never stop being curious about the world around us. We can learn from each other and together if we are willing to listen and explore.
It’s said that a great democracy is based on an informed and engaged citizenry. I believe informed and engaged starts with being curious and interested. The best place to be curious is at the library. What will you try this week?