It’s summertime, and while most of us don’t get a three-month summer break that a lot of school-aged kids enjoy, the warmer weather and kids being home still contributes to a “slower, dog days of summer” vibe that solidifies the season as the preferential time of year to go on vacation.

It’s the time of year with a comparatively limited amount of demanding calendar holidays and travel-inhibiting weather, so a lot of us try to take advantage of this time to kick back and escape from the craziness that surrounds our lives the rest of the year.

Why not use this time to finally pursue those hobbies, projects or goals you’ve always wanted to try but never had the time or got around to doing for whatever reason? Goal-making and the pursuit of new avenues of interest doesn’t have to be limited to New Year’s resolutions, and what better way to create new beginnings than by grabbing some resources from the local library?

The borrowing system the library is fundamentally built around is perfect for those wanting to learn a new skill or expand upon preexisting interests because with most skills and activities, you only have to learn how to do them once. Why buy a guide when it will inevitably lose relevance in the future?

When you master a new ability, you don’t need to keep instructions lying around anymore. Simply come to the library, quickly and easily check out an item for free, learn the material and return it when you’re done. It gives you the opportunity to get great information about a plethora of subjects and activities without having to sink money into something that may not end up working out in the end as well.

Furthermore, we aren’t limited to books as a resource. We have DVDs and audiobooks available as well to help out those who would benefit with audiovisual learning options. You have the option of combining methods for the ultimate learning experience. For example, if you’re interested learning a new language, you can use a book to help with the grammar and written elements and an audio guide to help with pronunciation and inflection.

The question remains: Why come to the library when you have the Internet?

While the Internet represents a massive wealth of information, it can be so incredibly far-reaching and unfiltered that it can be very deterring toward someone looking for helpful and accurate material.

Searching for one “how to…” can result in millions of results — many of which are either too detailed or too simplistic for our needs. Many hits are posts and personal blogs that can be published by any person at any time with or without expertise, professional or otherwise.

On the other hand, most published books, DVDs, and other media have to go through a vigorous production process where the information is generally fact-checked, edited and streamlined to remain as clear and accurate as possible. Worried about our information being up-to-date?

We are constantly purchasing the latest publications to ensure that we have the most recent resources made available to our patrons. We also consider your suggestions; if you ever feel that our collection would benefit from adding a certain book, DVD or even magazine subscription, you can always let us know.

For more information, visit www.lacrossecountylibraries.org or visit any of the five La Crosse County Library locations: Bangor, Campbell, Holmen, Onalaska and West Salem.

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