San Marcos Public Library has a variety of learning resources.
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SAN MARCOS PUBLIC LIBRARY
625 E. HOPKINS ST.
Answers to Go
Q. What kind of learning resources does the library have?
A. This is a frequent question we get at the library. Often, people have a general idea of what they want to know and just want to see what the library has that can help them. Sometimes they discover learning opportunities they never thought we would have. To that end, below is a discussion of just a few of the resources that may help you accomplish your learning goals.
Obviously, the library has books. While books are definitely our “thing,” we do have other resources because not everyone learns the same way. The most important resource we have is people. We have a diverse staff that have varied knowledge backgrounds and, even when it is not their “job,” they still share their knowledge. For example, do you like jewelry? Would you like to learn more on that subject and make some jewelry? We have a staff member whose hobby is jewelry making and she shares that skill with the public. The next Jewelry Club program is Monday, Sept. 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. To register for the program, just call the library at 512-393-8200. Spaces are limited, so call soon. All materials are free and provided by the library. Library programs are always free — another bonus.
In addition to our staff, we are fortunate to have a number of volunteers that give their time freely to teach and lead classes. For example, in September we have the Texas Master Gardeners visiting on the Sept. 8 and 22. They can answer questions specific to Central Texas gardening. Another example is our partnership with the LifeLong Learning organization. In September, they will be providing an Artsy Photography class. In October, they will present a course called Geology Overview for the Inquisitive Adult. To register for these free programs, just give us a call. Another series of courses you may be interested in is Philosophy Dialogues. The library has collaborated with Texas State to offer this series of topics for discussion. As described by the university, this program “enriches the cultural and academic life of both the university and broader community by providing an open forum for the lively exchange and critical evaluation of diverse ideas. The Dialogue Series provides a structured opportunity for thoughtful conversation about topics of common concern.” On Sept. 28 at 3:30 p.m., Vicente Lopes will be going over the philosophy of Healing Ecology and Sustainable Systems. These are just a small sampling of the free classes and courses available at the Library.
The library has online (digital) learning resources through the Texas State Library’s TexShare Databases. For example, Learning Express Library is a database freely available to library cardholders. It has a wide variety of information and tutorials, including computer skills, educator resources, digital books, practice tests for specific professions and general career information. To use this resource, you just need a library card and the password. The password is available by calling the library.
Another set of learning resources are the great number of documenta- ries on DVD the library has. However, if you prefer a streaming service, the library recently purchased access to Kanopy, which has hundreds of documentaries and independent (indie) films, Great Courses, and other series freely available. All you need is a library card to use this service.
If you or someone you know needs to learn how they can get a job or enrich their current job performance, we can help with that, too. Our Workforce Librarian is offering a six-week course on Tuesdays beginning on Sept. 13 called “Taking Charge of Your Career.” Building on the work of Richard Bolles’, “What Color is Your Parachute,” this workshop will provide you with a unique and step-by-step process of self and career exploration. This course is for people who are looking for a new career, as well as people who are currently employed, but would like to explore more options. To register, just call the library.
Perhaps you would like to learn to play bridge or chess? We have groups that meet here that can help you with that, too. Again, it is all free. Because space may be limited, just check with us about registration.
To summarize: If you want to learn a new skill, increase your knowledge on a topic, or just have a place to relax and learn while you read a book — this is the place for you.
To view the library’s calendar, visit our website at www.sanmarcostx. gov/library or just pick up a paper copy at the library, Suzanne Sanders is the columnist for the library. She is the Community Services Manager for the San Marcos Public Library and came from the Austin Public Library in 2015 after having served there as a librarian for over 20 years. She gratefully accepts your questions for this column.