Monday, August 4, 2008

Don't forget about the library!

Public libraries can be great places to learn about science. In addition to housing a variety of books, many libraries sponsor free or low-cost activities -- some with science themes -- for the public.

I am fortunate enough to live in an area with a wonderful and easy-to-use public library system. I can request books online from branches all over the county and have them sent to my home library to be picked up at my convenience. (I found this especially helpful when my boys were younger and went through their shrieking phases!)
But, more importantly, I love that our library system sponsors various science-based events and activities. Last month, you could bring in your sick plants to be examined by a master gardener, attend a tween lecture on forensics (really!), see a theater-style performance about a spider, learn about the county fair, talk to zoo keepers and meet some oft-feared animals, and attend live show with performing dogs. All these events were free, but you had to dig a little to find them.

Does your library have a website? Look up the calendar of events - you might be surprised at what you find there. If your library isn't cyber-ready, chat up the librarian and see what events might be coming soon. And don't be shy about visiting neighboring libraries if yours isn't the best -- I regularly frequent four to five within driving distance of where I live.

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