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Library’s role in life-long learning

Posted January 16, 2013 in Community Featured, Winterset

IMG_0700As of this writing, New Year’s Eve, we are girding ourselves for a plunge over the fiscal cliff, and we all hope fervently that government negotiators will prevent the plunge in the nick of time.

How is it that our policy-makers can hijack the decision-making process to such a degree?  Is it because we are too busy to involve ourselves in the issues?  Too uninterested to participate in our own government?

Come to think of it, I don’t know how to fix my car when it breaks down. I can’t begin to fix my computer when it goes to the “blue screen of death.” Seems like our lack of political involvement has a strong similarity to our dependence on technologies that we do not understand, and that we could definitely not fix with a screwdriver or pair of pliers should it go astray.

From my decades in community development, I learned we can best change a system by getting involved in the system. How long has it been since you tried to change, or at least got involved in, a social cause or a political system? What is holding you back? How long since you have voted? How long since you have volunteered?

Libraries strive to provide citizens with access to information so they can participate in the dialogue and the decision-making process.  I believe that is one of the public library’s major contributions to society.

The government relies more and more on electronic communications. Even though nearly 80 percent of Americans filed their taxes electronically in 2011, there are still many people who do not use computers.  The library offers free classes in computer basics, so call the library, and you can get started on that journey. The Iowa Legislature just started paying for “Learning Express Library” in every Iowa library. This program takes you by the hand and lets you discover how to use a computer through a self-learning process.  Need to practice your computer skills?  Come to the library — we have 12 of them for just this purpose.

Perhaps you prefer a paper tax form. Did you know that the library is one of the few places in town where you can get printed forms?  Come on in — we will be glad to help you get the forms you need.

We are all on a journey of life-long learning.  Get on board by discovering your library.

Winterset Public Library
123 North Second St.
462-1731 • Hours:
Mon. – Thur.: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fri. – Sat.: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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