As students prepare for a new school year, everyone who wants to learn has the opportunity to do so at the Chickasha Public Library. One of the great things about public libraries is that education and information are freely available to everyone, which makes it a great place for self-directed learning. There are opportunities for both current students, as well as those who have been out of school for a long time, to fill in subject area gaps, study for exams, review past knowledge, and find out more about something completely new and fascinating.
For those wanting to learn something specific, Universal Class is a database that offers over 500 free online courses that can be used for continuing education credits, to develop new office skills, or simply because the subject looks interesting. From the Chickasha Public Library homepage, click on E-Resources to find several educational databases, and then click on Universal Class. There are courses in all academic subjects, as well as computer training, business, career training, resume writing, homeschooling, genealogy, test preparation, and writing skills. In addition to practical knowledge, there are also more esoteric and interest-based courses, including digital photography, landscaping, habits of millionaires, clutter control, meditation, cake decorating, innovative thinking, speed reading, and the art of breathing. You can take as many of these courses as you want and work at your own pace.
Another online database is EBSCOhost (also listed on E-Resources), which provides free access to academic sources for research and writing papers. This provides students with reliable, peer-reviewed information and studies that are often hidden by online paywalls. In addition, a toolbar on the side can show how to cite that article using different formats.
If you prefer learning through print books, there are many of those as well. There are study guides for all of the major academic exams (SAT, SAT, PSAT, GED, GRE), as well as for police, fire, postal, and military exams. Individual subject areas can be found throughout the nonfiction section. Staff can help find books about specific information, such as how to use an iPhone (004.1675 Pogue), increasing your Spanish vocabulary (463.2 Larousse), vehicle repair (629), writing a resume (650.14 Rosenberg), World War 2 (940.5), Oklahoma history (976.6), or extraterrestrial worlds (999).
If you are a beginner in a particular area, any book in the “for dummies” series is a good option for learning the basics of something before moving on to more advanced or specialized material. There are also many books in the 900s that can give a broad, general overview of historical events or geographic areas.
Wandering through the stacks and browsing through books is also a highly recommended way to encounter all kinds of knowledge. It is also a great way to gain an appreciation of just how much information there is to learn about everything. Whether it is something as specific as sailing knots (623.8882 Altimiras) and soil management (635.0489 Reid), or the latest scientific discovery (500s), learning is a never-ending process that lasts a lifetime. While it is impossible to understand the totality of human knowledge (which is always increasing), it can be fun to try to learn as much as possible about a variety of different subjects.
Finally, if you would like to learn about a specific title or subject that the library does not yet have, you can always talk to staff about a material request, and we will try to find something for you. Finding information is what we do and connecting people with the resources for intellectual discovery and educational attainment benefits the entire community.