Besides having a great range of books for loan (which you can access via the online catalogue and request delivery to your nearest branch), there's free Internet access (at all branches except Mudgeeraba), newspapers, magazines and DVDs too. But that's only the beginning. Pop into your local library and pick up a copy of the Calendar of Events booklet.
I was amazed when we moved to Australia, as to how much was on offer, how well it's organised and better still, it's free. The events cater for all ages, with everything from Baby Rhyme time, to PJ Storytime sessions and Saturday Tales for young children, to after school fun with the Bookbites Reading Club, Wink, Blink & Think games sessions and even a Stardust Junior Astronomy Club. For teenagers there's sessions on skin care for teens, de-stress yoga and meditation, plus loud in the library for some computer / Wii fun and even a Halloween movie night. But it doesn't end there.
There are school holiday activities - this issue has a section with the dinosaur theme. There are sessions under the banner of lifestyle and learning with a film club, money matters financial info, guitar workshops, computer skills sessions and so much more. Seniors have a section too along with health and wellness and business skills sections.
Image courtesy of Gold Coast Libraries
The Calendar of Events booklet, published quarterly, lists the topics, dates, times and the host library for each event. Some activities have a maximum number like computer skills as they will have only a set number of computers available. The popular ones such as building a website do book out quite quickly, so phone in as soon as you decide, to secure your place. The branch library details can be found here. Free Wi-Fi is available in all Branch libraries except Mudgeeraba & the Mobile library. You need to join the library before you can take advantage of all it offers.
My Top 10 things to Learn at the Library, in 2012, would have to be:
1. A writing course, since I love to write - such as "Creative Writing for Beginners" with author Richard Davis. This award winning author will be at Elanora Library on Tues 23 Oct, 2012, from 10am noon. Or there's "The Building Blocks for Writing Great Fiction" presented by published author and professional editor, Kathleen Stewart, at Robina on Fri 28 Sep 10 11.30am.
2. To help my writing, I should be booking on the "Typing Ace" session, which promises to take me from my "one finger wonder level of ability, to a touch typist, in no time". How useful would that be for writing. There are 3 sessions available at: Nerang, Robina & Runaway Bay.
3."Tai Chi" with its flowing, graceful, movements, physical toning of the body and calming of the mind is a definite. There's a session at Robina library on Wednesday 17 Oct, 1.30pm 2.30pm.
4."Running Your Own Super Fund" at Robina on Mon 10 Sep 1 - 3pm falls under the" Money Matters" heading. A Financial Information Service Officer presents this workshop from Centrelink. It could be a useful session if you are an immigrant from overseas.
5. One of my daughters makes the most amazing origami cranes. I'll put Elanora library's "Origami" session on my list 3 Wednesdays - 5 Sep, 10 Oct & 7 Nov 1.30 2.30 pm to learn this ancient art of Japanese paper folding, so I can surprise her.
6."Fabric, Fibre and Fashion" sounds like an interesting afternoon at Robina library (Thurs 27 Sep 1.30 3pm) with professional costume designer, Graham Purcell, as he presents a look at what we wear, following the journey of clothing's evolution in the last 2000 years.
7. Local gourmet chef Alessandra Alfredo will prepare "Gluten free food for a busy lifestyle", in the Robina session on Mon 15 Oct 10.30 noon.
8."Baby rhyme time" has to be in the top 10, for my little friend who is not yet 2. Robina library have a great singing/ action rhyme session on Tues & Wed mornings from 9.15 9.45 for babies. Helping another person learn is as rewarding as learning yourself.
9. If I had some guitar skills I'd be first to sign up for the "Guitar Workshop" at Nerang library on Thursdays 13 Sep & 27 Sep 5.30 6.30pm. I also am interested in "The Property King" - Local property expert, Sean Summerville "offers a guiding hand through the property investment maze" at Southport library on Thurs 8 Nov 6 7.30pm.
10. Last but not least would have to be "Facebook the Next Step", designed for those with a Facebook account, who want to "discover more of the fun features and functions available". It will be held at Robina library on Thurs 1st Nov 2 3pm. Then, perhaps I could impress my teenagers, with some increased knowledge of Facebook.
Remember to book a place on any of the sessions (unless listed as "No Need To Book" in the booklet). That way, if there's any changes to the above schedule, you'll be aware before you go and have reserved your seat, so you're not disappointed. A session on "Building Websites" I first tried to book, was booked out, but by phoning nearer the time, you can sometimes secure a cancellation place.
If you miss these events, there's a booklet out every quarter, with changing topics. I applaud the library for this initiative, which anyone in the community can benefit from. Libraries I have visited in different parts of the world, have so much less, so go on, take advantage of what's on offer on your doorstep and learn something new.