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By Connie Ma from Chicago, United States of America (Close scrutiny of a newspaper.) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org)

Summer Learning Track: Informed and Engaged

“Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.” -- John Adams

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard for democracy, therefore, is education.” -- Franklin D. Roosevelt 

Our nation was founded with the idea that an effective democracy relies on an informed and engaged citizenry. If you're like me, you want to know what is going on in your community and the world, but often get waylaid by other demands on your attention. This summer, let's make a commitment to stay informed and engaged. Take the Richland Library Friends' Summer Learning Challenge! Get started by using this sample Learning Track, or develop your own! 

Whether you're interested in alternative energies, civil rights, immigration, equality in the workplace, job creation, taxes, where our food is coming from, or just want to seem smart at parties, Richland Library can help you get information on all the issues that matter to you.   

Your library card gives you access to local, state, national, and worldwide newspapers and magazines both in print and online. Zinio has a selection of the best news magazines, and you can read full-text articles from hundreds of newspapers and journals through our several news and culture databases. Challenge yourself to read from one of these periodicals every day, and you'll soon be up-to-date on all the headlines. Be sure to choose from a variety of titles to ensure you're getting different viewpoints and a balanced perspective on the issues.  

Some of the great titles available through Zinio:

  • The Nation
  • Foreign Policy
  • The Advocate
  • Mother Jones
  • Newsweek
  • The American Spectator
  • Utne Reader
  • The Economist

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Search these databases to explore all kinds of issues as well as varying perspectives:

This current events database allows researchers to explore social, political & economic issues, scientific discoveries and other popular topics discussed in today's classrooms including controversial opinions and viewpoints.

Brings together information from both sides of social issues, such as Gun Control, Genetic Engineering, Censorship, Endangered Species, and Terrorism. Includes viewpoint articles, contextual topic overviews, government and organizational statistics, biographies of social activists, court cases, profiles of government agencies and special interest groups, newspaper and magazines articles, as well as links to more than 1,800 reviewed and subject-indexed web sites.

Points of View Reference Center contains a balance of materials from all viewpoints, including more than 1,300 main essays, leading political magazines from both sides of the aisle, newspapers, radio & TV news transcripts, primary source documents and reference books.

Not sure where to start? Book-a-Learning Coach and one of our savvy news and research librarians will help you find great resources based on your particular interests. 

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These upcoming programs will help you get the most out of our news, culture, and current events resources, learn about different issues, and participate in the democratic experience by practicing civil discourse:

  • Know Your Rights  --  Thursday, June 12th, 6:30 p.m., Richland Library Southeast AND Thursday, June 19th, 6:30 p.m., Richland Library Northeast

SC Equality will host this free educational forum about LGBT rights and community resources. Topics will include: Relationship Recognition and Protection; Understanding Non-discrimination Policies in Employment, Housing, and Public Accommodations; Transgender Inclusion; Hate Crime Prevention; and Creating Safe Schools for LGBT Youth.

Learn about the multitude of paid databases available at the library and how to access them here and from home. We will give an overview of the types of databases available (newspaper and magazine articles, business, genealogy, literature, learning) and provide demonstrations of some of the more popular databases, such as EBSCO and Mango Languages.

  • Trivia Mondays  -- Monday, July 21st, 6:30 p.m. AND Monday, August 18th, 6:30 p.m., Richland Library Eastover

Compete alone or with a team as we test your knowledge of pop culture trivia.

Learn about the variety of downloadable materials available at the library, including free eBooks, audiobooks, eMagazines, and music. We'll show you how to get started with our major services including Zinio, Freegal, 3M, and Overdrive. Registration is required.

  • Book-a-Learning Coach  --  Richland Library Sandhills

Do you need specialized help with a research project, genealogy, online job applications and/or résumés, or another information need?  Call to book a subject specialist for a one-hour appointment devoted to your questions. Limited to one hour per person per week. Available during regular library hours. Call (803) 699-9230 for an appointment.

*Also available at Richland Library Main. Make an appointment using this online form or call (803) 929-3400.

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How else can you stay informed and engaged?

Help plan the library's future! Visit buildingyourlibrary.com to find out how we're planning to enhance library facilities following November's bond referendum, and track our progress. Then email DesignFreely@richlandlibrary.com to share your ideas and feedback. 

Attend a City of Columbia Council meeting or Richland County Council meeting to see your representatives at work! 

Write a letter to your representatives, to make your informed opinions heard! Find your representative's contact information here

We are so fortunate to live in a democratic society where we can have an impact on the things that matter to us and help shape our own future. But with those rights and privileges comes the responsibility to educate ourselves about the issues. How can we do that? Access Freely at your local library!

 

 


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