Julie Clinefelter: New Year’s resolutions and the Austin Public Library – 2024

Published 7:30 pm Tuesday, January 2, 2024

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It is the beginning of a new year and along with the days finally starting to get longer, people start thinking about resolutions. Often, these resolutions tend to have us looking inward and at the negative things we see in ourselves. The resolutions we make are often well intentioned, but hard to stick to. Might I suggest an alternative this year?

This new year, resolve to turn outwards to your community.

Instead of a resolution to exercise more, resolve to visit the new rec center and see what programs they offer, or try out the Nature Center’s new cross country skis. Instead of a resolution to eat healthier, resolve to attend one of the Welcome Center’s Inviting Table events or the Taste of Nations to explore foods from other cultures.

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The library can help with these new resolutions as well. Have you always wanted to learn a language? Did you know that the library has a free language app that includes 70 languages, and is accessible on your computer or phone? You could also attend one of our Multilingual Storytimes to hear stories read in a variety of languages spoken in Austin. Want to learn to play an instrument? We have ukuleles that can be checked out and there are many free sites online to help get you started. Want to read more in 2024? Check out Reading For Life on our website, where we have lectures and podcasts you can listen to, discussing eight different classic novels. Then come in and talk to our librarians about what you liked best, which novels you didn’t like, or just to find suggestions on what to read next.

Maybe you want to spend more time with your significant other this year, but are frustrated there is no longer a movie theater in town. The library offers free access to Kanopy, a streaming service that offers TV shows, movies and documentary films. Have you been putting off writing that novel? Our website can direct you to free self-publishing resources. Do you want to find out why SnapChat is so big with the kids right now, but struggle with technology? Come and join our tech class in January and see what other adults think about all the apps out there. Perhaps you never learned how to sew, and now your favorite outfit has a hole in it. Try out a sewing class, and learn how to mend your clothes while meeting other community members. Curious about the new neighbors who speak another language, but not sure how to approach them? Come see what the library has on hand to learn about other cultures, or attend one of our events highlighting the different cultures

As you can see, our community has much to offer, and the library, in particular, has the added bonus of offering additional access to information, people and community resources for free.

The last few years have been challenging for everyone, and as a result, many of us are feeling a bit more isolated than we have in the past. Make a resolution this year to turn your gaze outward and see all the things this great community has to offer you in 2024.