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Welcome to Way Out West your unofficial guide to living, working and studying in the west of the province

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This week is National Libraries Week, an annual showcase and celebration of the best that libraries have to offer, highlighting the innovative and surprising things that libraries are doing to support their communities.

In 2020, Libraries Week is celebrating our much-loved libraries, the vital role they play in the UK’s book culture, and the contribution they make towards building a Nation of Readers. The official National Libraries week have been celebrating the last few days with certain campaigns, such as #ExpressYourShelf, where they have been inviting the nation to share a photo of the books that have shaped their world. Here on Way out West however, we’re looking at five simple ways a library can improve your life.

You can keep up to date with Libraries Week 2020 by following @librariesweek and the hashtag: #LibrariesWeek.

BOOKS

First things first…Libraries are an invaluable facility to find any book you’re looking for. They stock thousands of them, and most libraries will be able to order in additional titles for you. As well as providing what you have in mind, they’re perfect for helping you find something new. If you go to your local library with some time to spare and an open mind, you’re sure to find an endless variety of books you’re interested in reading. What’s more, they won’t cost you a penny, because libraries are one of the last remaining free resources we have at our disposal.

FREE FACILITIES

The free resources don’t stop with books. We think of libraries and we think of reading, but they also provide other facilities that people might not have. We’re so used to having our own laptops and devices that it’s easy for forget that some people still depend on libraries for access to computers and wi-fi. Likewise, when you start a new course or a different path of education, you may need programmes that only the computers in your college library have. Libraries subscribe to online database services that most people could not afford on their own, and with a simple library card you can access them for free.

DISCOVER NEW COMMUNITIES

Libraries play host to all sorts of events, including book clubs, study groups, evening classes, and even movie nights or musical performances. They often provide events that nowhere else does and are always welcoming and eager to invite people into their community. This is another great way to use them as a place of discovery!

An Oasis in a busy world

As well as all the books and facilities you can get in a library, some people love them primarily for the peace and quiet they provide. They are a place to get books, but also the perfect spot to read in; a place to access research and information, but also the location you might revise best, or finally be able to concentrate fully on a piece of coursework.

YOU CAN MAKE IT PART OF YOUR ROUTINE

Libraries are a great place to get things done. All the things they have to offer, which we’ve mentioned already, mean that they put you in a perfect frame of mind to be mentally engaged, relaxed and productive. If you make it part of your routine then you’ll soon associate the library with productivity, and a library visit will become one of the most productive parts of your week.

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