By Nicole Fowles
Glad You Asked
Last week I had the privilege of spending a day at the Ohio Statehouse speaking with members of the Ohio legislature about the work that libraries are doing in this state for Ohio Library Day. The day is organized by the Ohio Library Council and attended by public library staff. Ohio’s public libraries came from all ends of the state, from Cincinnati to Ashtabula. We used our time to advocate for funding, educate about resources, and provide updates directly to our representatives.
One of the most beautiful aspects of the day is that the flow of information goes both ways. While librarians are typically very good at disseminating information, we also love to learn. During our lunch with state Sen. Andrew Brenner, we had an intriguing discussion about the rise of artificial intelligence (or AI), especially as it pertains to students and the creation of original work (versus the “help” that something like ChatGPT provides). Where do libraries find themselves in a world where AI can be both a useful resource and an unethical tool for plagiarism?
We heard an update from Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine regarding their support of public libraries and their continued work with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio. This incredible resource sets our youngest Ohio residents up for success by providing one free book each month from birth until their 5th birthday. Ohio children can enroll anytime between birth and age 5 by simply visiting OhioImaginationLibrary.org. Kids who are enrolled at birth will receive 60 books by the time they “graduate” from the program!
Research shows that a child with just 25 books in the home will complete an average of two more years of school than a child without books. A child who cannot read well is four times more likely to drop out of high school before graduation —lessening job prospects and lower earning potential in adulthood. For reasons like this, Ohio’s public libraries work especially hard to prepare our young readers for school through storytimes and early literacy activities. However, should an adult still need job assistance, we also work to provide resume help, job search resources, and skill-building training.
Delaware County District Library is certainly a hub in our communities for people to gather and learn. As we continue to serve our greater Delaware, Ostrander, Powell, Liberty Township and Orange Township areas, we look forward to the ongoing partnership from the Ohio legislature.
This week stretch your muscles and your mind with a selection of books that explore the physical and philosophical challenges in life.
• “Sorry, Sorry, Sorry: The Case for Good Apologies” by Marjorie Ingall and Susan McCarthy. What makes good apologies good, bad apologies bad, and why they’re important for individuals and institutions alike. Read it for the well-organized, actionable recommendations for learning to apologize better and for the right reasons. Reviewers say that “…this book, at its core, could change lives” (Booklist).
• “The Creative Act: A Way of Being” by Rick Rubin. The nature, power, and importance of creativity and how anyone can (and should) approach it with openness and curiosity. Nine-time Grammy winner Rick Rubin is the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings and producer who has worked with artists including Adele, Rage Against the Machine, and Run-DMC.
• “The Fun Habit: How the Pursuit of Joy and Wonder Can Change Your Life” by Mike Rucker, PhD. A research-based, yet accessible, guide to the importance of leisure and play in our lives and how to make time and space for the restorative power of joy. Although the topic may seem unimportant compared to more urgent concerns, learning about the research explored here might change your mind about the health implications of an “all work and no play” attitude.
• “The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control: A Path to Peace and Power” by Katherine Morgan Schafler. The ups and downs of perfectionism, the different forms it can take, and how to harness this powerful personality trait without overdoing it. Read it for the author’s personal, self-effacing reflections on the topic as she explores perfectionism in general alongside her own perfectionist tendencies.
• “The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness” by Robert Waldinger, MD and Marc Schulz, PhD. How to live your best life, based on an ongoing, multigenerational study of happiness that began in 1938. How it works: every 15 years, study participants (or their descendants) are surveyed in person about their satisfaction with their lives.
• “Outsmart Your Brain: Why Learning Is Hard and How You Can Make It Easy” by Daniel T. Willingham, Ph.D. A practical, research-based guide to how the brain learns and how to make the most of it. Straightforward, actionable tips are presented in digestible, well-organized sections at the end of each chapter. Reviewers say it is “highly informative and inspiring: a must-read for students of any age” (Kirkus Reviews).
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at [email protected] No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!