Are you stuck at home wishing you could be transported somewhere new and feel inspired again? Where else could you explore a new culture, idea, art, or adventure at any given moment?
I have the answer and it’s in your community – the library! Today, April 23 happens to be World Book Day, organized by UNESCO, in order to promote reading, publishing, and copyright. Sounds to me like it would be a perfect day for traveler’s to become reacquainted with the library.
Think back to what it was that sparked your desire to travel in the first place…
Was it a Grimm’s fairy tale that took place in castles you saw brought to life in Germany?
Possibly, it was a book on Greek and Roman mythology and ancient sites that dot the Mediterranean?
Maybe, it was an epic tale of adventurers who pushed themselves to extreme limits to cross the circumference of the globe all by manpower?
Perhaps, it was to see the sites of inspiration for Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’?
… Or it was ‘Eat.Pray.Love’?
Regardless, many explorers and travelers discover their passion and desire for the unknown in the library. If you are unable to travel at the moment, volunteering at the library is a fulfilling way to tickle your travel bone.
I would suggest putting together a program idea or an interactive activity to present to your local library manager. Librarians are very open-minded individuals whose job it is to promote ideas and community education. They love creativity, enthusiasm, and a well thought out plan.
The library is a great place to present a program that hasn’t been done before and has a lot of potential to attract interest from community residents. Here are some program ideas that could be used in your local library:
- Start a book club dedicated to travel writing or international fiction
- Introduction to the library’s language learning resources
- Trip research program
- Map Reading program
- Travel Photography program
- Children’s story time focused on multicultural themes
- Introduction to Travel Blogs, Online Magazines, and Blogging
- Travel on a Budget: Tips and Resources
- Craft classes based on international art and crafts
Don’t forget that libraries are not all about books anymore! Now, they have evolved into information hubs where a person can access knowledge through many different mediums. In this era of ‘information overload’, it’s important to make sure to get the facts from a reputable source. In this respect, libraries still trump Google search.
Every great trip starts with oodles of preparation and research that many people haven’t ever had to do or know where to even begin. That’s where you and the librarian would come in. As the volunteer and experienced traveler, you have the first hand knowledge for correct interpretation and the librarian has the skills to make sure each patron and potential traveler has the right facts.
Not only will you get to re-live your adventures and share them with others, there are the professional benefits to volunteering. The experience of collaborating, managing, and executing an educational program inspired by your previous travels for the community will be a gold star on your resume.