Why the Library’s a great place for anyone who wants to go to college

Kiara, a high school sophomore who wants to go to college, regularly comes to one of our libraries.  A librarian asked her one day if she thought the library was a good place to get information about college. “Yes!” she replied, and offered some advice for other teens: “If they were trying to prepare for college, I would tell them to go to a library and it could help them out tons!”

Like Kiara, I think the library is an excellent place to go for help getting into college, and here’s why:

  • Librarians and library employees in many cases have already gone to college, or are presently enrolled in college, or will be soon. Talk to us--any of us--and ask for help.
  • Public computers. You probably already know you can get free internet access and computers to use at the library, but did you know how many doors this access opens? Going online you can get college and scholarship guides (listings of what schools offer which degrees and where, and who might be willing to help you pay for it), and you can use Microsoft Word and its spell checker (you have to do lots of writing to get into college and it all needs to be grammatically correct).
  • College & Career prep events listed on the Teen365 page of our website. The Library offers brief tutorials and workshops to help you prepare, and some of these are in-person events … perhaps even at a branch nearby.

  • The Library often has free computer and software classes and/or drop-in sessions to help with electronic devices. I actually used a typewriter my first semester of college … yeah, we won’t pursue that topic!
  • Every library branch has scanners and fax machines available to the public. It is truly amazing how much paperwork just applying to a college requires.
  • With a library card, you can use our free online databases and resources in the E-Library, many of which help with college preparation. BrainFuse, one such resource, provides sample SAT college entrance exams as well as tutors who can help with writing and revising things like college admissions essays. In our Study for Test section, the Testing & Education Resource Center and LearningExpress Library have whole sections on college preparation in addition to more practice exams.
  • Feeling overwhelmed yet? I personally can’t stand writing without some music in the background (it’s like a blanket of self-reassurance I wrap around myself). If the pressure’s getting to you, check out some music on Freegal, our free (and legal) downloading and streaming resource.

What if you’re not ready for the college track? What if high school didn’t quite work out for you? That’s ok! You can still get an education with our help. The Library offers both free GED classes and access to Career Online High School. Getting a high school degree or its equivalent is an important first step. We can help you take it.

In my next post, you will find out what I might say if you caught me at the library and asked my advice on getting into college.