by Jenn Slone
originally published in the Chillicothe Gazette, July 4, 2021
While I’m celebrating Independence Day this year, I also happen to be asking myself: Just how independent am I, really?
I rely on big Agriculture for most of my food and big Tech for most of my entertainment; I pay people to do maintenance on my car and home; I have common household items delivered right to my door; and I let someone read books to me, for goodness’ sake. I’m completely useless.
Most folks have probably seen that meme online about “What Gives People Feelings of Power.” For gardeners, it’s growing a tomato. For cat lovers, it’s when a cat chooses to sit on your lap. You get the point. I wholeheartedly believe that doing something for yourself also gives you immense feelings of power. Have you ever changed our own tire? Stopped a leak in your house? Painted a picture? All of those things give you a feeling of control and confidence, something everyone needs right about now. Doing things for yourself is cheaper than paying someone else to do those things, and it makes your brain grow.
How could you reclaim your independence? Take back over one meager part of your life, or at least give it a try. You could start a small garden and grow your own food; learn how to change your car’s oil; start playing a musical instrument; or take an online course to strengthen your skills.
The library offers a variety of resources to help you stand on your own two feet:
- A Seed Library – Check out packets of seeds when you visit and get growing!
- Chilton’s Auto Repair Library Online – Tutorials and diagrams help you fix and maintain an extensive list of vehicles.
- Creativebug – Online arts and crafts instruction help scratch the creative itch.
- Artistworks – Learn how to play an instrument from Grammy award-winning musicians.
- Research your heritage with genealogy resources like Ancestry, HeritageQuest, African American Heritage, Fold3 Military Records, and more.
- Take an online course for free with Gale Courses or LinkedIn Learning, or learn a new language with Transparent Language.
- Schedule a free, one-on-one Tech Tutoring session to brush up on your technology skills or learn about your device.
- Take serious matters into your own hands by printing and filling out your own Ohio legal forms (wills, rental agreements, etc.) with NuWav Legal Documents.
- The Ohio Web library has several DIY-friendly resources, like the Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center and the Home Improvement Reference Center.
- Check out a cake pan, cookie cutters, some crochet needles, and a variety of other nontraditional items from our Beyond Books collection.
- All of our libraries offer what we call “Take and Makes,” which are essentially grab-and-go craft kits in a bag. Stop by your local branch to take and make one for yourself.
- And of course, all of our libraries have an abundance of nonfiction books and DVD documentaries on a variety of subjects, crafts, and skills. Check some out today, and start your path to independence.
Information about these and other library services is available at CRCPL.org.
Jenn Slone is the Access Team Leader at CRCPL, where she independently oversees the Information Technology, Technical Processing, and Outreach departments.