The self imposed 24 hour Wikipedia blackout has just ended. Students trying to do their research without blatantly copying may have been forced to visit an institution that only their parent’s had heard about. The library.
When I attended school, the library was kind of known as a geeky place. The majority of the books were on dirgey school topics or as closely aligned to education as possible. Apart from the section on ghosts and science fiction, which was kind of cool. This library layout is understandable. It’s a school asset. Unfortunately this library setup creates a perception gap in our minds once we leave school. We leave school thinking ‘libraries are for school books… boring.’
But these days nothing could be further from the truth. Your local library (well if it’s any good) has a diverse range of practical business books, up to date technology manuals, back issues of specialty magazines, insightful biographies and a full collection of Mills and Boon romance novels (apparently ‘Decoded’ is the best).
You don’t blink at borrowing a DVD for entertainment, so why shy away from borrowing a book to further your knowledge? Libraries are incredible free assets that you should take full advantage of. Otherwise you’re a fool.
Which brings me to one of my favourite quotations:
” You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” Charlie Jones
Or put simply, you need to be exposed to ideas and knowledge to continually grow and succeed. Go ahead and stand on the shoulders of giants that have paved the way before and learn from their mistakes and triumphs. You will be surprised how they can help you further your own small business or activity.
I’ve normally got one or two books out from the library at one time. Personally, I have borrowed books on marketing, sales, design, coding, photography, leadership and innovation. The best way to read these books is with a pen and paper. This allows you to note key ideas and concepts that you can later adapt. But this technique is for another post.
Yes I admit, I’ve borrowed some bad excuses for books as well – so I just found myself skimming the pages and admiring the pretty pictures. But it was no big loss, as they didn’t cost me anything. Plus truth be known, I did learn one or two things from those bad books anyway – so it all helps.
Below are the benefits you get out of using a library
- You have access to free books, CDs and DVDs
- You can usually borrow unlimited items
- You can usually renew these items twice online, so there’s no need to trapse back to the library for a new stamp
- Most libraries have free internet and WIFI
- Libraries are quiet, freeing you from distraction so you can complete a work task
- Reserving a popular book that’s on loan, then being notified of its subsequent availability
And if you are a fiction junkie, you can also go nuts in the story aisle to help you sleep at night (see point 5).
So, next time you find yourself hovering around your local library, slip on in and sign up for a free library card. Try out two or three books that you think could help your small business and flick through them with a cup of coffee.
Growing your small business,
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