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Lifelong Learning

Part of NYPL's Mission is to inspire lifelong learning. No matter your age, where you are in life or what new thing you are trying to learn, you can follow this channel to get suggested resources as well as support and inspiration.

Images: How to mend broken china.
How to preserve autumn leaves.
How to increase lung power.
How to draw an ellipse with string.
How to Find the North.
How to "swat that fly".

Booktalking "Money Secrets of the Amish" by Lorilee Craker

Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without. That could be considered the mantra for the Amish. They are experts at money saving and penny-pinching, but they do not live in a state of deprivation. Americans tend to want to discard materials as soon as they show the least signs of wear; we tend to be in love with new, shiny things. Much of the marketing we are bombarded with every day features items that we can completely live without, and sometimes our lives are much easier without them.

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Find New Hobbies at the Library

My father was a fan of George Bernard Shaw, and I myself firmly believe in the wisdom of the quote often misattributed to Mr. Shaw, "Youth is wasted on the young." This adage, as well as my late father's utter exasperation when I refused to heed his wise counsel, which was a product of a combination of his prescience and a long life of various experiences, came full circle when I recently received a telephone call from my sixteen year old niece, Amanda.

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Survival: Tips and Resources on How to Survive with Patience and Fortitude

Most New Yorkers do not aim to simply survive, but to thrive. But let’s face it, we’ve all taken it on the chin of late. People from all over, not just New Yorkers, often feel their stress-levels rising. Whether you're trying to survive workplace stress, natural disasters, or physical violence, mental toughness, physical fitness, active participation in your community and knowledge of your surroundings, coupled with the readiness to move can often make the difference in not just surviving, but also in thriving.

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Learn to Express Yourself Through Art: Free Courses for Midlife and Older Adults

Thanks to Lifetime Arts for securing funding and inviting our library system to participate, NYPL is once again able to offer free sustained art courses, taught by professional teaching artists, for adults age 55 and over. Seventeen branch libraries have received funding that enables them to host these classes, which will take place from February-November 2013, and which cover a wide variety of arts including: painting, sculpting, collage, memoir-writing/performance, drawing, and quilt-making.

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Conquer Clutter in 2013

Happy New Year's Eve! This year remember that the New York Public Library can help you in achieving any of your self-improvement or lifelong learning goals.

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Thinking about Grad School? NYPL Can Help!

As the year is coming to an end, many of us are already planning for new and exciting changes in the upcoming year. Some people may consider different vacation spots, career changes or even returning to school. If you are part of the group interested in going to graduate school, we can help!

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NYPL's Gift to Online Learners... lynda.com for Free!

In this season of gift giving, the New York Public Library has just added a wonderful new resource — lynda.com — for New Yorkers who need the top of the line in online software training. NYPL's business library, SIBL, has entered into a year long pilot to provide free access to the continuously expanding library of 1,500 online training videos.

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The Art and Science of Cooking

I like to cook, but I am not much of a baker. There is one yearly exception... the transition to autumn and then the holiday season usually puts me in a baking mood. For the past few Christmases I've made biscotti — Italian cookies flavored with nuts, spices, or dried fruits. They are something of a tradition in my family. This year when I got out my mixing bowl I grabbed a dry measure for the flour and sugar, but then I put it away. I decided not to use it.

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The Art of the Personal Essay with Charles Salzberg

Charles Salzberg, faculty member, and one of the founders of the New York Writer's Workshop, gave a one-evening seminar at the Mid-Manhattan Library on December 11th. Sign-ups for the evening's seminar closed at the 15 people who registered online at the New York Public Library's website, but Mr. Salzberg graciously allowed in 9 more people. To introduce the program, I brought two copies of The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberg, and asked the participants whether they had heard of this title, which remained on the New York Times' Bestseller List for many weeks a few years ago.

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My Library: Shauna

This week, we are wrapping up our second semester of French classes at Jefferson Market. After Saturday's class, we caught up with Shauna, one of the students.

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11 Free Websites to Practice English at Home

At the New York Public Library's Adult Learning Centers, where adults work on basic English and literacy skills, we're often asked for recommendations of websites for adults to practice English at home. Below you'll find eleven sites, some with a focus on listening, some on vocabulary, others on grammar, and some with a range of activities. Happy learning!

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My Library: Philosophy Class

The Jefferson Market Library continues to offer multi-session courses in subjects taught by college professors — just like you'd take in an adult continuing education program at a university. Recently we offered a free six-session Introduction to Western Philosophy course. Here's what two participants in that course, Carlos and Shaan, had to say:

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Personal Finance Reading Recommendations

For me, the fall has always been a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. The promise of many new school years continues long past graduation as I advance in age and each autumn still feels like an opportunity.

This year I have been getting my finances in order and naturally I used library resources, the most fiscally responsible tools available. Where to start? My Financial Intelligence list of accessible personal finance resources has a few recent titles explaining "the new normal."

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Celebrating Art Beyond Sight: The Value of Creating and Appreciating Art for Those with Low Vision

In October, museums and other cultural organizations throughout the U.S. and the world celebrate the 10th annual Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month. The goal: "making pictorial literacy and access to the world of art a reality for all blind people."

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Robot Dawn: The Stage Origins of a Sci-Fi Idol

Nothing is more strange to man than his own image. —Dr. Alquist, sole survivor of the robot rebellion.

It's standard sci-fi melodrama now: The robots evolve and become indistinguishable from their creators. They rise up and in their revolt decide to eradicate the human race. Sound familiar? Well, before you start looking for Arnold Schwarzenegger, it's not 1984 and we're not in a movie theatre. The year is 1922 and it's all happening live on stage in an Off-Broadway theatre on 35th Street.

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Creative Aging Continues to Bloom at The New York Public Library

In recent decades, much has been said about the demographic changes that New York City shares with the rest of the world. Yes, we are getting older!

One widespread response has been a surge of programs to promote creativity in mid- and later life. NYPL has happily participated in these efforts, especially since 2010 when we started partnering with Lifetime Arts Inc. to offer our first Creative Aging courses, which took place in six branch libraries. Each course was taught by a professional teaching artist and lasted a minimum of eight 90-minute classes so that the two goals of the project — mastery of the basics of the art, and social engagement of the participants 

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Why Save Languages? A Few Words About Language Extinction and Revitalization

There is no language like the Irish for soothing and quieting. —John Millington Synge, The Aran Islands

When I think of my father during my growing-up years, I usually picture him relaxing after work in a kitchen chair with a newspaper, next to the radiator. Did he sit there because its warmth took him back to the hearth that was the heart of the cottage he grew up in, in the rural west of Ireland?

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Crochet Made Simple: How Books Written for a Younger Audience Can be the Best Teachers

I tried several crocheting books with what appeared to be simple enough patterns for a beginner, but I couldn’t get it. I’m a patient person when it comes to learning new things, but I found the instructions in these books confusing. Even Crocheting for Dummies seemed a bit too advanced.

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GED Resources: Find Free Classes and Test Prep for the High School Equivalency Exam

The General Educational Development (GED) test is the only high school equivalency credential recognized in all 50 states. While The New York Public Library doesn't offer GED classes, there are many organizations across New York State that do. On this page are websites with information about this important test and free classes that can help you prepare for it. Don't forget to explore their links, too!

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What Inspires You? A Book List of the Creative Process

Artists are always asked about what inspires them, what they were looking at (reading, eating, drinking, feeling, etc.) when they made this or that piece of art. They often remain coy, not wanting to divulge too much of the creative process, for fear of its ruining the mystery, or muddying the individual's personal interpretation of a work. In spite of their best efforts, the creative process, that window into the unique mind of the artist, remains a fascination for most of us. So, when we received a new title a few months ago, Nomad by Sibella Court, I was delighted to find a designer's travel guide full of color and whimsy detailing the objects that touched the author/artist's 

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