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College and Careers

Starting the college search can be an overwhelming task. Your school or public library might offer dedicated online information and databases that can help you and your teen explore where to go, how to get in and how to pay for it.

@ your library

  • Some libraries offer free classes taught by experts on finding the right college, scholarships and financial aid that parents and college-bound teens can attend together.
  • Check to see if your library offers free online SAT or ACT prep courses for your high schooler.
  • See how your library might be able to help your teen search for summer jobs or write a resume.

At home & in the community

  • Learn about what skills are critical in the 21st century and ways your school library can help support your children in building the skills they need to succeed in career and life. Visit the American Association of School Librarians’ Learning4Life website: http://bit.ly/learning4life.
  • Explore the list of Outstanding Books for the College Bound from the Young Adult Library Services Association. Books on this list provide an introduction to a variety of subjects, such as science and technology, literature and social sciences. Teens can use it to round out their reading as they prepare for college entrance exams. Find the list at www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists/obcb.

Homework Help

Homework is a fact of life for students. So before you find yourself “stuck” while helping with a science project or prepping for a math quiz, take time to learn about homework help and tutoring services at the school and public library.

@ your library

  • Ask if your school librarian can provide a tutorial on the latest research tools so you can help your child become the best learner he or she can be.
  • Schedule an appointment on-site with a tutor. Check with your library to see if tutors are available to help all grade levels with research, writing, homework help and more.

At home & in the community

  • Get into a routine. Set a regular time for homework that works for everyone at home, and make your home a no-distraction zone.
  • Check with your library to see if you can connect with an online tutor or reference service for free through your library’s website.
  • Check out your child’s school library website or Facebook page to see what research tools can help with homework. School librarians work with classroom teachers to develop bibliographies, webliographies and other “pathfinders” for research projects.
  • Some school libraries offer mobile applications that can help your student access online resources through a mobile device.
  • Never stop learning! Demonstrate the joy of being a lifelong learner by exploring new areas of interest and continuing to learn about subjects that appeal to you.

It's a Digital World

Everyone needs computer and Internet skills in today’s global work environment. Becoming “digitally literate” can be fun and something the whole family can do together. So join in!

@ your library

  • Learn the digital landscape at your library. Many libraries offer classes for kids, teens and adults on digital photography, photo and video editing, social networking and on the hardware, software and online tools needed to create and share content.
  • Some public and school libraries offer iPads for use on-site. There are a number of apps, like “Read Me Stories” designed just for kids that allow for interaction and supplement reading aloud.
  • Connect your teens with Teen Tech Week each spring. Sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association, Teen Tech Week highlights the technology available to teens at libraries and that librarians are qualified, trusted information professionals who can provide guidance and instruction to teens and their families.

At home & in the community

  • Go online together. Check out Great Websites for Kids, a site maintained by the Association for Library Service to Children to help kids discover sites that support their hobbies and interests. www.ala.org/greatsites.
  • Check out the Best Websites for Teaching and Learning from the American Association of School Librarians. The websites listed support topics kids and teens are studying as well as tools to create digital presentations. Visit www.ala.org/aasl/bestlist.

Money Smart Kids

Making good choices in managing your money is an important life skill. Teaching your children how to manage money and spend wisely can start at the library—where their first lesson is about taking advantage of the library’s free resources.

@ your library

  • Ask for recommendations on digital or print resources that introduce concepts about money to your young children.
  • See what programs on raising money smart kids you can attend together. Some public libraries partner with local banks and other financial institutions to address topics from budgeting, saving and banking basics to credit cards, identity theft and financial aid for college.

At home & in the community

  • Grocery shopping. The FDIC recommends playing “show and tell” with your money. When a child asks for something at the grocery store or on a family outing, explain what makes it too expensive or a good buy.
  • How much does your family save by using the library? Check out the online library value calculator at www.ilovelibraries.org/calculator.
  • Family budgeting. Talk to your kids and teens about budgeting. Ask for their ideas on how to save money and making choices between “wants” and “needs.”