Libraries help you be ready to learn at all times

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“I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.”

~Winston Churchill

Learning takes place in so many ways, under a variety of circumstances. Often we are not even conscious of the new information our brains process each day. Other times, our craving for knowledge about something we are passionate about can be insatiable. How do you like to learn, and what experiences do you seek out to satisfy your hunger for knowledge?

While you think about that, I’d like you to meet Ben and Emma. I interviewed these two library volunteers earlier this week to find out how they would answer the questions I just asked you.

Both are (or were) seniors at Sandpoint High School and are probably putting on their caps and gowns as you read this.

Ben has spent his life learning, but not just in a classroom setting. He’s an Idaho native and loves to take advantage of the outdoor recreational opportunities that abound here.

He also participated in choir, cross country, and pole vault back in high school (a few days ago). All of those require a willingness to learn new things.

He recognizes that teaching others is a great way to solidify what he has learned and he really enjoys helping others. As a ski instructor for four seasons and community volunteer, he gets a lot of experience with that.

“Edu-cation is really important to me, so I like to support a lot of causes that focus on that,” he told me.

He has volunteered for The Library as a math, calculus, and geometry tutor since November, keeping his mind primed for his next adventure. He plans to attend Boise State University in the fall to study mechanical engineering. His dream job would either be a roller coaster designer for Disney-Universal Studios or a high-tech transportation engineer.

That’s just the formal education part, though. He has a passion for music and history. He is a self-taught musician and loves to research history using The Library, documentaries, and YouTube.

Emma has lived in Sandpoint for as long as she can remember. Born in China, she has an insatiable curiosity for travel, languages, and cultures.

She loves art and reading, which led her to volunteer for The Library.

“I just like being around books,” she joked.

Since she began volunteering in November, she has performed many important duties; including assisting with interlibrary loans and processing holds on materials for patrons.

She will attend the University of Idaho in the Virtual Tech and Design program this fall. Her passion for art, mythology, and fantasy has her thinking about working in animation. Perhaps she will cross paths with Ben in the future at Disney-Universal.

When it’s time to dig into research, she does a lot of reading at The Library and on the internet.

She learns a bit from YouTube, but mostly, she craves the kind of learning that comes from engagement. She would rather travel to places where she can experience art rather than read about it. She is a social person and enjoys sharing those experiences with friends.

As they embark on their post-graduate lives, Ben and Emma have advice for all of us.

“I encourage people to explore the resources at The Library because I really had no idea about all of the resources they have until I started spending time here,” Ben said.

Emma wants us to be open-minded to new experiences. “You might find out that you like something you didn’t think you would.”

Congratulations to Ben, Emma, and all of our local graduates. May they always be ready to learn throughout their entire lives.

East Bonner County Library District schedule

The following classes and events take place at the East Bonner County Library District Sandpoint Branch, 1407 Cedar St. unless otherwise indicated. The monthly calendar can be viewed at

• Fridays — Explore virtual reality (reserve sessions). Canceled.

• Saturdays — Bookmobile at Farmer’s Market, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Farmin Park. Browse books, movies, and music. Sign up for a library card. Pick up holds (reserved materials) or return items. Chat with Michelle, our friendly bookmobile driver. Bookmobile will be at the Farmer’s Market every Saturday through the season. Information: 208-290-3622.

• Saturdays — Explore Virtual Reality (reserve sessions), 2-4 p.m. Reserve a 15-minute session in the new VR room at on the event listing. Information: Contact the Tech Desk 208-263-6930, ext.1251.

• Monday, June 10 ­— Summer Reading Launch Party, 2 p.m. Kids and teens register for the 2019 Summer Reading Challenge with ice cream and free books. This year’s theme is “A Universe of Stories.” Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or Adults can also participate in Summer Reading this year. Register on “Bean Stack” at

• Tuesdays — Mother Goose. Canceled.

• Tuesdays ­— Preschool Story Time. Canceled.

• Tuesdays — Explore virtual reality (drop-in sessions), 3-6 p.m., drop-in 15-minute sessions. First come, first served. All ages welcome. Under 18 must accompany parent consent form. Youth under 10 years old must be accompanied by parent/legal guardian. Information: Contact the Tech Desk 208-263-6930, ext.1251.

• Tuesdays — MAGIC the Gathering. 3:30-5 p.m. in Community Room A. Role playing game where a battle between wizards employ spells, artifacts, and creatures depicted on individual Magic cards to defeat their opponents. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1245; or email

• Tuesday, June 11 — Astronaut John Phillips, 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room. Celebrate the 2019 Summer Reading theme; “A Universe of Stories” with Astronaut John Phillips. Phillips did three missions to the International Space Station during his career with NASA. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or

• Wednesday, June 12 — The Library’s STEM in the Park, 12:30 p.m. at Travers Park, 2100 Pine St. Build a Mars rover using Edison robots. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or

• Wednesday, June 12 — STEM at the Farmers Market, 3-5 p.m., at Farmin Park during the Wednesday market. The Library comes to the Farmer’s Market. Fun with science, technology, engineering, and math with a new theme each time. This week kids play with Edison Robots. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211.

• Saturday, June 15 — Library booth at Sandemonium, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Forrest Bird Charter School, 614 S. Madison. The Library will have a booth at North Idaho’s comic, sci-fi, and fandom convention. Find out about graphic novels and the expanded YA collection at The Library plus the new virtual reality room and how to use The Library’s 3D printers for your next cosplay. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1245; or

• Saturday, June 15 — Little Mozarts Music Class, 10:30 a.m. Registration for this class through the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint opened May 28. Program runs through Aug. 3. No program on July 6. Information: 208-263-6930, ext. 1211; or

• StoryWalk — Pages from a children’s book are posted along a trail for a fun, family experience. StoryWalk books will be updated at various times during the summer with titles based on the 2019 Summer Reading theme, “Universe of Stories.” Pages from a children’s book are posted along a trail for a fun, family experience. Read, connect, and get outside at a StoryWalk, a partnership of The Library, Kaniksu Land Trust, city of Dover, and city of Ponderay. For more information, visit

Marcy Timblin is in charge of public relations, marketing & community development for the East Bonner County Library District. She can be reached at 208-208- 208-208-263-6930, ext. 1204.

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