Adulting 101: A library program for emerging adults

Recently, North Bend Public Library in Oregon announced that they would be running a program called ‘Adulting 101‘.

‘Adulting 101’ covers a number of useful skills including basic cooking (and how cook in college dorms without a dedicated kitchen), how to create a budget, how to do taxes, how to search and apply for jobs and how to identify fake news.

adulting101
‘Adulting 101 flyer’ from the North Bend Public Library Facebook page

While many have laughed at the program, I actually though it was a very clever idea.  With the exception of checking my oil and general car maintenance (thanks Dad), I am pretty useless at other taken for granted tasks like cooking.  I think the program is a clever way to reach out to young people in the community and help them develop their independence and confidence as they navigate early adulthood.

But not everyone agrees.  The author of one article I came across argued that young people should ‘… just look these skills up on YouTube like a normal adult’.  Attitudes like this are problematic, because as we know, not everyone has the skills or resources to access information in his manner.  Offering classes and workshops in libraries is one way that people access important information and develop skills when they don’t have the means or ability to simply ‘Google it’.

Interestingly, not everyone is so pessimistic about the program.  The first ‘Adulting 101’ session attracted a dozen members of the community and the second brought 13 people through the library doors.  That’s at least 13 people who might not have come to the library otherwise and potentially left with a skill set they didn’t have before, which I think is a bit of a win in and of itself.

While the title of the program might be a little tongue in cheek, I think that libraries being proactive and innovative in creating programming for many different demographics within their community is fantastic to see.  Even ALA’s ‘Center for the Future of Libraries‘ recognises the importance of creating library programming designed to offer guidance and support to emerging adults and as a result, other libraries are putting together their own ‘Adulting 101’ programs.

I see ‘Adulting 101’ workshops as just another way libraries can engage with and provide useful services for their communities.  What do you think?

[Feature image: ‘Chrysalis to Butterfly (#3 of 5)‘ by Sid Mosdell licenced under CC BY 2.0]

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Published by

Kylie Burgess

Bachelor of Justice graduate, current Master of Information Science (Library and Information Practice) student at the Queensland University of Technology.

2 thoughts on “Adulting 101: A library program for emerging adults”

    1. I definitely agree! I think it’s great that libraries are looking at the needs of young adults and making programs specifically for them, particularly because they seem to be an often overlooked demographic in library programming.

      Liked by 1 person

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