Learning is a lifelong affair

Published 6:40 pm Thursday, August 9, 2018

People moan that technology will be the downfall of civilization. There are many reasons for the claim. It’s isolated people from one another — how many times does one come across the scene of someone bent over their smartphone, absolutely engaged in conversation there, and not with the people sitting around them? It prevents people from attending outdoor events — that 50 percent chance of rain forecasted on the weather app will keep people indoors, even if it’s the other, sunny 50 percent chance that actually happens.

But technology is also opening so many doors for all people.

Take BHM Regional Library’s new partnership with Recorded Books. Through the library’s website, anyone can access Universal Class, an online continuing education service, for free. All that’s needed is a library card.

Universal Class offers more than 500 courses — just about any interest would be covered by the sheer number of classes offered. Photography, exercise, music, cooking, home and garden, computers, parenting, pet care, job assistance and health are just a sampling of classes available. A click of the mouse and the ability to educate oneself, at their own pace, is available to anyone.

Learning can be a lifelong activity. Education doesn’t have to stop solely because a degree is attained and a job follows. Universal Class is an opportunity to explore: ideas, passions, interests and more. It’s a chance to expand horizons. And it’s free.

This is where technology shines — access to education. Some may believe that technology is the downfall, the ultimate result a “dumbing down” of society. In this case, technology offers the opportunity to smarten up — and that’s quite uplifting.

For more information, visit the library staff at one of BHM Regional Libraries in Aurora, Bath, Belhaven, Engelhard, Ocracoke, Robersonville, Washington, and Williamston, visit bhmlib.org/ or call the Washington Headquarters at 252-946-6401.