Six Ways OPL Can Help You Maximize Your Potential in 2021

Let's be honest, 2020 was unlike what most of us expected. But, heading into 2021, we have a (slightly) better idea of what life will look like, at least while mitigating the spread of COVID-19 remains necessary for everyone's safety.

OPL has thankfully been able to keep all of our locations, opens a new window open (with COVID-19 precautions, opens a new window), and continues to offer contactless curbside pick-up service, opens a new window, in addition to 24/7 access to the digital resources, opens a new window we provide. If you're looking to start fresh in the new year, OPL can help you accomplish several goals many want to tackle. Here are a six examples:

Read more

Reading is proven to make people happier, less-stressed and more empathetic, among other benefits, so it comes as no surprise that people want to spend more time with a good book. Explore staff favorites from 2020 on OPL's Top Shelf, opens a new window or get a group of readers together and start your own book club, opens a new window with OPL's book club bags!

Of course, OPL always has good old-fashioned books, opens a new window, eBooks, opens a new window, audiobooks, opens a new window (digital and CD), Playaways, opens a new window, digital magazines, opens a new window, newspapers, opens a new window and so much more. All 12 locations offer curbside pick-up service, opens a new window so patrons can safely access their library's collection. If you're not sure what to read, staff are happy to help you find your next great read, and it's easier than ever with the new book bundle or custom reading list request form, opens a new window. Just tell us what you like (genre, author, format, interests) and staff will gather materials or send you a personalized reading list.

Get organized

More time at home often means more messes to clean up. Take back your physical and digital spaces by using the tips and tricks for decluttering and cleaning in these books about organizing, opens a new window in OPL's collection. If a calendar would help you organize your schedule, ask for a 2021 Early Literacy Calendar, opens a new window the next time you stop by a library or schedule a curbside pick-up appointment. They're full of literacy-building tips for young ones, books recommendations for infants, and dates for OPL's costume character visits!

Learn new skills

OPL’s online resource center, opens a new window is full of valuable tools to help learn skills ranging from DIY auto repair, opens a new window to new languages, opens a new window. Begin or continue researching your family history using Ancestry Library Edition, opens a new window, which OPL cardholders can access from home through March 31, 2021. Or register for a free six-week online class from Gale Courses, opens a new window - the next sessions begin Jan. 13 or Feb. 10. If you can’t find an online resource to develop your new skills or you've had enough screen time, odds are good that you will find books that can help you learn something new, opens a new window.

Slow down and simplify

Learn to live more in the moment. Get off that hamster wheel of constant busyness, crumple your never-ending to-do list, and appreciate the present, after reading the books on this list about slowing down and simplifying, opens a new window, of course. Gale Courses also offers classes that cover mindfulness, opens a new window, stress management, opens a new window and meditation, opens a new window, if you would benefit from the structure of a six-week online course.

Eat healthier

OPL offers a variety of books about healthy eating, opens a new window, as well as cookbooks, opens a new window filled with delicious and nutritious meals that can help you improve your eating habits in the new year. Read the books and get the information you need, or check them out to try a few recipes and make sure they're right for you before purchasing them for your personal collection. You can also sign up for the Certificate in Food, Nutrition, and Health, opens a new window class through Gale Courses to gain a holistic view on food and nutrition. 

Save more and spend less

If you haven't done it already, there's no time like the present to evaluate your finances and make proactive changes! Kick off the new year by focusing on your finances with these books on saving money, opens a new window or enroll in one of the personal finance classes, opens a new window on Gale Courses. Utilize OPL's collection and online resources to save even more. OPL now offers access to The New York Times, opens a new window, as well as free music streaming from Freegal Music,, opens a new window in addition to the four free weekly song downloads that has been offered for years. You can also read popular magazines through Flipster, opens a new window. We know there are some stories, movies and subscriptions that people want to own, but for all the rest, OPL is best!

Whatever 2021 has in store, there are endless ways that OPL can help you to achieve your personal goals. Don't forget that staff are always available to answer questions via AskOPL online chat, opens a new window or over the phone at 402-444-4800. If you have any favorite ways of utilizing your local library, feel free to share a photo or post and tag @OmahaLibrary on Facebook, opens a new window, Twitter, opens a new window, or Instagram, opens a new window. Stay safe and healthy and keep reading in the year ahead, everyone!