Navigating you through the best of our library collection, via the recommendations of one very opinionated librarian.
By Rebecca Colbert
Head of Collection and Bibliographic Services @ The Library District
Have you experienced “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo yet? Piled your clothes into a giant heap and held each item, waiting to feel sparks of joy? Rearranged your kitchen only to spend ten minutes looking for wooden spoons the very next day? I’m on this journey with you, but let’s take a break and discover other tidying up ideas that await you at your library!
The first place to start is your closet. Send those “never wear” items to the thrift store to spark joy for someone else (and get a nice tax deduction). Then look at those items that you truly love (and that fit the body you have) with fresh eyes. We have plenty of advice for managing or rethinking your personal style. Two examples are “Fashion Hacks: Your Fashion Failures Solved!” by Rebecca Rissman, who offers tips on how to fix those faux pas and look runway ready; and “How to Be a Hepburn in a Kardashian World” by Jordan Christy, who shows us that it’s not the dress, but the confidence you project, that people will notice and admire. Or for a bit of whimsy, check out “Maker Projects for Kids Who Love Fashion” by Sarah Levete, and “Duct Tape Fashion” by Carolyn Bernhardt — because few things are more joyful (or satisfying) than watching your kids express their creativity!
For more ideas and creative guidance, our digital resources on LVCCLD.org offer limitless possibilities. For example, Creativebug is an online database that teaches how to make clothes from start to finish, plus thousands of other craft projects. If you’re already a whiz at sewing, try the University of Fashion database for patterns and techniques that will take your design skills to the next level. And if your teen is a budding fashionista, our new sewing machines at Sahara West, Centennial Hills, Sunrise, Enterprise, and Mesquite Libraries, will give them hands-on training on how to operate the machines, and they’ll find sewing classes, too.
The second decluttering area that Marie Kondo recommends is your book collection. This one is a cinch if you do what I do … don’t buy, check them out at the library! Consider these win-win scenarios:
- Borrowing from the library eliminates those ever-growing stacks of books. You know, the pile you’ve finished reading, the pile you’re waiting to read, and the ones you started and never finished? Instead, check out a stack for now and keep the rest on your virtual shelf in your website account. And those titles that you started but never finished? There is probably a reason! Life is too short to slog through a boring book (or movie or song.) Just hit the refresh button and choose something that’s worth your time. The beauty of borrowing rather than buying is that you’ve lost nothing if a selection fails to deliver.
- Borrowing gives you a never-ending supply of books in any format that you choose. I’m old school and like the feel of paper in my hands, but my friends like eBooks for their iPads, while my mom prefers audiobooks. And best of all, digital versions live in your device — zero clutter. We add eBooks daily and have three excellent sources for them now, conveniently located on our website: Overdrive, RB Digital, and Hoopla. From the homepage, click on eResources on the blue menu bar. From the drop-down menu, click A-Z Resources, then scroll down alphabetically to browse all of our free eResources. (Also stream or download movies and music on LVCCLD.org from the comfort of your easy chair.)
- Marie Kondo suggests owning no more than 30 books, but unless they are cookbooks or some other reference that you would return to again and again, why buy them? You can borrow up to 50 items at a time from us and come back for new items every three weeks. Looking for something that we don’t have? I will try to get it for you if you drop me an email at cbs@LVCCLD.org.
- And like your clothes, be honest about books that you bought with good intentions, but that somehow don’t “fit” you anymore. The best destination for your stacks of used books, DVDs, or CDs is the Clark County Library, where we collect these donations for our semi-annual book sales. The proceeds benefit our Library District Foundation, which funds fantastic programs for all ages (and you get another nice tax deduction).
The third space to declutter is your paper piles. Save the important items, of course, like birth certificates, your last will & testament, anything that requires an original signature. But toss out anything that can be digitally scanned and stored on your hard drive. And no need to hang on to those DMV or IRS forms, for example. You will find whatever you’re looking for on their websites. Even the government has discovered: Less Paper = More Joy!
More Ways to Tidy
If tidying up seems overwhelming without Marie Kondo right by your side, our catalog is filled with other ways to achieve organization nirvana. I especially liked the hilarious but practical book, “Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle With Stuff” by Dana White, who helped me realize that I can feel like a winner by just cleaning off one counter or going through one cabinet. I also really liked “Cut the Clutter” by Cynthia Townley Ewer, whose tips make tidying up easier to tackle, leaving you with more time and energy for the good things in life.
If you love Marie Kondo’s approach, the library has dozens of books that expand on the KonMari method of Japanese minimalism, including Kondo’s more recent title, “Spark Joy.” Another clear-eyed, absolutely worthwhile book is “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” by Margareta Magnusson. She suggests saving your relatives the agony of sorting through your things after you die. The popularity of this title demonstrates that yearning for a streamlined living space is universal.
Tidying up is an intentional act that opens up new possibilities. The ultimate goal in this new national obsession is what The New York Times Best-Selling author Melissa Michaels addresses in her book, “Make Room for What You Love: Your Essential Guide to Organizing & Simplifying.” Walking in the door to a home that exudes calm and simplicity is an antidote to our busy, hectic lives, and she shows you how to achieve this step-by-step.
Taking Our Own Advice
We are tidying up our libraries as well. In the past year, you may have noticed us rearranging and reducing our shelves, while increasing the content and information available through our new website. You will find so many helpful eResources there to save you time and money. Two great examples: VetNow assists veterans trying to navigate the VA; and Nevada Legal Forms offers a super helpful database to guide you through the legal system. Our website also offers your favorite newspapers and magazines, which you can read online for free.
By letting go of items that have served their purpose, we are making space for new programs that build skills for the future, such as STEAM and robotics for kids, as well as events that entertain, educate, and inform all ages and interests.
As always, sparking joy for you is our mission every day at the Library District!