Overdue for a Library Visit?


When is the last time you took in the sweet smell of books at your local library?

Libraries are community resources that are often forgotten about. While libraries are stocked with stacks of books and helpful librarians, they also have a host of other offerings that benefit your brain.

  1. Books and newspapers: It might seem obvious that books and newspapers can be found at your local library, but did you know that these two types of reading materials can boost your cognitive health? In a study of people’s reading habits, readers of both newspapers and books had increased cognition.
  2. Audiobooks: If you have vision problems or just don’t have time to read, listening to audiobooks can still stimulate your brain. You can use an audiobook to learn a new skill like public speaking. You can even grab a how-to audiobook to begin learning a new language. If you choose to listen to a novel, the storyline and vocabulary will stimulate your brain.
  3. Community classes: Learning a new skill is associated with improved cognitive health. Many libraries offer classes — from cooking to adult coloring, first aid to puppet making, you can learn a new skill and meet new friends (also brain boosting!) at whatever class you choose.
  4. Computers and technology: Using a new technology boosts your brain health. When you pick up an iPad and learn how to do something new with it, you can boost your memory and your cognitive processing speed. It’s also fun to use technology to stay in touch with friends and do daily activities like banking or grocery shopping.


  • Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I. M., & Freedman, M. (2007). Bilingualism as a protection against the onset of symptoms of dementia. Neuropsychologia, 45(2), 459–464. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2006.10.009
  • Chan, M. Y., Haber, S., Drew, L. M., & Park, D. C. (2016). Training Older Adults to Use Tablet Computers: Does It Enhance Cognitive Function? The Gerontologist, 56(3), 475–484. doi:10.1093/geront/gnu057
  • Gallucci, M., Antuono, P., Ongaro, F., Forloni, P. L., Albani, D., Amici, G. P., & Regini, C. (2009). Physical activity, socialization and reading in the elderly over the age of seventy: what is the relation with cognitive decline? Evidence from “The Treviso Longeva (TRELONG) study.” Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 48(3), 284–286.doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2008.02.006