A library used to be a place that simply offered resources mostly in print format. Not anymore. It is now a technological hub of the universe, where a variety of electronic resources are provided to patrons. Online puzzles is just one example. When patrons solve puzzles in a virtual setting, they need to be able to read, write and spell to ‘solve the (puzzle) problem’. As they complete each one, they are improving their skills in all these areas. Solving codewords is particularly good for this. It is an innovative to boost one’s vocabulary. Once library patrons start playing these, they will soon be hooked! ‘Digital literacy’ is a buzz word of the age in which we now live. By solving puzzles on their favourite device, they will also be given the opportunity to improve these skills as well.
Library patrons stay socially connected when they solve puzzles in a virtual setting
Playing puzzles in a group has many advantages. The library may like to consider offering an online puzzle club as one of their programs. Patrons can get together for a session of fun, educational mental gymnastics., This can easily be facilitated via Zoom. Puzzle solvers can tune in from wherever they are and will be able to draw on their own general knowledge skills to help solve puzzles. This will give them a great sense of satisfaction. In turn, they will also learn new words and facts. They may even like to accept the challenge of solving cryptic crosswords. These provide a great opportunity for them to develop their thinking and logic skills, as being a lot of fun to solve with friends.
Libraries: a place to promote health, wellbeing, and self-esteem with a puzzle
One of the roles of the library is to foster a library patron’s wellbeing. Inevitably, there will be people who are suffering from anxiety and other mental health issues. The library provides a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment, either inhouse or remotely. Patrons can engage their brain, with an activity that is fun, stress-free, and non-threatening. This will help those anxious feelings pass. If they do this regularly, they will develop a strong coping strategy for the times they know are difficult for them. They will feel much better knowing that they have a plan in place to deal with it.
It is quite clear, solving puzzles has a huge range of benefits that can never be underestimated. Library patrons should be encouraged to embrace this way of learning. All they need to do is ask the Librarian!