The library is offering a monthly workshop series starting this Thursday, Oct. 5.

FILE - Students in St. Helens High School's auto-tech class work to diagnose an issue under the hood of a Ford Fiesta in 2015. Automotive technology, home economics, financial literacy and other how-to programs are not as commonplace in American high schools as they once were.Can you even…

Change a flat tire? Balance a checkbook? Answer the five most common job interview questions?

For those who could use a crash course on "adulting" — self-sufficiency in the face of life situations people face all the time — the Tualatin Public Library has you covered. Starting this Thursday, Oct. 5, the library will offer a monthly workshop to teach basic life skills, with guest presenters coming in from the Tualatin community.

"There's been an increase in libraries … offering classes to young adults, that 18 to 25 range, on different skills that we used to learn, whether in school or at home, that they're not learning anymore," explained Aimee Meuchel, teen services librarian. "So it's kind of to fill in a hole."

Meuchel has been working on putting together a series like this for more than a year, she said. She has developed it in collaboration with teenage volunteers in the library, in response to their suggestions about topics to cover.

This month's "Adulting 101" presentation will be about car maintenance. Scott LaPlante of Sherwood Auto Repair is bringing a PowerPoint presentation and a lifetime of knowledge from working with automobiles to help attendees learn how to fend for themselves when they're on the road, instead of having to call AAA for help changing their windshield wipers.

"He's covering a lot of ground," Meuchel said.

On Nov. 2, the library will offer an Adulting 101 workshop on job interviewing skills. On Dec. 7, the workshop will cover basic communication, or what Meuchel called "common courtesy."

"How to share bad news, how to end a relationship, how to accept a job offer — the whole kind of formal communication that we don't have so much anymore, that people don't know," Meuchel said.

The series is currently scheduled to run for six months, with each workshop on the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. The programs are intended for ages 15 and older, although Meuchel said younger teens may find the information interesting as well.

Although it might seem awkward or uncomfortable — one, to admit that there are basic skills you do not know, and two, to actually take steps to learn them — Meuchel said her hope is that people will go for it. Some businesses offer classes that people must pay to attend, she said; the library's programming is free.

"I hope people take advantage of it," she said. "You know, if people are just at home thinking, 'Oh, that's a great idea,' and then they don't show up, then it wasn't such a great idea."

The library will host an unrelated but similar program at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, called "Oh My Dollar." That event, which is geared toward adults, will offer advice on financial planning.

The Tualatin Public Library is located at 18878 S.W. Martinazzi Ave.

By Mark Miller
Assistant Editor, The Times
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