As a lifelong learner, I love the many opportunities Indianapolis Public Library provides for me to slake my thirst for knowledge. I can read books and e-books, listen to audiobooks, and watch movies on practically every topic imaginable. Lately I've been appreciating the chance to learn from some of the world's leading experts via The Great Courses offered through Kanopy, an on-demand video streaming service available to IndyPL library card holders. Have you explored this fantastic learning opportunity?
The Great Courses are college level classes we can enjoy on our own schedules. The classes are designed for people who want to learn without working toward a degree, so there are no deadlines or tests to worry about. Some of the classes include supplemental materials, so be sure to download the PDFs, where available. The classes are completely free. You don't even need to spend any of your monthly Kanopy credits to watch them, so dive in and start learning!
Recently I started getting curious about birds. I read a lot of new books on the subject and even made a list to share about what I've been discovering. I was delighted when I realized that The Great Courses offers The National Geographic Guide to Birding in North America, a class that can help us become skillful birdwatchers.
There are episodes about bird anatomy, habitat, behavior migration, and more. The program even takes us virtually on journeys to some of the best birding sites in North America. I don't have time right now to do the entire 24 episode class, so I skipped ahead to Episode 20: Photography for Birders. That's not something I could do if I were enrolled in a class that met in person each week. I love that kind of flexibility.
Maybe you aren't interested in birds. No problem. The Great Courses cover Finance, Health, Hobbies, Food and Wine, History, Literature and Language, Math and Science, Music and Fine Arts, Philosophy, Professional and Personal Growth, Travel, Programs for Young Learners and more.
Looking for suggestions? I asked some of my co-workers to tell me which of The Great Courses they found engaging. Check out their favorites here.
Have questions? Call the Tinker Tech/Device Helpline at 317-275-4500 or call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian. We are here to help you find what you need and make the most of Library resources.
TIP: Many of The Great Courses are also available on DVD, Audio Book CD, or as a downloadable audiobooks through Libby. Search "The Great Courses" in our online catalog.
Find out more about all the digital borrowing options available from IndyPL.
The global pandemic has interrupted so much in our lives, including our ability to welcome patrons into our branches to browse our shelves and offer programming, including our Tinker Station, where we would set up a table in the Central Library's Atrium—and elsewhere around the system—to talk with patrons about our learning and entertainment e-resources. We miss those personal interactions! We look forward to a time—hopefully soon—when we can have you with us in our branches again!
In the meantime, each month throughout the year members of the IndyPL staff will contribute insights we hope will inspire you to make the most of the e-resources offered through IndyPL.
This post was contributed by Barbara Ann O'Leary, a Computer Lab Assistant at Central Library. Barbara has a voracious appetite for exploring a wide range of topics and enjoys helping people use digital technology to expand their horizons.