GALLIPOLIS — In an age where the normal person can learn about nearly anything due to the advent of the Internet, searching out information is easier than ever.
However, finding an organized learning method is not as easy for some.
Bossard Memorial Library in Gallipolis is offering a variety of online courses to help enrich the lives of its patrons at no cost. All the library asks is that patrons register for a library card. They then are entitled to access the programs as long as they have a working email account and access to a computer. Students are welcome to take courses using library resources as well.
Gale Courses, as the library’s program is called, provides information tied to the Bureau of Labor Statistics with lessons to determine the fastest-growing job fields. Access to the program comes out of gifted funding from the Gallia County Charitable Foundation.
According to the solutions.cengage.com/gale/gale-courses, “Six-week courses are taught by college instructors and experts in the field, ensuring a high-quality, high-impact educational experience for all ages.”
Lessons cover a variety of topics ranging from business law to computer and technology lessons, parenting, lessons in introductory guitar playing as well as accounting and a slew of other options. Lessons will also help students prepare for GED tests as well as SAT and ACT exams.
“We actually launched this in March 2015,” Bossard Memorial Library Director Debbie Saunders said. “The Gallia County Charitable Foundation has donated funds to the library and wanted those funds to be used in the reference department. So both in the initial year and then we’ll renew again for 2016 for another annual subscription, we’ll have (Gale Courses) available.”
According to Saunders, from March 2015 to Feb. 1, 2016, library patrons logged more than 1,700 hours in class time. Saunders said some of the most popular courses include individuals seeking to learn sign language, accounting fundamentals and courses related to Microsoft Office programs.
“I always encourage courses like introductory courses to basic guitar,” Saunders said. “Because those are things you might not think of turning to your library for.”
Individuals do receive certificates upon completion of programs.
“We really believe in this program because our patrons have responded to it so positively,” Saunders said.
Roughly 250 courses have been entered since the library embarked on providing Gale Courses.
For more information, patrons can call the library or visit www.bossardlibrary.org and click on “Find information.” They should then click on “research” and click on the Gale Courses link. Patrons can then search through a catalog of courses to see what is available.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.