April 4, 2020
Hundreds of free, instructor-led courses on a variety of subjects are available to patrons of the Marathon County Public Library! New classes start April 15!
If, as you read this, you are one of the many folks currently at home due to precautions over the COVID-19 pandemic, you're probably looking for options for keeping yourself occupied and keeping your brain active. Through the Wisconsin Valley Library Service consortium, MCPL patrons have access to hundreds of online courses with Gale Courses. These are instructor-led, six-week classes on subjects ranging from business and finance to computer programming and law to writing and photography.
In 2019, I gave the screenwriting course a try because, why not? It’s free with a library card. Plus, I’ve tried fiction, poetry and journalism and had always been curious about the process of screenwriting.I got the feeling that the instructor wrote the lessons and writing exercises a while ago (some of the web links no longer existed), and the actual day-to-day coursework was handled by the instructor’s grad assistant. A very capable assistant, to be sure, but a little different than what I expected.
The course offered good exercises in taking an idea from your brain to transforming it into a summary and then to writing pieces of a screenplay. What I also enjoyed and found helpful about the class – and I think would be true of all the Gale classes – is the interaction among the students, who posted questions to each other and gave each other feedback on our work.
Classes begin every couple of weeks, with new classes set to start April 15, May 13, June 17, and beyond.
Below are a few other areas of courses accessible to MCPL patrons through Gale:
- Career & Professional Development: Many courses are tied to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ fastest-growing occupations. Examples include: accounting, business and management, grant writing, nonprofits, real estate, healthcare, sales and marketing, and how to make a resume.
- Computers & Technology: Courses cover all skill levels, and some even focus on specific software applications. Examples include: Intro to Microsoft Office, database management, graphic and multimedia design, and basic internet skills.
- Personal Enrichment: Further courses focus on hobbies, wellness, basic academic skills and other life resources. Examples include: parenting and family, digital photography, health & wellness, test prep, grammar and more.
image credit: gale courses