Lifelong Learning at Home
The following is a list of FREE resources that anyone can use. Be aware, some offerings are available only for a limited time during the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to add more resources to this page, so please check back for new information!
Library Learning Resources
The Urbandale Public Library offers digital courses for adults. You will have the ability to check out The Great Courses series using RBdigital with your library card.
The Urbandale Public Library also offers online tutorials that cover a wide range of topics, including everything from how to use library digital resources to how to start a Facebook or Snapchat Account.
BetterInvesting is offering this free webinar to help investors in this time of uncertainty.
Watch now: Investing in Turbulent Times
Presenter Doug Gerlach discusses the global health crisis that has stressed many Americans, and markets around the world have dropped precipitously. With threats of a pending economic recession, what can savvy investors do in the face of such turmoil?
Established in 1951, BetterInvesting is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has helped over 5 million people learn how to invest profitably in stocks of high-quality growth companies. They support investment clubs and individuals through education, online stock selection and analysis tools, and publications. Based on their proven, time-tested stock selection approach, BetterInvesting creates successful lifelong investors.
Library of Congress – National Screening Room
The National Screening Room showcases the Library of Congress’ moving image collection. It is designed to make otherwise unavailable movies, both copyrighted and in the public domain, freely accessible to the viewers worldwide. The collection ranges from historic newsreels, silent films, industrial films, and more.
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is now offering free online classes, ranging from contemporary art, fashion and photography.
Museum Virtual Tours
Des Moines Art Center
The Des Moines Art Center offers virtual tours of their permanent collections and special exhibitions. The tours allow visitors to click through the extensive collections as if they were at the museum, walking through the galleries.
The originals are out of reach for now, but you can still see world-class collections – without the queues or ticket prices – with an online tour of these famous and local museums. Explore the Guggenheim, Vatican Museums, London’s Natural History Museum, and more.
Help with Digital Research Projects
Learn something new – and help future researchers! Archives, libraries, museums, and other cultural organizations around the country have digital projects you can assist with from home. All you need to get started is a computer, internet access, some typing skills, and the ability to follow the instructions provided by the individual organization.
Here are just a few examples:
- The Nantucket Historical Association invites you to follow along on whaling voyages as you transcribe historic ships’ logs. Learn more.
- DIY History is a crowdsourced volunteer project from the University of Iowa’s Digital Library. Sci-fi enthusiasts take note . . . they are currently seeking help with a collection of science fiction, fantasy, and horror fanzines. Learn more.
- The By the People initiative of the Library of Congress invites the public to transcribe, review, and tag digitized images of manuscripts and typed materials from the Library’s collections. Learn more.
- FamilySearch International, the largest genealogy organization in the world, seeks volunteer indexers to help make genealogical records searchable online. Learn more.