Staying safe at home is important these days. I firmly believe that everyone needs a project to stay engaged whether for fun or for professional advancement.
I would love to share some ideas to gain new skills from home. As a public librarian, it is important to know a few key words from other languages so I can help others from different parts of the globe feel welcome. I have been busy practicing my Spanish with Duolingo. It's a self-paced tutorial with a very cute owl mascot to cheer your progress along the way. It's easy to sign up for a free account and get started. Duolingo wants to entice you to sign up for the paid version with no advertisements. I have had no issues with the free version. I have signed up for the French, German, and Russian courses as well. As they said, "all in good time." There is a plethora of languages to explore on this site; even klingon for Star Trek fans out there. Have some fun and learn the basics of a language. When we're all able to safely travel to new countries and places, we'll be equipped with the vocabulary and grammar basics.
I have always admired great public speakers and several years ago discovered TED talks. You can discover TED talks at ted.com. The acronym TED stands for Technology, Education, and Design. There are thousands of speeches to listen to on this site. You can create an account for free to keep track of those you have listened to. There is something for everyone on a wide range of topics. It's like reading the newspapers but having an expert talk to you directly on the subject.
My final favorite free resource for online learning is Lynda.com or LinkedIn Learning. The Lynda database was sold to social media giant Linkedin in 2017, but still is known by its original brand name. LinkedIin provides millions of users a place to publicize their career highlights and goals. Lynda.com offers any Westchester Library System cardholder free access to over 5,000 courses on Business, Computers, Photography, Art, Writing, and Social Media, to name just a few categories. I'm working currently on the course "Own Your Voice: Improve Presentations and Executive Presence." All the courses are taught by experts in their respective fields. Work at your own pace and do the assignments provided or not. There is no course grade at the end, but a certificate you can post to your LinkedIn profile to show others that your time has been well spent. I recommend working on the career paths to go more in-depth on a subject that interests you.
There are plenty of print resources to explore regarding language learning. Lynda.com is a premiere database available for free with your library card that shows all of us the must know skills in the business world.
If you have any questions about these online resources, please feel free to reach out to a librarian via chat or calling the reference desk at 914-721-8225.