Long before the internet, if you needed to research something or look at the latest release from a popular author, you went to the library. Checking out books (and sometimes vinyl records) was about the most you could expect with your library card. But today there’s more benefits to having a Bossier Parish Library Card than ever before. You can not only reserve and check out books, but you can also check out DVD’s, download e-books, audiobooks, movies, tablets, laptops and more. “It’s not just books anymore,” explains Andrea Gilmer, Community Engagement Specialist with Bossier Parish Library. “People don’t realize all the variety of things available to check out without leaving your home.” A good place to start is the Bossier Parish Library website which is easy to navigate. For digital media and eContent, there’s a simple menu. Andrea says, “You can download anything from e-books, magazines, music and movies to any digital device.” And you’re not restricted to seeing the content on a cellphone, tablet, or laptop. If the digital device can sync with a “smart TV app”, you can watch on a big screen, too.
But what if you don’t have a laptop or tablet, well you can check out those out too. “We even have mobile WIFI hotspots available for people who need access at home” explains Andrea. These devices are available at most library locations and can be checked out one week at a time.
Need to do some research? The Bossier Parish Library website ‘Research’ tab reveals specific web-portals focusing on topic areas such as business, finance, health, science, history, genealogy, foreign languages, and much, much, more. There’s also free classes and online tutorials available covering a variety of subject matter from academics to hobbies. Gale Courses offers a wide range of highly interactive, instructor led courses that you can take entirely online. As a library card holder in good standing, you are entitled to these courses at no cost. Courses run for six weeks and new sessions begin every month.
“Gale Courses is amazing and is one of the best services we have to offer” says Andrea. “You can use it in a lot of situations like continuing education for business. Gale Courses provide certificates in a lot of courses to show you’re up to date in topics in your field. In fact, it’s great for people who are looking to change careers and need a little more education in areas that they’re not strong in.” Certificates can help a person better qualify for positions that require certain subject knowledge whether it’s accounting and finance, computer applications, healthcare, legal matters, or foreign languages; to name just a few.
There’s even free tutoring available to help out with the rough spots. “We have live tutors from ‘Homework Louisiana’ and it covers everything from Kindergarten to college” explains Andrea. “Everything from math, science, English; ‘Homework Louisiana’ has someone who can help you and it’s all interactive, so you can ask a question and the tutor talks you through the problems step-by-step, so you can solve it and learn.” There’s also on-site classes at different library locations and these are scheduled on the website calendar.
To access any of these services requires a library card which is easy to get. Just visit any of the seven branches of the Bossier Parish Parish Library and a librarian will get you signed up.