If you’re safe at home, on the run making ends meet or just trying to find something to do, you should know the Los Angeles Public Library offers a vast array of e-media content and online resources available to you at any time, everywhere and free. Should you have a few hours a week to spare or want us to provide a soundtrack while you’re doing other things, you can read or listen to that book you’ve always wanted to open, play your favorite tunes from legendary artists to improve your mood or watch films and documentaries from around the world.

Visit ancient South American civilizations as you curl up with an e-book or join traditional Asian celebrations as you listen to an audiobook. Travel to Africa or the Middle East with your imagination as you watch an independent film on your computer. Discover the history and meaning behind Shakespearean sonnets from a podcast, or stream your favorite genre of music from just about every decade through our downloadable song service. The endless possibilities, when using the library’s e-media content and online resources, are virtually priceless with a library card—recognized as the #BestCardInLA.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of e-media items accessible to you at no cost from the comfort of your home or on-the-go to use while walking, in your car, on bus, train or plane. Your wants in educational content and entertainment are placed easily at your fingertips through your computer desktop and mobile devices with e-books, audiobooks, streaming music and films, newspapers and magazines, e-courses and so much more. All of this digital content is completely free when using your library card—no matter where you are or what time of day it is. Don’t have a library card and want one? As a Los Angeles County resident, you can apply for one free online.

Major benefits when you apply for the Best Card in L.A.:

  • Get free and easy access to e-media 24/7 anytime and everywhere
  • Read, listen to and watch what you desire at your own leisure
  • Choose from a wide array of e-media content and online resources
  • Find content in Spanish and multiple other languages
  • Enjoy e-media for lifelong learning or pleasure at your own pace

Six ways to pick up new skills and improve yourself. 

  1. Identify your lifelong learning goals or areas for personal improvement.

Skills are learned, and anyone can master a skill with the right amount of interest, dedication and knowledge. Think about what you would like to learn or have more knowledge about. Maybe you want to understand history or a specific subject matter better, become bilingual to learn more about another culture or even start a new business to fulfill your dream.

To start, make a short list of your interests or wants. Narrow that list down to the top one or two skills you would like to develop. Now make a plan. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to hone in on the exact thing you want to work on:

  • What is your Why? Why is lifelong learning important to you? Knowing will help keep you motivated, especially when times get challenging.
  • What is your timeframe? Think about a target date to keep you focused and motivated. Identify smaller benchmarks and larger milestones along the way where you can reward yourself, which is a must.
  • How do you learn best? Get guidance and take a learning style assessment. Learn a few tips and tricks for your preferred style of teaching yourself.
  • How will you stay accountable? Consider writing your goal down or sharing it with a trusted friend, and set a weekly day to check-in on your achievements.
  • How will you know if you have achieved your goal? As you track your progress, and begin to see the results of your commitment, you will start to see the transformation of yourself in accomplishing the goal.
  1. Choose from a diverse range of e-media to match your interests and learning style.

Match your learning style to the right e-media to improve your experience. The library offers a wide mix of e-media including e-books, audiobooks, comics, newspapers, magazines, films, videos and e-courses. Your preferred style will help you choose which ones are right for you.

  • Auditory and musical: This type of learner responds best to sound. Reach for audiobooks and streaming music.
  • Visual: Visual learners work best when information is presented in written or picture forms. Find a good e-book and minimize visual distractions.
  • Verbal: This learning style refers to a person’s ability to learn using language, reason and problem-solve. Try interactive e-courses.
  • Logical and mathematical: Learners who are analytical and organized can use e-courses for their modules, assignments and assessments.
  • Physical: Kinesthetic learners learn best through movement, or by making things with their hands. Dance, move, play and create.
  • Social and interpersonal: Social and interpersonal learners enjoy activities with others. Join or start a virtual film or book club.
  • Solitary and intrapersonal: This type of learner needs plenty of space and quiet. Cozy up with an e-book or newspaper, or take your tablet to the park to read.
  1. Subscribe to industry publications, newsletters and podcasts.

Search the library’s catalog for industry publications, blogs and podcasts to learn even more about your interests. Every field has its own trade publications, and typically offers additional content like feature articles, newsletters and annual reports on their websites.

Many industries also host annual conferences and special events, which have now gone virtual. You can attend virtual programs to learn more about your interest area and industry, and network with others. Networking is a great way to build new relationships, and may be instrumental in helping you to advance toward your goal. Also consider finding a mentor who is ahead of your learning curve and exchange ideas or pursue projects with his or her support.

  1. Take an e-course to strengthen your skills.

You may want relevant, self-paced content you can consume on-the-go. E-courses often offer interactive, multimedia content that can be viewed on any computer or mobile device connected to the Internet.

Explore the library’s offerings for nearly every type of learner with online platforms like:

  • Lynda.com: An award-winning online platform that offers more than 3,000 courses taught by industry experts, and 150,000 video tutorials on business, technical, and creative skills.
  • Gale Courses: Offers a range of interactive online courses led by expert instructors. Courses run for six weeks, and new sessions begin every month in the areas of career and professional development, computers and technology, and writing and publishing.
  • Universal Class: Offers 500 online, non-credit continuing education courses designed for personal enrichment across business, career training, psychology, real estate, cooking, and crafts and hobbies.
  • Scienceflix: Combines curriculum driven, leveled content, interactive features and user friendly navigation into highly engaging e-media for students in fourth through ninth grade.
  • VIP Learning: Offers do-it-yourself, creative skills and trade technical e-courses primarily in Spanish with some English options as well.

E-courses can help you by offering interactive, multimedia options that support nearly all learning styles. Depending on the platform you select, e-courses integrate images, video, sound, text and step-by-step instructions that you can access at your own pace or along with other students for added accountability.

  1. Connect with a friend for fun and accountability.

Here’s where things get fun. One of the best ways to hold yourself accountable to your goal is to connect with a friend and work on getting better together. Share your progress, and always celebrate your gains and wins.

When you hold yourself accountable as you work toward your goal, you value your progress, and level up to a higher standard. Accountability eliminates the time and effort you spend on distractions that pull you away from your goal. And it’s so much more fun to partner with someone you trust.

You become more and more confident in your abilities, and your skill level improves as you encourage one another along the way. Challenge yourself with a score card or point system, and reward yourself when you reach important benchmarks and milestones.

  1. Practice using e-media.

Practice is key. It’s important to log in regularly and do the work toward your goal. Push yourself to use different approaches and strategies to engage your critical thinking and problem solving skills. Watch videos, read newspapers to keep up with trends in your chosen interest, and listen to audiobooks and podcasts.

Another tool to use is a calendar. Use it to block time and color code your activities including study and reading time. Create a schedule and set aside dedicated time to access the library’s free e-media content and online resources. Soon you will be ready to move onto the next area you would like to develop and improve.

Your Los Angeles Public Library library card is a key to a vast, interactive educational and entertainment portal that spans almost every subject area and topic you can imagine. If you are a Los Angeles County resident, immediately gain access to a brighter future and more. 

To apply for a FREE library card and immediately access the e-media catalog, click here.



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