More Favourite E-Resources, Always FREE With Your Library Card
The Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) offers so many “e-resources,” it can be difficult to remember them all! That’s why I’m always reminding you about the treasures hidden in your library card. Everyone with a VIRL library card has access to all these digital resources, and they are always free of charge.
If you don’t have a computer, come to one of our branches and use ours. If you don’t have internet access at home, come use our free wifi. And if you don’t know how to use these resources, don’t worry – we’re here to help!
Today I’ll highlight three of my personal favourites: Mango Languages, Naxos Music Library, and Kanopy. There are many ways to find these resources on VIRL’s website, but I like to use: virl.bc.ca > learn > all databases. That will bring you to a list of all our e-resources, in alphabetical order.
Mango Languages is the premier online language-learning system. Mango features 75 different languages, plus courses to learn English, taught in more than 20 different languages.
There are many language learning programs online, but none compare to Mango Languages. On Mango, each language is taught by a native speaker. Lessons start very simple, and build gradually, so you can quickly see progress and gain confidence. There’s lots of repetition and review built in. There’s even a feature where you can compare your pronunciation to the teacher’s and see how it matches up.
I love Mango Languages because it’s designed for real life. Mango knows the kinds of words and phrases that you need for traveling or living in another country. I’ve used it several times for travel (remember travel?) and it was incredibly helpful and easy to use.
Naxos Music Library, plus Naxos Jazz Music and Naxos World Music Libraries, lets you listen to music by thousands of artists, in a vast range of styles. You can search by artist, country, culture, genre, or style, and listen to whole albums or single songs. You can tag favourites, create playlists, and search multiple ways, just as you can with commercial streaming services, but the Naxos Music Library is free and incredibly extensive. The jazz library alone contains more than 230,000 tracks. Where else could you explore so much music – legally, and at no cost? Only at your library.
Many people – myself included – enjoy watching British movies and TV series through AcornTV, free with your VIRL library card. But to me, the pinnacle of all streaming services offered through VIRL is Kanopy. Kanopy is film. Independent film, hard-to-find movies, documentaries, award-winners, classics – if you love movies, you will love Kanopy. Using Kanopy, you can watch 10 movies per month. If you live with someone who also has a library card, that’s 20 plays between the you. Kanopy Kids and the Great Courses are unlimited. If you haven’t tried Great Courses, you must!
[Shortly after this column was published, the company that owns Acorn ended its free library use.]