Free streaming and other hidden gems at Thompson-Okanagan libraries | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Free streaming and other hidden gems at Thompson-Okanagan libraries

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March 22, 2021 - 6:00 AM

Okanagan Regional Library and Thompson-Nicola Regional Library cards offer more than just free books.

People don’t often associate libraries with online tools like Rosetta Stone or LinkedIn Learning, which has to do with perception, said Michel Utko, director of marketing and communications with the Okanagan Regional Library branch.

“I believe a lot of people still see the libraries as the quiet places where you can’t bring drinks or have a meeting," Utko said. "We’ve been changing and libraries have been one way for such a long time that it’s hard to change that image.”

There are public meeting spaces at the Okanagan Regional Library locations that can be booked for a fee. Some branches also have maker spaces with 3D Printers, audio recording and other technology that residents can explore, he said.

Before COVID-19, libraries held programs that aimed to connect people and experience the space in a different way.

READ MORE: West Kelowna looks to build a combo City Hall and library

Here are some online resources that residents can use for free with their library cards.

LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com)

All you need is a library card to access thousands of tutorial videos that benefit both businesses and the individual, Utko said.

You can use it for free with both TNRD and ORL cards.

“I use it so much myself, and whenever I mention it to my colleagues or marketing services, people are shocked because a lot of people use it, but a lot of people pay for it and they don’t realize it’s at no cost (for library users),” he said.

PressReader

PressReader allows users to gain access to hundreds of newspapers from around the world. Newspapers are viewable for free in a PDF form and many different languages, Utko said.

This service is available for free for both TNRD and ORL cardholders.

Flipster Digital Magazines

Hundreds of magazines like TIME, McLeans and Chickadee are accessible for free online with an ORL card, Utko said.

TNRD library branches use a similar free resource called Library2Go and readers can download magazines eBooks and audiobooks for free.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is a software that allows residents to learn up to 30 languages for free with their ORL cards.

“It’s an amazing resource to learn as well if you’re looking to learn Spanish or French or German, you can jump in very quickly to learn something,” Utko said.

TNRD library members can access a similar site, called Rocket Languages, for free as well.

Hoopla

This streaming service is like Netflix for libraries, said Margo Schiller, manager of Kamloops libraries and engagement.

Currently available for TNRD library cardholders, it works like any streaming service and has TV shows, movies and music. The service was launched in December, 2020 for the TNRD library branches.

Auto Repair Source

This database offers online manuals for different cars if residents want to repair their own themselves.

“For some vehicles, you can’t even buy those manuals anymore,” Utko said.

This resource is available for free for both Okanagan and Thompson-Nicola library users.

A full list of online and other resources available at the different library branches can be found at the TNRD website and on the Okanagan Regional Library website

Penticton Public Library did not immediately return a request for information.

What features and online resources would you like to see available at public libraries in Kamloops and the Okanagan? Comment below and let us know.


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