Thursday, March 27, 2014

Learning for Fun Outside The Classroom

As an information/reference librarian, I appreciate any learning opportunity in areas unfamiliar to me.  MCPL's collection includes lecture recordings on numerous academic topics.  They come in different formats including downloadable ebook options.

The lecturers, in most cases, teach at college and graduate school level and were chosen by good reputation.  MCPL's catalog will lead you to many free lectures in the fields of science, history, fine arts, music, religion & theology, literature, business and many other subjects you might enjoy.

Here are the steps I use to find the lecture collection in MCPL's catalog.

1. Go to New Catalog on the website
2. Click on “Advanced Search” next to the “Search” button in the top right corner.
3. Type one of the two major series names, “Great Courses,” or “Modern Scholar.”
4. Choose format type “sound recording,” “video disc,” or "electronic resources."
5. Add a broad subject term of your interest such as “history,” “science,” “music,” etc.

Introducing a couple of my all-time favorites:

Creating Humans: ethical questions where reproduction and science collide by Alexander McCall Smith

Yep, it is the same Alexander McCall Smith.  Great Courses website introduces him: “Edinburgh professor Alexander McCall Smith delivers a course that discusses the various moral aspects of human reproduction from methods of contraception to methods of ending a pregnancy. He will discuss the moral, cultural, legal, and political influences on reproduction as well as the scientific advances in reproductive technology.”

Robert Greenberg lectures on classic music on various topics and lives of composers.  
I call him the “Click & Clack” of music lecturer.  There were many times I burst out laughing listening his lectures while cooking or driving.  This could be hazardous to your health.

Another option is using MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) offered by various academic institutions.  Please see an earlier blog by my colleague on the subject.

Happy Learning!!


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