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5 of the best free courses available at the Calgary Library | News – Daily Hive

At this point, you probably assume you know what you can get at a library, but there are lots of courses at the Calgary Library you probably wouldn’t expect!

Whether you are a parent looking to help your kids out with school or are an adult looking to brush up on your language skills or learn a new skill for a career change, there is something for everyone.

Here are five of the best free courses available with your Calgary Library card.

Rosetta Stone

Whether you are looking to brush up on what you already know or are trying to learn a new language, you can do so with Rosetta Stone from the Calgary Library.

Anne Marie Fryer, the manager of digital resources with the Calgary Library, says it is a great resource to cover everything you need to learn a new language.

“It does have the focus either on reading and writing, and it also can be a focus on speaking and listening. I think we see people using it when they’re travelling and they want to acquire some vocabulary for their destination or they simply just want to learn a language but also practice learning English.” Fryer explained. “Over the last year, there’s been about 6,300 hours of use. The primary use there has been number one French, and then the next one that was most popular was English.”

Libby app

The Libby app has a number of great resources to check out. You can check out eBooks as well as audiobooks. Fryer says this is their most popular free resource.

“We are expecting to do over four million checkouts this year, so we’re really into that. That’s something that has lots of information and I can’t think of a time in the winter in Calgary, like the days that we’re having here, that could be any better for at-home learning.”

But there are more than just eBooks on the app — it also offers a video streaming service called Kanopy. You can learn about a wide range of topics with episodic videos that are about 30 minutes in length. There are science courses, some cooking classes, and history lessons as well.


If you are looking to learn the basics of coding, the Calgary Library has you covered with the Code Combat game. Fryer says the game was meant for kids but it helps everyone.

“We brought it in primarily for kids learning to code or young people learning to code, but in actual fact, it doesn’t matter what your age is if you’re learning to code,” she explained. “It’s for JavaScript and Python. And so it’s just a really introductory tool in the sense that it’s kind of a game and it has about… 500 levels in it.”

Fryer admitted she’s tried it a few times but has stalled, so it’s definitely not just for kids.


The Calgary Library offers a couple of resources to help students out. One is Brainfuse, which is connected to the Alberta curriculum from kindergarten to Grade 12. But according to Fryer, it is not just for kids.

Fryer says the average time for a tutoring session is 15 minutes. There is also an option to learn chess on the service.

Another great resource is Solaro, which is also connected to the Alberta curriculum. You can take practice tests and work on different unit exercises, all while customizing them to your needs. Fryer says Solaro was used 4,000 times in October.

Gale courses

For adults hoping to pick up some new skills or work essentials, the Calgary Library has you covered with Gale.

“I think that’s where we kind of see some of the trends happening. You know, what are people looking for? Because, really what we get used in that area, primarily would be things like accounting fundamentals, introduction to excel, project management, QuickBooks,” Fryer explains. “The people who are redoing their skill sets or practicing their skills when looking for jobs [and] working from home… are really using things like Gale courses.”

You can also learn sign language with Gale Courses.

All five of these courses are included with a Calgary Library card and are available online right now.

Author: Peter Klein