Cass District Library adds servicesPublished 1:40pm Monday, March 11, 2013
CASSOPOLIS — Whether you want to download free Beatles music, learn Hindi or complete free courses online, all can be accomplished through Cass District Library.
New services accessible with a library card through CDL’s website, http://cass.lib.mi.us include freegal, the free MP3 file format; Rocket Languages; ed2go interactive learning; and New Book Alerts, which also showcases new movie and music titles.
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CDL includes the main library at 319 M-62 North and the local history branch at 145 N. Broadway in Cassopolis, the Edwardsburg branch at 26745 Church St., the Howard branch at 2341 Yankee St., Niles, and the Mason/Union branch at 17049 U.S. 12, Edwardsburg.
Director Jennifer Ray told the Board of Commissioners March 7, “Freegal accesses millions of songs in all kinds of genres, from classic to popular and rap. Music is searchable by composer, song title, genre or artist. Everyone with a library card can legally download three songs per week. It’s a neat product and super simple. It resets itself every Sunday night. In a while, you can amass a nice little collection for your iPad.”
Rocket Languages offers 10 tongues, including Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Hindi, German, French, Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese and sign language.
“You make a little account so you can go in and out of the language learning center modules and keep your place in your lesson,” Ray said. “It’s not as complete as Rosetta Stone, but it’s really pretty nice. For a trip, you can learn about culture, food and climate.”
Free instruction in accounting and finance, business, college readiness, computer applications, design and composition, health care and medical, language arts, law and legal, personal development, teaching and education, technology and writing and publishing is available with ed2go. Obtaining a passcode enables enrollment.
With ed2go, most courses run six weeks. Patrons are granted access to two lessons each week for six weeks. Each lesson is accompanied by a short multi-choice quiz. Some lessons include a hands-on assignment.
Students are expected to complete each quiz and assignment within two weeks of the lesson’s release. Courses conclude with a final exam. Participants are given two weeks from the last lesson and final exam to complete studies and submit the final exam.
“There are over 300 classes offered as of today,” Ray said. “This product is instructor-led and can cost $125 to $150 at a community college. Some offer continuing education credits. Some are just because you want to learn how to play guitar or about interior decorating. You can print out a certification of completion and build a resume. A lot of them would be helpful if you are trying to build job skills, such as Excel. There is no charge with the library as the conduit. We got a come-on price. I’m sure if we love it, it will cost more next year.
“We will know statistics of what courses people are taking — not who those people are particularly. We hope that with people retooling and going out into the job market needing different skills, there might be some things that could be helpful, like HIPAA compliance or human anatomy, physiology and medical terminology. There is a time frame, but within that you can come and go 24 hours.”