Earlier this month we highlighted back-to-school titles for kids to help them adjust to attending school for the first time or changing from one school to another. But many adults are also returning to school. For some of them many years have passed since they’ve been in a classroom and some have never experienced online classes which are so prevalent today. Whether planning to complete a degree or study for a professional license, the Manatee County Public Library System has resources to help achieve that goal. Here are just a few.
From the library website (mymanatee.org/library), click on the Research and Learning link and select the database, “Learning Express Library.” With your library card number and PIN you can access practice tests, eBooks, computer tutorials, and professional development study guides.
The “Adult Learning Center” of Learning Express is great for a refresher on basic skills. You will find basic math and algebra skills tutorials as well as tutorials for reading comprehension, grammar and writing skills. Learn about computers and the internet in the aptly named “Computer and Internet Basics Center.”
The “Popular Software Skills Center” offers tutorials on Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook, and more), computer graphics and illustration (Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop) and understanding your operating system (Windows and Mac).
The GED prep section (in the “High School Equivalency Center”) builds skills for the five areas of the test, and is also available in Spanish. “The College Preparation Center” includes SAT, ACT and AP practice tests and pointers on writing a college admissions essay. The “College Center” covers the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, CLEP tests, and more.
The “Career Center” of the database features practice tests for careers ranging from civil service to nursing school entrance exams. It also has ASVAB prep for those interested in entering the military. Your progress can be tracked using the “My Center” tab where your results, tutorials and eBooks are stored. You may also find any tutorial, eBook or test in the “Find Resources” search box.
Learning Express offers many eBook titles including occupational manuals and GED study guides. There are also titles to help students who may be struggling to balance work and classes, like Elizabeth Chesla’s “Read Better, Remember More.”
Another popular library database for adult learners is Hoopla. Perhaps known more for movies and music, Hoopla also offers a series of 23 abridged classic novels with student activities to improve reading comprehension. In addition, there are ESL resources and numerous choices for improving study habits. The Hoopla Digital app is available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire, or through a web browser.
Finally, anyone who has written a research paper knows how time consuming it can be to gather articles and cite sources. With your library card you can easily find thousands of full-text articles from popular magazines and peer reviewed journals. Our database “MaterFILE Premier” pulls from nearly 1,700 periodicals, and has a citation builder for your bibliography.
Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday. You may also access the library at mymanatee.org/library. Mary Lysaght is the assistant supervisor at the Rocky Bluff Library in Ellenton.