A Guide to Free Live-Tutoring and Best Courses at Online Public Libraries

Knowledge Is Power.
Everyone Can Learn.

Do you aspire to nourish your children or yourself with top-notch educational resources? Are you fretting over the hassle and expense of hiring a qualified tutor? No worries. Your public library account is your passport to a sea of wonderful online courses 24/7, and free one-on-one live-tutoring services for all grades and subjects every day from 1pm-10pm.

Knowledge is power. Everyone can learn and achieve. To assist your learning, this article curates some of the best online educational resources available from our public libraries to you.

Note: The Santa Clara County Library District members—such as the public libraries of Los Altos, Cupertino, Saratoga, and Gilroy—offer access to most of the online learning resources referenced below, many of which not available from the Palo Alto City Library.

A Short List of the Best Online Learning Resources

We think the following learning resources are the best: Brainfuse, the Great Courses, Lynda.com, Universal Class, LearningExpress, and Treehouse; and the free daily online live-tutoring service from Brainfuse is invaluable. Take a glimpse of  their screenshots, and explore them to find your favorite courses.

Need a tutor? Simply log into your library account between 1pm and 10pm Monday to Sunday, go to Brainfuse, select your grade and subject, then meet a live tutor ready to assist you!

The Great Courses are also available through Kanopy:

Apart from digital textbooks, CK-12 presents an array of science simulations:

Some of these resources provide both web and mobile access. For example, you can access The Great Courses via the RBdigital app, or install the Lynda.com app on your smartphone to study anywhere anytime.

Recommendations by Subject

1. English Language and Literature

The Great Courses, Universal Class, and Lynda.com provide a range of fabulous courses and learning materials on every topic in English language and literature. Each of The Great Courses series comes with a downloadable textbook—Guidebook—to guide your study.

2. Writing

Extensive reading does not automatically translate into one’s writing ability. Close reading, diligent writing practice, and effective writing training are indispensable for building one’s writing power. The Great Courses, Lynda.com, and Universal Class offer abundant writing courses that cover writing fundamentals and enrichments of every genre or style. Some stellar courses are:

1). The Great Courses
2). Lynda.com

The courses taught by Shani Raja are highly recommended.

3). The Universal Class

This site alone offers more than 100 writing courses. You may even join a class to interact with your instructor and classmates!

4). LearningExpress Library

This site offers excellent e-books, practices, and tests on reading, writing, vocabulary, and grammar.

5). Brainfuse

3. Humanities: History, Philosophy, Economics, etc.

The Great Courses offer many finest courses in history and other humanity disciplines.

In addition to quality courses, immense digital resources on all subjects are also just a click away through every library website. For example, here are two history databases:

4. Math and Science

And don’t forget the awesome accompanying Guidebooks!

Universal Class offers many excellent math and science courses, too:

5. Coding and Web Related

Treehouse and Lynda.com offer a full-range of IT courses on coding, web development, web design, etc.

6. Test Preps

Brainfuse, LearningExpress Library, and Universal Class all offer abundant test prep exercises for SAT, ACT, and other major tests.

7. Parenting, Self-Development, and More

The Great Courses and Lynda.com offers numerous awesome courses in self-development, parenting skills, wellness and leisure, food and nutrition, and many more.

Aside from these public library gems, you may also want to explore other great learning resources on YouTube, such as Crash Courses and 3blue1brown.

Now, with great video lessons, practices, tests, and live-tutoring at your service, you are all set to learn and achieve.

*** Questions? Comments? Please contact askstudibee@gmail.com. ***

Bon Voyage on your learning adventure!