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Learning is cool! Especially when you can do it online

The Greater Victoria Public Library has a digital treasure trove of knowledge and entertainment
Using your electronic devices to access the multitude of digital learning and entertainment platforms provided by the Greater Victoria Public Library is the new reality for many library users. Courtesy GVPL

Your neighbourhood library may be closed, but that doesn’t mean your access to a whole world of knowledge and entertainment is cut off.

Quite the opposite, says Jessica Woollard, communications manager for the Greater Victoria Public Library, which shut the doors at all of its branches in early March to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“One thing that is certain is we will continue to offer numerous options for our patrons,” she says, pointing to the broad cross-section of offerings available through the GVPL’s digital platforms at

From the music, film and e-book/audio book repository contained on the Hoopla app (accessible free with your library card number) and the RB Digital magazine collections, to the reading/listening apps AudioBookCloud and CloudLibrary and the Mango Languages learning platform, there’s plenty to choose from here.

One particular platform designed for enriching interactive experiences is, an online learning program with hundreds of video tutorials by experts on specific subjects in fields ranging from 2D/3D Animation to Audio/Music, to Business and IT, Photography, Video, Web Design, Writing and more.

Want to learn how to become a 3D character animator? Hone your songwriting or instrument playing skills or your understanding of the technical side of music? How about finding and retaining talent for your business or improving your coaching skills as a manager? Maybe you want to learn how to sell your novel to a major publisher, publish an e-book or get better at writing in general? What about getting a good handle on any of the focused software programs used in the IT and data science world?

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Then again, with all the stress of self-isolation, social distancing and quarantines, perhaps you’d like to work on some mindfulness training? You’ll find all of these ideas and more on, with “Learning Path” times that give you the overall length of all the tutorial’s video components.

“Even Arianna Huffington offers a series of courses on well-being and reducing stress,” Woollard says.

You’ll find up-to-the-moment elements in many of the platforms. On Hoopla, for example, you can watch three other movies directed by Bong Joon Ho, the Oscar-winning director of Parasite, which won the Best Picture Oscar, among others, at the Academy Awards in February.

“A lot of regular users will get their platforms that they love, but you can also have the fun of exploring different ones,” Woollard says.

All of the platforms are accessible by using your GVPL card and work well on a variety of devices.

Don’t have a library card yet?

“You can start right away,” Woollard says. “Just sign up online, get a number and a password and you’re ready to go! The library travels with you on your device and our virtual branch is always open for you.”

Find other information about the libraries at A note that the phones will not be staffed during the current closures.

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