Creative Writing

Everyone’s got a story to tell.

Whether it falls under Truths or under Lies, is rated Pleasant or Definitely Not, is  classified a Secret or Known-All-Over, or mish-mashed somewhere in between, how the story is told makes all the difference.

Without doubt, all storytellers go for a certain effect — to inform, to teach, to entertain, to get the intended feels, to move others into action — or whatever it is that compelled them to share their tales.  The purpose somehow reveals itself in the process.

And if the chosen channel of expression is the written word, then creative writing skills are a must to turn any story into an interesting one!  Incredible creative writing can turn an informative story, for example on dry cleaning, into a captivating narrative!

Enter our Library’s abundance of resources…Ta-dah!

This month’s Keep On Learning blog ties up with one of the observances for the month of November — NaNoWriMo — which is short for National Novel Writing Month.

Here, then, is a selection of courses on Creative Writing:

Keep On Learning - Creative Writing

Did you know that the Library offers free online courses, primarily through two comprehensive resources:  Universal Class, and Gale Courses?  These courses are accessible via our Library’s website under the Collections / Resources A-Z page or under the Online Learning page.

It is easy to find these courses from both catalogs, with the keywords: writing, or creative writing.

Universal Class has these offerings under its Writing Skills areas of study.   There are fundamental courses on Writing Basics 101, and another on Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Writing Structures.  There are courses entitled Creative Writing for Beginners, and Creative Writing Workshop while some courses offer focused topics on Novel Writing 101, Creative Writing 101, Romance Writing, Mystery Writing, Historical Fiction Writing, and Non-Fiction Writing.

Gale Courses has featured courses under its Writing and Publishing category.  There are courses with specific titles like Writing the Fantasy Novel, Write Your Life Story, Writing Young Adult Fiction, Romance Writing, Advanced Fiction Writing, and Mystery Writing.  There are also courses that help the writer with the business side of writing such as Beginning Writers’ Workshop, Beginners’ Guide to Getting Published, Publish and Sell Your E-books, Write Fiction Like a Pro, Writerrific: Creativity Training for Writers, and Research Methods for Writers.

We hope you’ll sign up and find a lot of awesome tips in these online courses.  There’s got to be one that will help improve one’s style and hone one’s budding (or developed) writing skills!

With the help of our Library’s resources, may you be able to bring those stories to life, and be able to write them well.

— Janea Agbayani, Adult Services Library Specialist

For more information, visit:

For other topics, themes and resources suggested for lifelong learning pursuits, visit our blog under the tag: Keep On Learning.

Computer Learning

How wonderful that Computer Learning is also one of the month-long observances for October!

It’s a great follow-up to what was touched on recently — how important it is to try to keep up with technology.

So here are some more chances to get better with computers.  The courses in the image below have been grouped according to knowledge level.

Keep On Learning - Computer Learning

For those who have minimal exposure or are new to computers, is a wonderful website that explains the basics in simple methods, i.e. there is no need to register nor sign up with an email account.  The learner can just visit the website, and start clicking at the numerous topics.  Maybe you know someone who could benefit from this resource?  We have had many novice learners who were grateful for these lessons.  There is a choice of watching a video, or reading a PDF version of the content.

The Learning Express Library is also another resource that is perfect for beginner level learners.  There are course categories like Get Started With Your Computer, and Get Started With The Internet!  Its Computer Skills Center also offers numerous tutorials – ranging from beginner to expert – on popular software tools, graphic applications, and the different Windows operating systems.  A library card and an email address are needed to register for the courses.

For those who are already comfortable using computer technology but would like to gain more knowledge, there are two great course catalogs for you to browse from:  Universal Class and Gale Courses.  Both resources would require a Livingston Library Card and an email address to register.  You must use our portal through our Library’s website in order to get to the right content in these course catalogs.

Search for courses using keywords like computer learning, computer, computer basics, Microsoft, Google, Windows, Mac, software, application, technology, specific product names or topics, networking, security, or troubleshooting, as examples.

Universal Class has these offerings under its Computer Training and Office Skills areas of study.  You can sign up anytime for these video-based, self-paced and instructor-led courses.  Most can be completed within 10-20 hours, however, they are made available for completion within six months.

Gale Courses has featured courses under Technology, and Computer Applications.  Use the search function for a more comprehensive list of courses.  The 6-week courses are offered monthly and have start periods assigned for each cycle.  So be sure to register in time.  The courses are also self-paced and instructor-led.

Beginner level learners may be interested in Universal Class‘s Computer Basics 101, Computer Literacy Level 1 – Computer Basics, and in Gale Course‘s Computer Skills For The Workplace.

Intermediate level learners, who would like to know more about the Microsoft Office suite of applications, can find courses in both Universal Class and Gale Courses.  Just search for the specific product names like Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, Publisher, Powerpoint, or Office,and you will find courses for different software versions, e.g. Word 2010, Word 2019, Word 2007, etc.

Those keen in understanding more about the user interfaces of their computer’s operating systems, i.e. Windows 10, Window 8, or Windows 7, can find lessons in both Universal Class and Gale Courses.  These courses are a great way to keep up with the ever-changing layouts, and ways of searching, filing, and tweaking your computer’s personal settings!

Those who would like to maximize the use of their email accounts, plus all the tools and features that go with them, can look for Microsoft Outlook, Gmail 101, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides in the Universal Class course catalogs.

Advanced level computer learners (or those who would like to get into advanced level knowledge) can sign up with Gale Courses for:  Introduction to PC Troubleshooting, Introduction to Programming, Introduction to PC Security, Advanced PC Security, Introduction to Networking, Intermediate Networking, Wireless Networking, Understanding the Cloud, and CompTIA A+ Certification Prep.

Gale Courses covers topics like taking care of your physical computer, setting up networks which could be a basis for setting up your home network, as well as other useful information.

If these computer learning courses don’t help for a DIY approach, the materials will still help you follow what your tech service concierge would be talking about.  Now, if your go-to guys are your teen techies, grandkids, or maybe even your pre-schooler, you might even find a great way to bond over tech lessons!

Computers can be intimidating but if we try to learn more, bit by bit, we might be able to overcome that fear of not being capable of keeping up – and especially – that fear of not being capable of learning any more than what we are familiar with.

With the ever-evolving and fast-paced technology changes, can you imagine how we’ll all be able to manage several years from now… IF we don’t try to keep up now?

So, let’s keep trying… for computer learning… for lifelong learning…

Let’s Keep On Learning!

— Janea Agbayani, Adult Services Library Specialist

For more information, visit:

For other topics, themes, and resources suggested for lifelong learning pursuits, visit our blog under the tag: Keep On Learning.