Tag Archives: free

Your Best Resource to Survive 2020: Local Libraries

Full disclosure: I work a few days a week at the North Independence Branch of Mid-continent Public Library system. This doesn’t make me an expert, but I can claim that I’m a professional. I managed to infiltrate this wonderland at the end of 2019. Visit mymcpl.org.

Ah, 2020—by far the most exciting year many of us have ever experienced. Most of what we took as “the norm” is anything but. For many of us, money and opportunity is scarce, and misinformation is widely available. Who ya’ gonna call? Your local library.

I’ve always loved libraries, but I hadn’t explored one in depth since I was a kid. I’d go, check out books or movies and leave. They have grown up to be a lot more than a place for free reads in the last decade… in the last year especially they’ve become a one stop community resource.

I am pretty lucky to be a part of MCPL. They are one of the best and most progressive library systems in the US. Your library may not have all the same resources, but once you see something your community would benefit from, ask. There may be a way to implement it. If not, many libraries are becoming open to the community at large that resides beyond their physical service area.

A good example of this is MCPL’s YouTube offerings. Since the pandemic hit, they have pivoted their focus from content in buildings to building up content. Video offerings on MCPL’s channel alone offer early literacy programs for kids, physical fitness classes like yoga and chair yoga, tech classes like how to work with Excel… and all of these videos are free to anyone, not just those of us lucky enough to live here.

Check out Mid-Continent Public Library’s YouTube channel here. If your library doesn’t offer things like this, why not step in and help them?

I’ve attended more classes, seminars and events than ever in the past few months, both as student and presenter because everything is now online. No more choosing between dinner after work and a class, no cold, icy roads… and best of all no more travel time. A few weeks ago I ‘attended’ events on both sides of Kansas City back to back. When one ended, I logged onto the next. I wore my pajamas and ate dinner while I learned about marketing and then gardening in the Midwest. If you can change your perspective you’ll discover some wonderful opportunities.

Coffee for a cause? Yes!

A lot of people that visit us in the library lately are either trying to brush up their old skills or add new ones. For free, did you know many libraries offer instructor led classes that can provide certificates? Perfect for adding a bit of sparkle to your resume and boost your completive edge.

It’s worth checking to see if your library offers Universal Class or Gale Courses. Each provides a range of classes such as Office Skills, Parenting and Family, Personal Development, Pet and Animal Care, Real Estate, Science, Self-Help, Social Work, Special Education, Spiritual Studies, Teacher Resources, Test Preparation, Web Development, Writing Skills… instructor led and graded. At the end of the class you are certified in a new skill.

If you care more about the actual skill than the certification, check out Lynda.com. Video led classes to teach a variety of more tech oriented skills like 3D + Animation, Audio + Music, Business, CAD, Design, Developer, Education + elearning, IT, Marketing, Photography, Video, Web… no teachers but you can tailor your learning to what you need for free.

Besides these courses there are language learning programs like Muzzy or Mango. There are apps to check out ebooks and audio books like OverDrive and Libby. Libraries are offering subscriptions to newspapers, Consumer Reports, Chilton, genealogy, history, legal resources… for free.

Check out some of there offerings here and then see if your library doesn’t offer the same. You will probably be surprised by what your local library does offer. I often ask our own cardholders if they are aware of all the online resources we offer and they are usually shocked at how much power their library membership provides. Did I mention for free?

I just found out MCPL—
there’s an app for that!

Then there’s the usual… books and movies. Many libraries participate in Interlibrary Loan which means participating libraries borrow from other libraries. If your library doesn’t have what you need, chances are they can check it out from one that does. And, you can even check out games this way. Recently I borrowed games for PS4, XBox , Switch and Wii.

Oh… for free. Can you see a theme developing here?

During a pandemic, online is king. Look up your local library right now and see what kinds of services they offer besides books. Don’t know how to find them? Ask Google… one of my other for free resources. But that’s another post.

The Sirens Call eZine #43—FREE READS

I’m excited to have four pieces of fiction published in The Sirens Call eZine #43. This issue celebrates the tenth Women in Horror Month, so it’s an all woman issue. Always free to read, there are 204 pieces of lit inside. That’s a lot of poetry, flash and fiction for FREE!

Besides my four pieces, some of the best names in feminine horror are included—Nina D’ArcangelaErin Lydia PrimeNaching T. KassaAshley Davis, Mary Genevieve Fortier, A.F. StewartErin Sweet-Al MehairiTracie McbrideStephanie AyersMelissa R. MendelsonSheri WhiteLoren Rhoads, Sonora Taylor, E.A. Black, Tawny KipphornMercedes Murdock Yardley…  out of 204 pieces of work I know I’ve missed someone. Best way to find out is go have a read yourself. Did I mention it’s free?

Visit Siren’s Call Publications to download this issue,
or download the issue here.

Many thanks to the Sirens Call staff of Nina D’Arcangela, Erin Lydia Prime, Gloria Bobrowicz, and Lee A. Forman for their hard work bringing this publication to life every month. Calls for submissions open up soon—I’ll be sharing that call here as soon as I see it.

May’s Winner & June’s Contest

Book Bag Week 1Congratulations to my May winner – Carol V.!  Thanks to everyone who entered. Next month’s contest is even better with more ways to win, including referrals credit. Good luck!

June 2014And here’s next month’s giveaway all ready to go… the Win! tab at the top has all the details.

Win a Summertime Reading prize package this month and start your summer holidays off right.

Entering is easy, just do the week’s activities by joining the Rafflecopter below and you now have chances at winning the prize for June – Included is a chip and dip platter, two margarita glasses, a matching pitcher and lid and two signed paperback copies of my books – End of Mae and No Money Marketing.

There will be new chances to enter for the prize package each week. Entering is simple – just check out the Rafflecopter and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Desperately seeking self promoters

mae typewriterDandilyon Fluff is moving away from being a one woman blog to becoming a publication with multiple contributors, both regular and intermittent.

If you are interested in promoting yourself, your clients or your author related business please send a query to

email addresswith the word “SUBMISSION” in the subject line.  All topics are fine as long as they somehow relate to writers and authors.  Reviewing books and magazines, the art of cover design, cover reveals, etc. are welcome.  Please submit poetry for the Sunday Night Poetry Slam to the above email with the word “POETRY” in the subject line.

Dandilyon Fluff is an established blog that has been posting on a near daily basis since 2010 and has a subscriber base already built up.  Every post is shared to Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, my fan page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… and more.  This is an ideal opportunity for anyone looking to expand their online presence without having to start your own from scratch.