On Centre: Around Bellefonte | Library system promotes online courses

Centre County residents looking for new skills now don’t even have to leave their homes.

The Centre County Library, partnering with Schlow Library, is running a pilot program called to allow locals to share and create online classes. Some free courses already available include learning to play the ukulele, creating pysanky — Ukrainian Easter eggs, and selecting and roasting cuts of beef.

Communications director Jennifer Cifelli said it’s an exciting venture because it’s only being offered locally in Centre County.

With the local flavor, residents will be able to create courses for hobbies that would appeal to people in this area.

“It’s created by Centre County residents for Centre County residents,” she said.

She is hoping the effort can expand as more people sign up for the website and integrate their individual talents into potential courses. She said studies show that learning new hobbies is popular for people right now.

Cifelli said she is interested to see what community members come up with.

The Bellefonte library location also offers a plethora of children’s programs each week.

Most of the projects revolve around reading or learning, including story time for toddlers and a March parent-child workshop for children ages 1 to 3. Cifelli added that it’s a positive experience for the parents as well because they are also able to interact with peers while the children learn.

“Not only does it socialize children, but it helps the parents, she said. “It gives them a little bit of a community, too.”