At-Home Resources for Adults

Posted on Mar 18, 2020

Here are some great ways you can keep reading, learning, and entertained while at home.

Books & Reading

Downloadable Books & Audiobooks from OverDrive
Borrow books, audiobooks, even graphic novels and picture books using your library card and phone or tablet. Track your reading activity, leave notes and bookmarks, and preview new books with a tap until you find the perfect one for you. Download the Libby (the librarian!) app in the Apple or Google Play store, enter your library card number, and away you go! Handouts are available from ADL and we’re happy to help you install or navigate the app over the phone.

Scribd Books, Audiobooks, Magazines, & News
Here at ADL, we don’t care what you’re reading. We just want you to read. So, if you’re waiting for that newest bestseller or your favorite author on OverDrive? Looking for online magazines? You’ve got another free option right now. Scribd, a subscription digital library service, is stepping up to the plate during the current health crisis. All their books, audiobooks, magazines, and news are now FREE for 30 days. No credit card needed. It will end automatically, with no requirement to cancel. Expires April 17, 2020. Offer valid only for new first-time subscribers.

Stories by Audible
Available as long as schools are closed, all stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. Explore the collection, select a title and start listening. It’s that easy. Includes collections for Literary Classics, as well as Littlest Listeners, Elementary, Tween, and Teen. Available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese.

TumbleBooks’ databases are easy to use, and feature unlimited access from home! Read as many books as you want, when you want, and on any device. There are no check-outs, holds, or bulky downloads. Books are available instantly. Your access will continue through until August 31, 2020.
AudiobookCloud – all ages audio book database
RomanceBookCloud – a huge collection of steamy Romance novels for the older crowd!

Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Read by Patrick Stewart (Facebook)
Sir Patrick Stewart, internationally well-know stage and screen actor, is reading a Shakespearean sonnet each day on his Facebook page for anyone who would like to tune in. It’s a great way to hear how the sonnet would be read on the stage.

Digital Transcription Projects (from Atlas Obscura)
Slews of institutions are looking for armchair archivists—volunteers who can generate knowledge by clicking through digitized resources, deciphering handwriting, tagging photos, and more. Institutions include the Newberry, University College London, New York Public Library, the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives, and Library of Congress.

Online Cooking Classes (Free!)

Better Homes and Gardens: How to Cook
Learn the basics in the cooking classes at Better Homes and Gardens.

The Kitchn’s Cooking School
The Kitchn’s Cooking School is a 20-day, 20-lesson program where students tackle an essential cooking topic each day. You’ll even have homework!

BBC Food Techniques
BBC has a nice selection of cooking videos for people with a variety of skill levels. Don’t know how to cut an onion? There’s a class for that. But there are also classes on advanced techniques.

Cooking with The New York Times
One of America’s most popular newspapers, The New York Times, has an online cooking school with video lessons.

Dinner Tonight
Texas A&M has a variety of classes to teach students to make quick and healthy dinners.

Kitchen Chemistry
Most people associate MIT with building those intense robots that rip each other apart in a ring, but MIT also posts online versions of real classes, including one called Kitchen Chemistry.

Delia Online Cookery School
Delia Online features a host of cooking technique articles of varying levels of difficulty. Each lesson has step-by-step instructions with photos.

Learn a New Language

Learn a new language with Mango
Mango offers courses in over 70 different languages, from Arabic to Yiddish. Mango has interactive lessons that emphasize conversational skills and cultural education, as well as a collection of foreign films in a variety of languages with a breakdown of the dialogue especially created for language instruction. For those who are learning English as a Second Language (ESL), Mango offers English instruction in over 20 different languages as well. Want to take your mind off worrying for an afternoon? Use Mango to learn how to speak Pirate with the whole family!

Virtual Field Trips

Virtual Tours of 31 US National Parks
The national park system in the United States is one of America’s greatest treasures, undoubtedly worth traveling the country to explore. But, thanks to Google Earth, it’s also one we can appreciate from the comfort of our own homes. Google Earth has put together a series of guided virtual tours of 31 national parks around the country, providing a stunning glimpse of the trails and vistas you can take advantage of if you visit them in real life. It may not be the same as lacing up your hiking boots and inhaling the crisp clean air of the wilderness, but they’re pretty neat nonetheless.

Georgia Aquarium
As the largest aquarium in the world, George Aquarium has many unique undersea creatures in over one million cubic feet of water, including jellyfish, California sea lions, and beluga whales. Discover hundreds of fish, rays, whale sharks, and more as they swarm peacefully in their habitat. They have daily and weekly live streaming events, offer regular updates on our animals, and downloadable lesson plans and resources.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Although the Aquarium is closed, the animals are still showing off via different live feeds that you can watch every day. Be delighted by the antics of penguins and sea otters or mellow out to the hypnotic drifting of jellyfish. With ten live cams to choose from, you can experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are.

San Diego Zoo
Watch the animals through 10 different live cams, plus archived videos of pandas from January through April 2019. The zoo is streaming videos of baboons, penguins, polar bears, apes, koalas, giraffes, owls, elephants, tigers, and condors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Streaming Concerts at Home

Live Virtual Concerts To Watch During The Coronavirus Shutdown (NPR Music)
As more festivals, performances and concerts are canceled due to the coronavirus shutdown, musicians of all genres are taking to social and streaming platforms to play live for their fans.

NPR Music is compiling a list of live audio and video streams from around the world, categorized by date and genre, with links out to streaming platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Some will require registration or a subscription, but most will be free, often with digital tip jars and opportunities to directly support artists by buying music and merchandise. Updated regularly.

Metropolitan Opera
Each evening, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day. The schedule will include outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers.

Also available through the Met Opera on Demand apps for Apple, Amazon, and Roku devices and Samsung Smart TV.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra
The whole family can make some popcorn and watch a free shows on-demand from the talented Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Stay Active at Home

YMCA 360 On-Demand Videos
From the comfort of your home, stay active with the classes you know and love from the YMCA. Regular exercise is one component of a healthy lifestyle that can help reduce stress and prevent illness. Take group exercise classes for all ages right in your own home at no charge for a limited time! Find some of your favorite classes by browsing videos. Including yoga, tai chi, classes for older adults, barre, weighlifting, and circuit-based “bootcamp” classes.

Planet Fitness Home Work-In (Facebook)
Planet Fitness trainers are offering free home “work-ins” on their Facebook page every evening at 7:00 pm, but videos are available after the live event. Some special live events are available as morning live streaming events.

Free Yoga Classes (YouTube)
This might be the perfect time to take up yoga, a great stress-reliever. Find countless free beginner classes — and plenty for more experienced yogis as well. This channel has hundreds of videos for all skill levels and all categories, like Yoga for Bedtime, Anxiety, or Wrist Pain.

Digital Escape Rooms

Hogwarts Digital Escape Room
You can complete this escape room as a family or individual. You can even compete against friends and try it multiple times. Just make sure you have fun! It’s your first year at Hogwarts. You’ll watch clips from Harry Potter movies, answer questions from the clips, head into Gringotts where you’ll have to figure out the exchange rate between sickles and galleons, figure out how to do different spells and much, much more!

Full credit for this escape experience is given to Sydney Krawiec, Youth Services Librarian at Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, PA.

Alice in Wonderland Digital Escape Room
Based on the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Also referenced are movie adaptations of the book–Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland and Alice in Wonderland. Intended for all ages, you can complete it by yourself or with a group. Have fun with it!

This escape room was created by Erin Honeycutt, Children’s Librarian at Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System in Moultrie, Georgia.

YouTube to Keep You Learning & Laughing

Blues at the Bohm – Over 200 recorded concerts from our very own Bohm Theatre and more to come!

Crash Course – Tons of awesome courses in one awesome channel! Each only 10-15 minutes long. Check out the playlists for courses in sociology, computer science, film history, mythology, physics, philosophy, games, economics, U.S. government and politics, astronomy, anatomy & physiology, world history, biology, literature, ecology, chemistry, psychology, and U.S. history.

Healthcare Triage – A series of short videos about healthcare hosted by Dr. Aaron Carroll who explains healthcare policy, medical research, and answers a lot of other questions you may have about medicine, health, and healthcare.

GCFLearnFree is a worldwide leader in FREE, online education. With more than 190 topics, learn everything from Microsoft Excel and social media to graphic design and job skills. More than 2,300 lessons as well as videos and interactives, completely free. is a program of Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF) and Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina Inc. (GIENC).

The Art Assignment – A weekly PBS Digital Studios production hosted by curator Sarah Urist Greene, exploring art and art history through the lens of things happening today. Includes a playlist for art assignments for those in self-quarantine.

Take a College Course for Free!

Open Culture
Get 1,500 free online courses from the world’s leading universities — Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more. You can download these audio & video courses (often from iTunes, YouTube, or university web sites) straight to your computer or mp3 player.

10 University Art Classes You Can Take for Free Online
Interested in mastering a new, hands-on creative skill? You can learn to draw your own comics or capture artful digital photographs. Wish you could brush up on Art History 101? There are courses exploring the art and archaeology of ancient Egypt and the development of the artistic avant-garde. The team at has rounded up 10 of their favorite art and design classes offered by colleges and universities across the globe.

Free Streaming TV

Under the Radio Michigan (PBS)
Nine seasons featuring the cool people, places and things that make Michigan a great place to be. Start watching now!