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Boston Public Library Online Learning for Seniors

Enjoy Online Activities for Seniors Available through the Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library may be closed temporarily, but there are many online resources and activities that seniors can access to enhance their time at home. From audiobooks, ancestry, to online classes, the Boston Public Library offers endless opportunities to keep learning. Discover how to get a digital library card and specific resources that are available to all Massachusetts residents for free. 

Digital Library Card

Even if you don’t currently have a physical Boston Public Library card, all Massachusetts residents can sign up for one virtually to access all online resources. Simply fill out the form to receive your card. Once you receive your card number you can begin checking out audiobooks, ebooks, and online magazines.  

Having trouble knowing where to start? The Boston Public Library offers “Shelf Service.” All you need to do is answer a few questions about your preferences (including format such as audiobook, ebook or large print), and a BPL staff member will provide you with a list of book options. 

Online Learning

Fill your days with learning free resources offered by the Boston Public Library. Explore historical collections through the Digital Commonwealth. Cultural heritage materials such as photography, maps, trading cards, vintage advertisements and more from as far back as the 1600s. 

It’s never too late to learn a new language and the Boston Public Library makes it easy through the Mango Classroom. Brush up on a language you once knew or explore over 70 dialects by taking free interactive classes centered around you. 

Discover your family’s history online with Boston Public Library’s genealogy from home resources. Explore billions of genealogical records, including immigration and naturalization records, fully indexed U.S. Census records from 1790 to 1940, and Massachusetts vital records from the colonial era to the early 20th century.

Arts and Music

The Boston Public Library allows digital card holders access to streaming art and music databases. Alexander Street provides access to streaming audio and video that spans all time periods and hundreds of thousands of seminal artists, composers, choreographers, and ensembles. Watch and listen to your favorite artists from the popular music, jazz, world music and classical music collections.  Alexander Street also offers a Royal Shakespeare Company Collection. Enjoy high-definition, surround-sound recordings of William Shakespeare’s plays, featuring the world’s best Shakespearean actors, and filmed at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Stratford-upon-Avon theater.

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