Libraries and Self-Directed Learning


Public Libraries – You don’t have to be a resident any of these counties to have library privileges there.

Multnomah County Library

Washington County Library

Clackamas County Library


The Biggest Public Library of All – Our national treasure and a great place to hang out.

Library of Congress


Academic Libraries – Oregon residents have select library privileges in all these libraries.

Portland State University Library

Portland Community College Library

Oregon State University Library

University of Oregon Library

University of Portland Library

Lewis and Clark College Library

Users can request books, CDs, DVDs and more from 39 academic libraries in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho through the Summit service of Orbis Cascade Alliance.


Book Lists and Reviews

The Complete Review - Over 200 sources of book reviews.

Booklikes - A wonderful blog platform out of Poland dedicated to book lovers.

New York Review of Books - At the intersection of books and news.

New York Times Books - Book reviews somewhere between plot summaries and ten page essays.

Omnivoracious - Amazon.com's blog for book enthusiasts. Lots and lots of lists.

Goodreads Listopia – A book discovery site for the online book club community.

50 Books To Read Before You Die - I better get going—I've only read half the list.

Pulitzer Prizes: Fiction - 1948 to the present

Pulitzer Prizes: General Nonfiction - 1962 tp the present

National Book Awards - 1950 to the present

Nobel Prize in Literature - 1901 to the present

Man Booker Prize - 1969 to the present

The Hugo Awards - The best in science fiction since 1939

The Nebula Awards - Science Fiction from 1965 to the present

Newbery Medal - Young readers' literature from 1922 to the present


Online University Courses

Coursera – The largest course platform for free MOOCs**. Founded by two former Stanford University professors.

edX – A free MOOC platform developed through a partnership between Harvard, MIT and Berkeley. Expanding rapidly.

Udacity – Founded by Sebastian Thrun, the creator of the artificial intelligence system behind Google’s self-driving cars. Udacity’s focus is on free MOOCs for improving your knowledge of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) disciplines.

MIT Open Courseware – This ambitious project launched over a decade ago by MIT makes the course materials used in virtually all of MIT’s courses available on the web for free.

Kahn Academy – Salman Khan’s pioneering online academy where you can learn just about any academic subject online for free.

Open Education Database - Resources are presented in straightforward listings that make them easy to use (provided you can find them).

Saylor.org – Started by serial entrepreneurial and education futurist Michael Saylor. The Saylor Foundation is a non-profit that provides a free University education that includes written exams and University credits for most of your work.

Canvas Network – An open learning network with a growing collection of free online courses. Sign up early for courses, they fill up fast.

FutureLearn – The United Kingdom’s MOOC initiative has over 40 leading Universities offering free online courses.

Open Culture - One of the best free cultural and educational media sites on the Internet. The website was founded in 2006 by Dan Coleman, who is the Director and Associate Dean of Stanford University’s Continuing Education Program.

** Massive Open Online Courses


Lectures and Video Learning Websites

TED – With its slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading” the TED Conference (stands for Technology, Education, Design) features world’s leading academics, teachers and innovators in easily digestible 18-minute lectures.

YouTube EDU – Google’s YouTube Education channel. Lots of great educational content, lectures and conference talks conveniently organized.

Do Lectures – Inspiring talks from people who have set out to change the world.

Solve For X – A forum established by Google to amplify technology-based solutions to radically challenge the world’s problems.

Big Think – Short videos with important contemporary thinkers, entrepreneurs and scientists talking about their expertise.

Fora.TV – Constantly expanding collection of videos from the world’s biggest conferences and events.

@Google Talks – Innovative thinkers and doers visit Googleplex to give inspiring talks that are posted freely online by Google.

RSA Animate – Engaging, hand-drawn videos that illustrate important issues in the world today.

Creative Live – Live workshops taught by world class experts. Free if you mark the talks on your schedule and watch the live streams.

Reddit Lectures – A busy Reddit community for the latest and greatest video lectures.