Arrowhead Library System now offering free online instructor-led courses

Arrowhead Library System (ALS) has acquired Gale Courses from Gale, part of Cengage Learning. Through this unique program, Rock County residents can use their library card to access over 365 free instructor-led, online courses. Look for the link to Gale Courses on your library’s website, or visit

“Part of our mission at Arrowhead Library System is to inspire and engage life-long learning in our community,” said Steve Platteter, Director of ALS. “With Gale Courses, Rock County residents will be able to enroll in courses covering all types of topics and subjects. Whether someone is considering going back to school to pursue a degree or just interested in digital photography, the course catalog offers something for everyone.” Platteter adds, “Hedberg Public Library has offered Gale Courses in the past, and we’re thrilled it is now available to the entire county.”

Gale Courses, developed as a result of Gale’s unique position within the library, classroom, and adult learning markets, offer patrons access to hundreds of instructor-led online courses covering everything from health and wellness to creative writing, computer programming, test preparation for GED, SAT/ACT, LSAT, and GRE, and much more. Gale Courses are developed by expert instructors, many of whom are currently working at universities around the country, and have continuous enrollment dates. The next session begins February 14. Registration is open now through February 27–each session has an enrollment grace period of about 13 days. All students must click into lessons 1 and 2 by midnight of the final day of the grace period or they will be dropped due to inactivity.

Patrons can enroll at no cost. Courses run for six weeks, with two new lessons released weekly (for a total of 12), and new sessions begin monthly. The courses are entirely web-based with comprehensive lessons, quizzes, and assignments–many of which are optional. A dedicated professional instructor coordinates every course by pacing learners, answering questions, giving feedback, and facilitating discussions. Students can enroll in as many classes as they like, as often as they like. There is no penalty for not completing a course, simply stop logging in to your classroom. You can repeat classes as many times as you like. If a learner passes the final exam on the first try, they are awarded a certificate of completion. Some courses are accredited by national organizations and accepted as continuing education credits.

Rock County residents can enroll and participate in courses from library computers or remotely from home computers, tablets, or other mobile devices. Lessons have deadlines, but a person never needs to be online at a specific time, there is a lot of flexibility in the schedule. For more information about the catalog of courses offered or to enroll in a course, residents should visit Links to Gale Courses are also available from ALS’s website, and those of the public libraries in Rock County.

Library cards are free. If you need a library card, please bring a photo ID and proof of address, such as a postmarked bill to any Rock County Library. Staff will walk you through the quick and easy process.

For questions or more information, please contact your public library: Beloit Public Library, Clinton Public Library, Eager Free Public Library (Evansville), Edgerton Public Library, Hedberg Public Library (Janesville), Milton Public Library, or Orfordville Public Library.