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Exploring the collection: AVLS

Tuesday June 14th, 2022

Do you ever get really interested in a topic and want to know everything about it? Maybe you remembered how much fun you had learning Egyptian history, or something about a show you’re watching catches your interest and you want to know more, or you’re simply curious about why the brain does what it does sometimes. Or perhaps you are homeschooling older children and are looking for supplemental material for subjects you are less familiar with. Of course, looking up related books and articles is always a good option (and The Library has plenty of those). If you’re new to a subject, though, or there’s a lot of material and you don’t know where to start, it can be overwhelming. For me, I always wish that someone who really knows the subject would just explain it to me. 

Well, one amazing part of The Library’s collection, called the Audiovisual Lecture Series, supplies exactly that (and I can personally attest to its usefulness in all the above scenarios)! The Library has so many great opportunities for learning, and this is one of those resources that is often overlooked, primarily by virtue of members being unaware.

Most of the offerings in the Dauphin County Library System’s collection of AVLS contain several CDs or DVDs worth of lectures by experts on whichever topic you’re looking at. I am currently listening to one called King Arthur: History and Legend. In it, a professor in Arthurian literature talks about the history and literary traditions of King Arthur and the many legends surrounding him and his court, and it is fascinating. Society has had an ongoing interest in King Arthur for over a millennium, and the informative lectures that this series provides have been enriching my experience of the books and media retellings that have been and continue to be made all the time. It provides context and nuance for both familiar and obscure tales that I would probably never hear without an expert clearly explaining this topic. 
The types of lectures offered are not restricted to one type of subject, however. In addition to history and literature, there are courses on science, math, psychology, geology, research methods, and more. Some of the other available courses include:


That is just a small selection of the diverse topics there are to choose from. There are so many more! So, next time you visit one of Dauphin County Library System’s eight branches, ask a staff member to show you where their Audiovisual Lecture Series collection is located, or place a hold for one that strikes your fancy to have sent to your preferred location.

Happy learning!

Amber is a Library Manager at The Library

The above piece represents the views of the author and is meant to inspire dialogue and increase understanding and a sense of community. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of The Library. Members are welcome to comment below or contact us privately by using our online contact form >