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Learn New Hobbies With The Library: Creating Artwork by Jennifer McConkey

Jennifer McConkey
Jennifer McConkey

Although businesses have been slowly reopening, many people are still looking for ways to entertain themselves at home.

If you’re trying to find something fun to do, you might want to try learning or improving an art skill.

The Highlands County libraries have many resources to help you learn techniques for drawing, painting, photography and more, including online courses.

They also have traditional books and e-books available to help you on your creative journey.

All three libraries are currently open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9:30 to 5:30. Curbside and walk-up services are available outside the buildings on Fridays from 9:30 to 5:30.

To access the online courses, visit, click on “Language & Learning,” and then click on the black button that says “Universal Class.”

If you’ve never used Universal Class before, you’ll need to sign up using your library card number.

Once you’re signed in, click “Course Catalog” at the top of the page, search for the class that you want to take, and then click the green “Join This Course” button.


In today’s world of social distancing, social media is an important part of many people’s daily lives, making photography a popular activity.

If you’re interested in improving your picture-taking skills, the library has several options.

Universal Class has several free courses covering traditional and digital photography. Those courses are “Photography 101: Beginner to Intermediate,” “Digital Photography 101,” “Digital Photography with the iPhone” and “Digital Wedding Photography 101.”

You can also check out books like:

-“The Magic of Digital Nature Photography”

-“Digital Photography”

-“Pet Photography: The Secrets to Creating Authentic Pet Portraits”

There are also many e-books about photography available on Overdrive.

To access Overdrive, go to, click on “Ebooks & Audiobooks,” and then click the button for Overdrive. Sign in by clicking on the blue button on the right side of the screen.

Then, click on “Subjects,” scroll down to the nonfiction section, and click on “Photography” to see what options are available.

Drawing & Painting

Whether you’ve been sketching and painting for years or you’re just getting started, the libraries have multiple options to help you improve.

One option is online classes, including “How To Draw 101,” “Acrylic Painting 101,” “Watercolor Painting 101” and “Face Painting 101.”

You can also check out books to learn or improve your skill. Some suggestions are:

-“How to Draw and Paint”

-“Drawing: A Step-by-Step Guide to Drawing Techniques”

-“An Introduction to Drawing Animals: Anatomy, Movement, Perspective, Character, Composition”

-“Sketching With Markers”

-“China Painting: Step by Step”

-“The Painter’s Handbook”

-“Watercolor: The Complete Course”

-“Decorative Paint Projects: Over 60 Creative Designs for Furniture and Accessories”

More Ideas

If you enjoy these hobbies and want to try something similar, check your local library for books and resources on these activities:

-Graphic design


-Toy making

-Interior decorating

And check future issues of the newspaper for information on library resources about gardening, sewing, writing, knitting and more.