OLLI at UA to offer courses in Shelby County

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer

Educational opportunities soon will increase for Shelby County residents.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Alabama is offering courses in the Greater Birmingham area, and starting in October, several of these will take place at the North Shelby Library.

Among the courses to be offered are:

  • The Artist’s Way, scheduled for Oct. 7, 14, 21 and 28 at the North Shelby Library from 10-11:15 a.m., is all about discovering your creativity and how to deal with creative blocks, negative feedback and other hindrances to artistic growth.
  • Milestones of Birmingham’s History, scheduled for the same dates from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., focuses on the history of Birmingham and highlights Vulcan Park, Terminal Station and the Linn-Henley Gallery.
  • Surpassing Genius—the Art and Legacy of Leonardo da Vinci, scheduled for the same dates from 1-2:15 p.m., commemorates the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci and takes a look at the science and technique behind his works of art.

Katie Bailey, director of library services for North Shelby Library, said the facility’s large classroom space was exactly what OLLI board members were looking for.

“We’re very much about offering things that people are interested in and things that will benefit people,” Bailey said. “The OLLI classes are a perfect fit. We are really excited about it.”

OLLI will hold an open house at the library on Monday, Sept. 23 at 11 a.m. for those interested to have an opportunity to tour and explore the learning space.

“The university is always looking to expand their footprint,” said Ron Howard, who sits on the Board of Visitors for the College of Continuing Studies at UA. “There are OLLI programs throughout the state. One of the main places we have found to be able to hold the classes is libraries.”

OLLI is described as a “year-round, member-centered, member-led, program catering to mature adults.” The program’s name comes from the Bernard Osher Foundation, from which it has received sizeable endowments that have kept the cost to participate reasonably low at just $50 per semester. There are various other benefits for members as well, such as field trips and UA library card access.

OLLI also offers “bonus” programs that are free to the general public. Among these is a course on home weatherization scheduled for Dec. 9 at the Hoover Senior Center from 1:30-3 p.m.

For a link to the current Fall 2019 OLLI catalog, Olli.ua.edu/_documents/olli-fall-2019-catalog.pdf. Printed copies are available at the North Shelby and Pelham libraries.

For a list of all free bonus OLLI courses, see Olli.ua.edu/public.php.