Well, you could live-stream next week’s TED conference from your home computer, but it will cost you $600. (Of course, that beats the $7,500 in-person ticket price.) Fortunately, there’s a third option for those of us who want to take part in the excitement of Vancouver’s first-ever TED talks, but also pay the mortgage – free front-row seats at the local library!

In honour of TED’s 30th anniversary year, organizers are allowing schools, libraries and universities to live-stream the short talks, given by leading-edge thinkers and creators on a wide range of topics. Many people have already viewed at least a few TED talks online, which are archived and freely available on their website, or on Netflix. Some of them, such as Sir Ken Robinson’s talk “How Schools Kill Creativity,” achieve a viral popularity – that presentation in particular has been viewed over 25 million times.

TED will be the “talk” of the town next week, so take advantage of the opportunity to pop into the library and join the buzz. Public sessions at the Lynn Valley library are as follows:

Monday, March 17

6 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., LV Community Room

Session 1: Lift Off

Nicholas Negroponte – Tech visionary
Chris Hadfield – Astronaut
Elizabeth Gilbert – Writer
The Education Reformer – Educator
Mark Ronson – Music Producer and DJ

Tuesday, March 18

9 a.m. – 10:15 a.m., Lynn Valley Program Room

Session 2: Retrospect 

Bran Ferren – Technology designer
Marc Kushner – Architect
Yoruba Richen – Documentary filmmaker

Wednesday, March 19

Lynn Valley Program Room

9 – 10:10 a.m.
Session 5: Us

Nancy Kanwisher – Brain researcher
Rob Knight – Microbial ecologist
Stephen Friend – Open-science advocate
Jon Mooallem – Writer
Geena Rocero – Model and activist
David Chalmers – Philosopher

11 a.m. – 12:45pm
Session 6: Wired

Charlie Rose – Conversationalist
Margaret Gould Stewart – User experience master
Del Harvey – Security maven
Chris Kluwe – Punter and author
Jeremy Kasdin – Planet finder
Avi Reichental – 3D printer
Hugh Herr – Prostheticist

2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
All-Stars Session 3: Where Are We Now?

Salman Khan – Educator
Tim Berners-Lee – Inventor
Amy Cuddy – Social Psychologist
Allan Savory – Grassland ecosystem pioneer
Bjorn Lomborg – Global prioritizer
Amanda Palmer – Musician, blogger
Clay Shirky – Social Media Theorist
Lawrence Lessig – Legal activist
Bryan Stevenson – Public-interest lawyer
3:45 – 5 p.m.
All-Stars Session 4: I Heart Design

John Maeda – Artist
Stefan Sagmeister – Graphic designer
Moshe Safdie – Architect
Sarah Kay – Poet
Pattie Maes – Researcher
Juan Enriquez – Futurist
Barry Schwartz – Psychologist
JR – Street artist
Aimee Mullins – Athlete and actor

Time: 6 – 7:45 p.m.
Session 7: Why?

Wendy Chung – Geneticist
Helder Guimarães – Magician
Allan Adams – Theoretical physicist
Jason Webley – Musician
Jim Holt – Writer and philosopher

Thursday, March 20

LOCATION: Lynn Valley Program Room

9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Session 8: Hacked

Marco Tempest – Techno-illusionist
Keren Elazari – Cybersecurity expert
David Epstein – Sports science reporter
Ed Yong – Science writer
Ray Kurzweil – Inventor, futurist
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Session 9: Signals

Sara Lewis – Firefly specialist
Deborah Gordon – Ecologist
Randall Munroe – Cartoonist
Andrew Connolly – Astronomer
Will Marshall – Space scientist
Louie Schwartzberg – Filmmaker

2:30 – 4 p.m.
All-Stars Session 5: The Future is Ours

Stanley McChrystal – Military leader
Dan Dennett – Philosopher, cognitive scientist
Susan Cain – Quiet revolutionary
Rodney Brooks – Roboticist
Elizabeth Pisani – Epidemiologist
Michael Shermer – Skeptic
Jimmy Wales – Founder of Wikipedia
John Hunter – Educator
Helen Fisher – Anthropologist; expert on love
Martin Rees – Astrophysicist
Steven Johnson – Writer
Ken Robinson – Author/educator