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Blog // Connect Michigan

Online School at Libraries Through Lynda.com

By Eric Frederick

Lynda.com is among the most recognized sites for online learning, serving over 4 million users. Over 4,000 courses and 150,000 video tutorials available on Lynda.com are used to bolster job skills, build up businesses, and start or advance hobbies. Courses include a range of topics, including essential job skills like coding, software development, and web design, as well as popular hobbies like photography and music production. Lynda.com is available to users online through a subscription, and many libraries across the U.S. are now offering site subscriptions free to patrons.

Using video instructions, lectures, and demonstrations to lead users through each course, Lynda.com classes require fast and reliable Internet connections. The Capital Area District Libraries (CADL) support Lynda.com subscriptions and classes to patrons through a fiber backbone to all 13 districts, both urban and rural. “It's completely transformed what we're capable of doing,” Sheryl Cormicle Knox, CADL Technology Director, explained at the Michigan Broadband Conference. CADL supports more than 450 computers across the 13 branches and dozens of online services to patrons of all ages.

Lynda.com is useful to many patrons, from teens cultivating an interest in coding to business owners that want to expand their IT knowledge to adults looking for new job skills and new careers. While Lynda.com is often used at library locations—a particularly useful feature for rural areas, where home connection speeds may not support video downloads—it can also be used remotely. “We're exploring what it means to provide library service wherever you are,” said Knox.

Aspiring photographers can learn new applications from their home in their off time for free through a library subscription to Lynda.com. Software engineers can easily stay on top of industry changes and learn from experts without going back to school or paying for expensive courses. Students that don't have courses in coding or video production available at their school can take classes through Lynda.com and be prepared for later courses in college, or start developing their own apps right away.

Libraries have been known for centuries as bastions of knowledge, and now fast and reliable Internet speeds are facilitating independent learning across an expanded field. By offering valuable job skills and quality instruction through a well-known and intuitive platform, libraries are helping to break down barriers to education and even the playing field across geographic lines and income disparity.

Lynda.com plans to connect with over 120,000 libraries across the nation. Visit your local library to see if Lynda.com subscriptions are available with your library membership.

 



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