Champaign County Library members can now get free online courses in a variety of topics through Lynda.com.
Lynda.com is a California-based online learning company that has courses on business, software, technology and creative skills, according to its website. It offers over 3,000 courses that include over 130,000 videos. The site provides Certificates of Completion that can be uploaded to a LinkedIn profile.
Members can use the service at no charge if they log into it from the Champaign County Library link on its website (www.champaign.lib.oh.us). Cardholders use their library card number and PIN to log in and access the courses. This can be done on any computer or smartphone.
Library Director Ty Henderson said the continuing interest in job-seeking spurred library staff to look into Lynda.com.
“We get a lot of foot traffic of job seekers looking for how to create resumes, file applications online. Through that, we were looking for what kind of resources we could offer for skill development,” he said.
Henderson said he became interested in the service after seeing other libraries begin to offer it. The service has a variety of courses that could be useful for all types of residents, not just job seekers.
“What caught my attention was how local businesses could use it, or people who wanted to start a business could use it,” he said. “The schools could use it. There are videos on classroom management tips. These are all of the things that our patrons are coming in and doing in their job seeking.”
Teachers are required to have a certain number of continuing education courses, and some of the courses on Lynda.com could fit that bill, especially since the site offers certificates of completion. Henderson said teachers should investigate their continuing education requirements first to make sure that it would qualify.
The library in the past offered something similar through the state that was folded into Ohio Means Jobs. That is still available, but is not quite the same as Lynda.com.
Courses can be a few minutes to several hours, and there are series of courses for some topics.
The service at the library started in May officially. Henderson said staff tested it out for a month before it went live at the library.
Henderson added he expects he will use it for his staff, and he hopes to work with the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce to show how it can be used for area businesses.
The service is costing the library $7,000 annually, and Henderson said staff will re-evaluate whether to continue using it after the first year.
“It’s been a positive response,” Henderson said. “We’re hoping people could get a lot of use out of it. We think the more people who know about it, they will see the true value in it.”
For more information, visit the library website at www.champaigncountylibrary.org or call 937-653-3811.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.