Community Resource: Learn With Lynda.com
Have you ever been on the hunt for a new job, and had potential employers find your resume a little lacking? Or maybe you have a great job, but you'd like to pick up a new technique to keep yourself sharp? Perhaps you've just always wanted to learn how to read sheet music, or use Photoshop. Higher education and continuing education courses in any field can be expensive and difficult to work into an existing schedule. But what if you could take free online courses, at your own pace, in a variety of subjects? And even better, receive a certificate of achievement after you complete each course?
Now, you can. And all you need is your library card.
The Hernando County Public Library system just rolled out a new initiative that could be a major asset for residents who are trying to retain their edge in a competitive market or pick up new professional skills. On April 11th, the county library launched their partnership with Lynda.com, a "leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals." Acquired in 2015 by LinkedIn, the social media site for professionals, Lynda.com offers a vast catalog of high-quality online courses, taught by industry experts. From 2D drawing to writing, there are literally thousands of individual classes offered. Or, you can choose a learning path. That's where you take a curated list of courses to help you complete a specific objective, such as improving your presentation skills, mastering Microsoft Word, learning the guitar, or becoming a graphic designer.
Why is this partnership so beneficial? Well, aside from having unlimited access to tons of learning material, users can also add their completed courses to their LinkedIn profiles to show their peers and potential employers what they've accomplished. Employers love people who are self-driven and motivated to learn on their own! Plus, because LinkedIn owns Lynda.com, their data can help recommend courses for you based on your profile and other interests you've selected. You can learn at your own pace, and move from beginners' level classes through intermediate and advanced ones once you're comfortable with your new skills. The video courses are broken down into easily-digested sections, so you can watch a little bit at a time, or watch all the way through; and there are usually transcripts available, too. New courses are added all the time, so their database is always up-to-date with the latest information. Check out this introduction video from Lynda.com to hear a little bit more!
Normally, you'd need a subscription to access all of this amazing content. A personal subscription costs $29.99 per month ($24.99 if you choose to pay annually instead of month-to-month). There is the option to try a month for free to see if you'd like to subscribe. There are also corporate, academic, and government subscriptions available for schools and employers who want their students and employees to be able to access these learning and training opportunities. But, as a card-carrying member of the public library system, all you need to have is your card number and the PIN you choose when you received your card. You can even access Lynda.com remotely - all you need to do is head to the Hernando County Public Library website and access the login page.
Don't have a library card? Not to worry! It's easy and free to obtain, as long as you're a Hernando County resident. Head on over to your local library branch (find a list of locations here) and talk to the librarians. Bring your state-issued ID with you, or other proof of residence (check out the list of what qualifies here), fill out an application, and receive your card! Non-residents can also obtain a card, but must pay a $15 annual fee.
By the way, the library system isn't just a bunch of buildings full of books - it's an incredible resource to our community! In addition to their incredible catalog of books available, they also lend out e-books and DVDs. Each branch offers monthly events and classes for all ages, from toddlers to seniors! They also offer computer labs with printers and internet access, as well as several digital databases for those who need help with research projects. There are dedicated areas, events, and resources for kids and teens, too. If you have a passion for books, learning, or you just want to know more about what the library can offer you, you can visit the site at the link above, or you can call the library's main number at 352-754-4043. You can also email [email protected]