GVPL launches Lynda.com to resounding success

Cardholders can hone their web, design, business, photography skills and more

Greater Victoria Public Library cardholders get even more bang for their free membership buck after the library’s recent launch of Lynda.com. Between June 22 and July 5 alone, several thousand cardholders plugged their library numbers and pins into Lynda.com’s login system to take a look at their new online accounts. Owned by LinkedIn, Lynda.com is an e-learning platform host to tens of thousands of videos created by industry experts in business, technology and creative skills. Typically, users pay a monthly plan to access the site – but starting now, library cardholders can click their way through over 3500 courses for free.

GVPL Director of Communications and Development Daphne Wood said the platform provides “unprecedented access to creative interests and professional potential.” Whether a user is a professional wanting to refresh their knowledge and keep up with changes in their industry, or an amateur starting from square one, Lynda.com has relevant courses and levels for everyone. “With tools like this, we can keep going back to pursue anything we want to become familiar with, to the point of being quite adept and quite advanced,” Wood said.

The platform is a perfect fit for the library, bridging the gap between digital and physical learning in a way that meshes with the library’s traditional system. “People who are already familiar with Lynda.com are those who have their own subscription and find Lynda.com integral to keeping their skills up to date, but it has a much wider audience than that core group,” Wood said. “People who are discovering Lynda.com for the first time through the library are also discovering what else the library has to offer.” Wood suggests that library cardholders make use of their physical library branch together with Lynda.com for an all-encompassing experience. Lynda.com can serve as a starting point for a given topic, while the library can facilitate further exploration. A user taking a course in Microsoft Excel, for instance, is able to go to their local branch for one-on-one help, where collections on accounting software, designations and careers are available.

“It really is like an ecosystem of learning at the library,” Wood said.

Wood added that Lynda.com’s addition to the GVPL dovetails with the economical objectives of Greater Victoria municipalities. Given the timing for municipal planning surrounding career development and economy, Wood said, “Tools like [Lynda.com] really align beautifully.” She added that Lynda.com is an investment for the next generation of employees, business owners and entrepreneurs. Children growing up now will have access to the e-learning platform all their lives, which will allow them to continually explore interests that have the potential to become careers in growing industries, such as graphic design, gaming and technology. In alignment with the modern push for self-directed learning, Lynda.com allows its users to learn as they choose, when they choose.

“Our appetite for learning is insatiable,” Wood said. “This is something you can tap into that will always be there.”

GVPL cardholders can login with their library card numbers and pins at www.lynda.com.

editor@oakbaynews.com