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Sewickley library adds program offering thousands of course offerings

| Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, 11:57 a.m.

Sewickley Public Library is expanding its digital offerings that allow patrons access to a variety of course offerings.

This month, the library introduced the addition of Lynda.com to its collection of eResources.

Lynda.com is an online resource with more than 3,000 course offerings and more than 130,000 videos on topics including web designs, education, media production, business.

“Lynda is beneficial because it offers classes on subjects that go far beyond what our library staff is able to offer to the public,” said Dustin Shilling, systems and reference librarian. “This resource isn't going to make anyone an expert overnight, but it is another tool that we offer to help begin developing skills needed to find a job or meet a goal.”

For example, Sewickley Public Library offers a course on using Microsoft Office, but Lynda.com offers a course on learning programming languages.

Lynda.com is available anywhere there is an internet connection, including phones and tablets. An application is available and can even be streamed on a Roku device.

Classes are self-paced and may limit an intimidation factor that some may feel in a group setting because they are online-only and more personal.

There is an annual cost of $2,300 for Sewickley Public Library to use the service. There is additional savings for patrons who have a library card.

“By using the library's subscription, an individual would save $240 a year in subscription fees that they would be paying on the commercial site,” Shilling said. “We saw the demand for technical assistance and desire to learn as a priority for our community. That's why we pushed this resource.”

Northland Public Library and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh also offer Lynda services.

Some staff members at Sewickley Public Library have been veteran users of Lynda. Others recently have been trained on the service so they can answer questions from library patrons. Reference staff members are available during operating hours in-person or over the phone.

On Sept. 6 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the library will offer a drop-in program to introduce patrons to Lynda and help users register for it.

“I'd like to stress that this service complements our other existing services — it does not replace the in-person customer service that we offer,” Shilling said. “We will continue to offer classes and programs and in a group setting and we continue to see a steady demand for our one-on-one tech cafe sessions.”

Lynda.com joins Tutor.com, Databases AtoZ, Cypress Resume, New York Times and the Sewickley Herald/Sewickley History online archives as another online resource available for Sewickley Library users.

Matthew Peaslee is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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