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Library serves up online education

Don Fennell   Mar-01-2018

Lee Anne Smith, co-ordinator of programming and information services at Richmond Public Library, shows an example of the online education services available.

Photo by Chung Chow


The world is changing, and with it the way we access information.

Ever responsive, the Richmond Public Library is changing too.

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Lynda.com is an example of an online educational service accessible through the library. All you need to get started is your library card.

Using video tutorials for learning, Lynda.com has the highest rating of use of all the library’s subscription services. The number of videos viewed has almost doubled in the two years since the library started its subscription in 2015.

“The impetus to subscribe to this service was to support community members who wanted to upgrade software, creative and business skills, computer programming, animation or 3D design without having to attend a formal learning institution,” said librarian Lee Anne Smith.

Co-ordinator of programming and information at Richmond Public Library, Smith says many people prefer to learn on their own because of the work or life schedules, or their learning speed. This services, she adds, is perfect for personalized learning.

“Because library card holders can

access this service for free, this resource is a valuable tool for anyone interested in learning skills with 3D animation, education, audio and music, programming and web, business, photography, design, marketing, and computer software.”

Lynda.com offers many great features, including access for the whole community. The video-based service and videos are curated so are of a high quality, and easy to search and use. The formats are broken into bite-sized segments, allowing each individual user to stop and resume without having to start again from the beginning. The service is also continually adding new videos.

The library has just added another online service called eLanguage. The vendor is Pronuciator.

“This product offers Richmond a language learning resource that again supports self-paced learning,” Smith says.

Mobile friendly, eLanguage offers the opportunity to learn 80 languages. It incorporates film, music and radio in many languages and provides live instructional sessions with teachers with minimal technical requirements.

“People can learn English with over 50 home languages,” Smith says. “This is very important to new immigrants.”

Other subscription services that Richmond Public Library offers include e-newspapers (featuring hundreds of newspapers from around the world), e-magazines (200 magazines can be read on computer) and e-movies and music (a streaming service for a wide range of films, television and music).

Library staff is available to help people get connected.

“We have one-on-one learning sessions at all branches that you can bring your device to,” Smith says. “And staff can help troubleshoot problems or refer you to more technical support.”


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