The Pickerington Public Library has implemented an online service designed to help business professionals and those seeking job opportunities with workforce skills training at no cost to users.

In July, the library began offering Lynda.com to library cardholders through a partnership with the Ohio Public Library Information Network and LinkedIn.

Lynda.com is an online learning platform from LinkedIn Learning that provides training in business, software, technology and creative skills for workforce development and personal goals.

"Lynda offers Learning Paths, which are comprehensive, instructional courses taught by leading experts," said Colleen Bauman, library community-relations coordinator. "There are more than 6,000 courses available to its users on topics that range from web programming and 3D animation, to graphic design and photography, to marketing and project management.

"So now, library cardholders can learn new skills to jump-start their career or re-skill to change careers. All that is needed is a library card and an internet connection, which we can provide with our mobile hot spots."

The library obtained the service through its membership with the Ohio Library Council. The library pays $2,899 annually to be part of the OLC, which also allows library cardholders to access books and other materials from a host of libraries throughout central Ohio and beyond.

Lynda.com is accessed by visiting the PPL's research page, at www.pickeringtonlibrary.org/research. From there, under the "Business and Legal" link, users can click on the link for Lynda.com and enter their library card numbers and PIN numbers.

"The Pickerington Public Library is offering Lynda.com as another resource and tool for our library cardholders to use to help them prepare for their jobs and careers, today and in the future," Bauman said. "The library often partners with organizations that offer workforce development trainings.

"Unfortunately, an on-site class doesn't always work with people's busy schedules. Lynda.com can be accessed whenever and wherever it is convenient to the learner."

Bauman said the library is encouraging businesses and organizations to apply for a corporate library card to be able to offer Lynda.com trainings for their employees at their workplace or at home.

"The library board of trustees feels strongly that the Pickerington Public Library has a goal to meet the lifelong learning and enjoyment needs of our community. Offering Lynda.com meets that goal and sets the Pickerington Public Library as a vital community resource."

Library cards are free. For those who don't have one, they can be obtained any time through the library.

"New cards are always free and available by showing a valid Ohio ID. During September (National Library Card Sign-Up Month), replacement cards for current card holders are free, as well," Bauman said.

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