The new year will be here soon, and many people are planning a resolution or two to improve themselves.

If you're one of those people, whether you plan to add a skill to advance your career, develop a new hobby or want to get in shape, consider some of the new and familiar online resources Southwest Public Libraries has that can help with those journeys in 2019.

Starting Jan. 2, SPL will offer its patrons access to Creativebug. Creativebug offers more than 1,000 arts and crafts video classes. Want to learn how to knit a pair of gloves? How about sewing a fabric basket? Interested in baking or cookie-decorating? Creativebug provides step-by-step instruction for all kinds of projects and adds new videos every day that offer tips, instruction and inspiration.

SPL is also adding a new online resource to help patrons interested in learning a new language. Transparent Online Language is a new web-based program the library will use, replacing Mango Languages. Transparent Online Language offers flexible learning paths in more than 100 languages, is optimized for touchscreen use on tablets and other mobile devices, and provides other tools to help learners immerse themselves in the language of their choosing.

For those looking to upgrade their job skills, there is As part of an agreement among the Ohio Library Council, the Ohio Public Library Information Network and LinkedIn, which owns Lynda, anyone with an Ohio library card can access Lynda's thousands of online video courses. With a card, a library patron can receive free training in photography, web design, animation, business, coding, computer programming, program management and more. Lynda offers more than 6,600 courses taught by industry experts.

For a number of years, the library has offered access to Hoopla, a digital media service that allows patrons to digitally borrow movies, television episodes, ebooks and audiobooks. Hoopla offers a host of workout videos under its television label for those who are looking to exercise without necessarily leaving their homes. Remember, patrons can borrow a maximum of 10 items per month through Hoopla.

Maybe you are looking to reconnect with your family roots in 2019. Use the library's edition of and trace your family lineage, scour through historical documents and discover your family's story. Patrons must be at the library to access, as there is no remote or home access.

It is important to remember that these and all other online resources at SPL are available free when using a library card. These databases and services can be accessed through the library's website,, and you sign up for them using your library card account number.

Mark Dubovec is communications manager for Southwest Public Libraries. Contact him at