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Library Update, and Where did Lynda Go?

posted in: Fun Stuff

While Greenbelters await the January 21 reopening of our library, a new video shows us the changes we’ll see there.

Most interesting bit? Hearing that the Greenbelt Library cost just $795,000 to build. Yes, that’s in 1970 dollars, but still, that’s about what you’d pay for a condo in DC these days.

Discovering the Beltsville Branch

Beltsville Library, Maryland
Beltsville Library

While our branch is closed, the next-nearest is still awfully close – the Beltsville Branch, not far from Costco on Route 1. It’s newer and much larger than Greenbelt, with too many computer stations to count.

Where to Find Lynda.com

For decades I’ve been turning to the instructional videos at Lynda.com to tackle the many, many technical challenges coming at me seemingly nonstop. At Lynda I’ve learned photo and video editing, Windows in its many iterations, ditto for iPhone versions, and most recently, how use social media for nonprofits. (It was recently bought by LinkedIn, so you may see it called LinkedIn Learning.)

But high-quality instructional videos like the ones at Lynda aren’t on YouTube and they’re not free. The monthly fee is $25 to watch an unlimited number of videos, which I’ve happily paid for a month or two at a time while I quickly watched as many videos as I needed, before unsubscribing again.

That pattern changed when I discovered that we could all use Lynda for free through the Greenbelt Library’s website. Yay for public libraries, right?

Except that it’s no longer offered by Prince George’s County libraries! I wrote to their Digital Services Department to find out why and learned that it’s “due to privacy concerns over their new platform. Our purchasing librarians are researching alternatives to Lynda. In the meantime, we recommend the courses offered on our PGCMLS Academy page. These include basic computer skills, Microsoft suite tutorials, and IT career training.

“Alternatively, DCPL still offers Lynda access. Prince George’s County residents are able to obtain a DCPL library card free of charge.”
Well, thank goodness for reciprocity with DC’s libraries because the Academy page I was directed to doesn’t offer any instruction I actually need. (I did find a few introductory courses in the use of computers at Digital Learn.org.)

How to Get DC Library Card

So I went online to apply for a DC Library card, which is temporary and doesn’t allow you use digital services. I had 30 days to take that temporary card number to a DC library branch to get the real thing, which took about 5 minutes. So now I’m back in Lynda! To find it, log onto the DC Library website, go to “Digital” in the top navigation and click “Learn.” On the Lynda website “library” beneath the top banner to browse topics.

Also under the “Digital” tab of our county’s library website you’ll find Khan Academy. Under the “Watch” tab there are operas on video and under “Listen” there’s classical, world, jazz, and more.

Still these *Great* Instructional Resources at Greenbelt Library’s Website

Just click online resources: to find these amazing resources, and lots more:
Great Courses (which the DC Library does not have) isn’t JUST for world history or great literature. It includes topics like exercise, food, dog training, and photography. I’m going to check out the course on Essay Writing.
Under “hobbies” I found excellent gardening courses by instructors I know and respect. I increased my knowledge of pruning by watching “How to Grow Trees and Shrubs” and can also recommend the instructor’s “Your Best Garden and Landscape in 6 Lessons. And “The Science of Gardening” is taught by the best possible instructor! I’m SO impressed with their selection of instructors that I’ll be checking out the course in “Beethoven’s Piano Sonotas,” and maybe many more, depending on how many snow days we have this winter.
Artist Works has instruction in art or music. (Without the library, we’d have to pay $380/year or $35/month for these videos.)

For pure entertainment we have – all free! – Acorn TV!, Kanopy and Hoopla.

Those are JUST the ones that caught my eye. Check ’em all out and happy learning!

Follow Susan Harris:
Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com and direct Good Gardening Videos.org, a nonprofit, ad-free educational campaign.

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