Thousands of instructional videos covering everything from photography to running a business to resume writing are free and open to anyone with a Southern Oklahoma Library System card as of this week.
The videos are available through Lynda.com, an instructional site run by LinkedIn that provides in-depth video tutorials for everything from writing a resume to starting a small business. The site has thousands of videos, most of which cover business, technology or creative fields.
SOLS public services coordinator Katie Carter said the tutorials are a cut above the average Youtube video.
“Lynda itself is really neat,” Carter said. “It goes a little bit deeper than just looking at a tutorial video, like on Youtube. It can be very basic, like teaching you how to use an iPad, but it can also get into CAD, web design and business development.”
Lynda videos all come with transcripts and extras like exercises that allows users to practice as they learn. Longer videos are broken up into smaller segments, and the site also lets users download whole playlists and watch them while offline.
“There’s a lot of speakers who have small businesses and they’re just offering their insight and expertise on different subjects,” Carter said. “They really are experts, and Lynda has the video expertise to make these really useful and thorough.”
Lynda has an application process, and speakers have to prove their credentials before their videos can go up online. Carter said in that sense, Lynda has quality control that Youtube lacks.
“A lot of careers require some kind of certification, maybe in an Adobe program,” Carter said. “With this, you can actually learn all of this at home for free and then pass a certification test. That really is a life-changing sort of thing.”
The tutorials are especially helpful for teenagers who come to the library to use the 3-D printer and learn skills like coding.
“In higher education especially, they’ll be like ‘learn this program,’ and you have to be able to figure it out,” Carter said. “So this is especially good for our kids, who want to learn more about CAD design and that kind of thing.”
Carter said Lynda.com is accessible from home, which provides another advantage. Users don’t have to come to the library to watch the videos. The videos are so thorough that they’ll need less direct help from librarians, who are always willing to help, but might not be as well-versed in every topic.
“We can’t be experts in everything, especially for people who come in with questions about their computers or iPads,” Carter said. “We want to provide that. This is going to be a great way to push people towards self-learning. It’s open for anyone to do anything they want to do with it and they can go from 0 to 10.”