Local libraries are ahead of the curve

New resources give card holders access to the digital world

Local libraries are ahead of the curve

Your public library has moved from being a place to borrow books to a multi-faceted learning centre that changes in tune with the times in our rapidly evolving world. Lynda.com is the most recent example of how the library has embraced technology to keep its clients in touch with innovations.

Available to any Greater Victoria Public Library card holder, it serves up literally hundreds of thousands of courses and video tutorials on a broad range of subjects from experts in their particular field. Everything from computer courses, software, business and management to web development, 3D, animation design and calligraphy is now just a few clicks away, and at no additional charge.

That throws the portals of learning wide open for those interested in becoming a digital designer or content marketer, for example, or people who maybe want to explore a career choice. Any effort that nurtures learning or broadens horizons is commendable, and it appears the GVPL has embraced those notions with high-tech savvy at a dizzying pace.

This follows on the heels of a new e-audiobook collection launched on June 27, which makes more than 7,300 audiobooks available to download or stream.

Tapping into another phenomenon that is gaining popularity with a growing number of people, the library can put you in touch with your historical roots and heritage through its Ancestry Library. And if you’re looking to brush up on or add language skills to your vocabulary, you may want to have a word with Mango Language.

GVPL patrons are no longer restricted to accessing services at local branches thanks to OLiVe, an outreach literacy vehicle that brings librarians to places where people gather throughout the region.

Initiatives like these have earned the GVPL the title as the most-used library system in Canada, based on population.

The system racked up an astonishing two million in-person entries in 2015, and double that in virtual visits. More people are taking advantage of the one-on-one tech device support available, and more groups are booking rooms at their local library for collaborative study sessions.

It seems the GVPL is doing a superlative job of fulfilling its key priorities; meeting unique user needs, engaging and inspiring members passionately and leading the charge to initiate new ideas and service models. That should provide more than enough motivation for members, funding contributors and partners to continue to expand the library’s ever-increasing reach.