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Get free tech skills at Champaign Public Library

Do you want to learn to shoot professional grade video but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you want to create the next big app but don’t know a lick of HTML? Or perhaps you just want to harness the power of Excel for your local business?

All of these things and more are possible right now with at the Champaign Public Library. Champaign Public Library is approaching six months of offering free of charge to library cardholders at both the main library and Douglass Branch.

What the heck is is an online library that offers over 3,500 courses and 150,000 tutorials on subjects ranging from public speaking to how to use PhotoShop. All courses and tutorials are taught by professionals with industry experience and are pitched toward all levels of skill, from complete novice to hair-away-from-wizard.

Helping C-U residents develop valuable skills is perhaps the key reason Champaign Public Library began offering this technology back in December of 2014. As Kristina Hoerner, Adult Services Manager at the Library notes, “We hope that customers will be able to use this resource for free to gain a new skill, improve on their existing knowledge or take that next step toward a new job or career.”

And unlike many other ways people can pick up skills, through the Champaign Public Library is totally free. A personal annual subscription to runs about $350. But if you have a Champaign Public Library card? All you have to do is access through a computer.

From your own machine or one at the library, log in to with your library card number and pin number, select what skills you want to learn (perhaps a dash of JavaScript or a pinch of PHP), and start creating. Learn as much as you want for as long as you want: there’s no daily limit on the amount of time you can spend on or on the number of courses you can watch. As Hoerner notes, “If you live in Champaign and don’t have a library card, this resource alone is worth it to come out and get one.”

Popular courses in C-U

If you build it…well, you know the rest. But old sayings become old sayings because there’s some truth to them, and is no exception.

Over the past six months alone, approximately 1,700 users have viewed over 280 hours of videos and tutorials.

What is C-U learning? Three courses top the list:

  • Excel 2013 Essential Training
  • Picasa 3 Essential Training
  • Video Gear Weekly

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. So go learn, C-U. Learn good.

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