Niles-Maine District Library


5 Courses You Didn’t Know You Needed

Have you used before?  If not, prepare yourself – it’s a tad addictive.

I was lucky enough to be introduced to Lynda during my undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois (courtesy of our generous library system, of course.  Yay libraries!)  I used it primarily to learn web development skills like HTML/CSS, accessibility coding, and WordPress widgets.  Indeed, is often marketed towards job seekers and those of us interested in continuing our education and special skills training.

If you’re interested in all things techie, you’ll find no shortage of courses catering to various development and coding subjects like the ones I just mentioned.  However, the site spans so much farther than that – it caters to entrepreneurs, those interested in continuing education, and folks who just want some hacks to spark their creativity.  I decided to explore some of the course offerings to see the variety of subjects offered.  Here are just a few that made me think, “Oh wow, I need to watch this later!”

1) Building a Flexible Career by Brie Reynolds

This course goes over the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and presents options for attaining such a balance through flex schedules and freelance/work-from-home based jobs.  It also delves into strategies for requesting a more flexible schedule and fixing up your resume to appear more attractive for freelance jobs.  Time is a precious currency, and at 41min this quick but valuable course will teach you how to preserve as much as possible!

Find the course here!

2) Mobile Photography Weekly by Seàn Duggan

One of my favorite things about modern technology is that our ability to capture moments in photos is becoming more proficient and widespread every day!  True, I’m a “proper” DSLR photographer, but I got my start with an iPhone 5c.  (You’ll see a healthy mix of both types of images on my Instagram.)  This course isn’t necessarily an all-inclusive “beginner” course, since it’s comprised of short clips on specific topics delivered every week.  However, for amateur and professional photographers alike, this is a great way to keep your skills up to snuff, and it also provides the opportunity to discover new tools to take your phone-tography to the next level.

Find the course here!

3) Improving Your Memory by Paul Nowak

I have a lot of cognitive strengths—communicative, interpersonal, and reading comprehension being among them.  But for some reason, my short-term memory has never been where I wanted it to be.  My desk is littered with post-it notes and my calendar is full of reminders.  However, the brain is not static and you can train it to become better at its job!  In this course, Nowak goes over how the brain processes memorized information and teaches tricks you can use to improve your short-term memory, as well as encourage the passing of information from short-term to long-term.

Find the course here!

4) Writing with Flair: How to Become an Exceptional Writer by Shani Raja

As a former English Lit student (and thus, the resident editor in all of my social and professional circles), I can tell you there’s a difference between good writing and great writing.  Writing that’s technically “correct”, but not all that interesting, and writing that targets its audience precisely and dances through prose with finesse.  Raja covers topics such as writing efficiently, eliminating clutter, mastering the rhythm and “musicality” of the written word, and creating beautiful narratives.  A must-watch for anyone who ever picks up a pen or places their fingers on a keyboard!

Find the course here!

5) The Monster Drawing Workshop by Von Glitschka

“Tackle your monsters—one limb at a time.  This monster drawing workshop teaches those who are new to drawing how to drop their inhibitions and let creativity take over.”

To be honest, I don’t know what more I could add.  I think a Monster Drawing Workshop is something that everybody could use—no matter who you are, where you work, or what stage you’re at in life.  You need to break out a pen and paper and draw some amazing, out-of-control monsters.

Find this magnificent monster of a course here!

What Else Do You Need? A Library Card!

So, at this point you’re probably thinking, “Wow, this stuff is amazing, how do I find this???”  You have the links to the specific courses I mentioned above, but how can you access them without paying the monthly fee?

Well…have you considered using your Library Card?

That’s right!  Niles-Maine cardholders can access using their card number and PIN (which is the password you use to log on to your account).  That means you can access these courses from anywhere: at the Library, at home, on the move, so long as you have your account info!

Visit our website’s Research page to get started.  And if you don’t have a card with us yet, head on over here to learn more about joining our happy group of lifelong learners!

Now if you’ll excuse me…I’m gonna go draw some monsters.

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