Dayton Upfront

 Dayton Upfront

Dayton Metro Library offers a variety of databases for patrons to learn new skills

Eric Spangler

Being a patron of Dayton Metro Library not only means being able to borrow the latest books it also means being able to find a new job or change a career.

As part of the Dayton Metro Library’s LAUNCH workforce initiative library patrons can access, a popular online learning platform that helps people learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals.

With a library card and personal identification number Dayton Metro Library patrons can access the database at no cost, says Holly Varley, Dayton Metro Library collection development director.

“This is a free database so people would log in, create an account and then they’re able to use the database in the library or remotely at home to take as many courses as they want,” says Varley.

Dayton Metro Library patrons can sign up for a course and view the instructional videos at their own pace, saving and returning to lessons at any time, says Varley. “If they can’t sleep at 3 a.m. they can get on the computer from home and go learn about JavaScript,” she says.

The database has more than 6,000 courses that library patrons can access 24 hours a day seven days a week, she says. has a variety of instructional videos that patrons can view on a computer, tablet or mobile device, including topics such as computer programming, project management, computer software and programming languages, Varley says.

Although the database has many professional and business development courses in software, creative and business skills it also can be used for learning personal skills such as music, photography and animation.

A Dayton Metro Library patron who wanted to change careers recently attended a class at the library to learn more about, says Craig Arnold, an information services assistant who teaches classes on and other technology topics at the library.

“I ask who everybody is and ask them what they’re interested in she said she wanted to become a DJ,” says Arnold. “We were able to find a course to learn how to work in that entertainment field and, believe it or not, she was successful. It’s a perfect example of how vast Lynda(.com)’s offerings are.”

In addition to the Dayton Metro Library also provides free access to other databases to help patrons find new employment, such as Career Cruising and the Ohio Means Jobs website, says Varley.

Library patrons can also use the dozens of databases at Dayton Metro Library to learn about their ancestry or even fix a car with the Chilton service and repair automotive database, says Arnold. “There’s a lot of resources that capture a lot of areas for patrons in our area,” he says.

“I interact with a lot of patrons who come in and take our computer classes and one thing that they are always saying is, ‘I did not know the library did this,’” says Arnold. “And they’re really surprised and then after that they’re gung ho and they’re ready to find out what other resources we have here.”