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Louisville's Library System Offers Online 'Computer Tech' Learning Services


Louisville’s public library members now have access to a new service that can help teach them the skills needed to develop web applications or start an online business, all from home.

The Louisville Free Public Library is trying to expand its services to offer resources for the 21 st Century and part of that includes providing library members with online learning opportunities, says director Craig Buthod. There are over 1,000 videos teaching and explaining various topics like website development and creating your own Smartphone apps (think Khan Academy for Web technology). Louisville’s library system is offering these videos and lessons free to its members though a three-year old company called Treehouse. ( Click here to access LFPL's Treehouse service) Buthod says he wants users to develop skills that they can take with them to succeed in the growing online field. “There are badges that you earn that show what you have accomplished. You can build up your profile, this is online with the system and then share that profile with potential employers to show, I have mastered this I have earned so many points on writing code,” he says. Computer software engineering positions are projected to see the most growth out of any other job sector between 2010-2020, according to an occupational outlook report provided by KentuckianaWorks. The workforce development agency also shows that thousands of computer science positions have become available in the region since 2012 and that 664 job openings in computer and math (heavily weighted on the computer side) were available in August alone. Louisville is one of the first cities to offer the Treehouse program citywide for free, Buthod says. The program allows users to develop skills in website development, building Smartphone and Iphone apps, and creating an online business.  “This content is going to require some attention and some work by the students who want to learn it. But when they’re finished they’ll be able to get a job frankly. They’ll be able to sell their services,” he says. Buthod says the library was approached by the company and it negotiated a contract that applies to any library member. He says funders helped support a one-year, $15,000 grant for the program and the library will afterward determine its success.    “If one person worked through this and got a good job, then that’s probably going to be $60,000-$100,000 that that person is going to make out of this so that’s success right away,” he says. Over the next six months he expects hundreds of users to take advantage of the program, he says. Click here to access Treehouse and sign up. (Image via Shutterstock)