How To Get Free


I’ve always considered myself to be a perpetual student. The correct phrase is, of course, Lifelong learner, but I feel like perpetual student is much more accurate for my, uh, condition. 1) Perpetual student gives an added fancy-schmancy flare to my love for learning, and 2) it indicates that eventually, said love will result in my ultimate destruction! Ok, ok, so I’m being a little hyperbolic – but my point is I love to learn! As someone who loves to learn, I was quite pleased and excited to find that can be accessed for FREE with your Multnomah County Library Card.

What the heck Is Lynda? is an online education company offering thousands of video courses in software, creative, and business skills. It’s essentially a virtual library and a treasure trove of useful information ranging everywhere from Video editing to Photography to Animation to iPhone app building to business skills. If there’s a technical skill you want to learn, you can probably find said skill on

Is this just for beginners, or are their varied skill levels? My biggest cynicism while investigating, was that it was just going to be a bunch of 101isms. While Lynda does offer beginning skills they also offer intermediate, and advanced level courses. Say you want to learn more about Final Cut Pro. In the left hand column, click “Final Cut Pro under software, then click “advanced” under skill level, and finally click “X” under Version. Voila! Four different tutorials emerged, including DSLR Video tips, Multi-Camera Video production, Creating Time-Lapse Video, and The art of Color Correction. Certainly not skills you would learn as a beginner!

What kind of learning styles does offer? isn’t just sitting around, watching a video ala YouTube. offers transcripts of the video. You can read along with the text as the video plays. If you’re like me – one who learns by doing – has exercise files for practice purposes. It’s like getting homework! Ok, ok, maybe the prospect of homework doesn’t excite you, but remember; you’re not getting a grade on this, you’re doing this for you.

How do I get started? Go to and click “Begin using this resource.” You’ll need to enter your library card number and PIN on the next page – and then you’re set! Figure out what you want to learn, and dive into the fountain of knowledge that is Maybe you’ll be able to hone your Final Cut Pro skills, maybe you’ll learn a new skill for work, or maybe you’ll just learn something for the fun of learning. Whatever your choice, offers the means – all you have to do is provide the time.  You can even access Lynda with your smartphone.

One last thing – if you’re thinking this sounds too complex, I didn’t know a thing about until I was asked to write about it. Now I’ve got three learning paths going with more in the cue! It’s just that simple to get started. Anyone can easily figure out how to start learning with