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Gale and State Library of Louisiana Provide Residents Access to 25,000+ Free Online Courses for Skills Development

Online Learning Platform, Gale Presents: Udemy, Available On-Demand Through Louisiana Public Libraries

To support lifelong learning and workforce preparedness, the State Library of Louisiana and Gale, part of Cengage Group, have partnered to provide public libraries across the state with access to online learning platform, Gale Presents: Udemy. Available at no charge through all 334 public library locations across the state, the platform provides public library cardholders unlimited access to more than 25,000 continuously updated, on-demand video courses for personalized learning and upskilling across a variety of categories such as business, IT certifications, creative arts, personal finance, technology, wellness and more. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Louisiana’s unemployment rate is 4.3%, compared to the national average of 3.8%. 

 “We decided to invest in Gale Presents: Udemy to make more educational resources accessible to residents through their public libraries, especially to those in rural and other underserved areas,” said Meg Placke, Louisiana’s state librarian. “In an increasingly digital world, 20% of Louisianans don’t have home internet access, meaning that for many, public libraries are bridging the connectivity gap to provide patrons access to technology and digital resources they might not have otherwise been able to access. So, our partnership with Gale is not just an opportunity to promote digital literacy among patrons, but to also help create economic growth within our communities through the public library.”

Gale Presents: Udemy offers Louisianans:

  • On-Demand Access to 25,000+ Courses: patrons can upskill effectively with high-quality courses covering the technical and business skills in-demand for today’s workforce.
  • Variety of Categories and Topics: courses cover content on leadership and management, personal finance, language learning, wellness, technology, marketing, creative arts, IT operations, generative AI, data science, project management, human resources, sales, accounting and finance, productivity and more.
  • Supplemental Course Materials: helps reinforce learning and put newly learned skills into practice. More than 60% of courses in Gale Presents: Udemy include assignments, quizzes, practice tests and coding exercises. Additionally, 90% of the courses offer subtitles and/or transcripts for video lectures to support diverse learning styles.
  • Current and Relevant Content: courses are updated or replaced regularly with new material on emerging topics, ensuring learners are developing skills with the most up-to-date content available on the market.
  • Extend Learning Paths with Smart Recommendations: based on previous interactions with the platform, course suggestions intelligently guide patrons to additional courses applicable to the skill they’re developing.
  • World-Class Instructors: patrons are taught by leading diverse experts who are world-class thought leaders, subject matter experts, bestselling authors and award-winning professors that are making advancements in their fields. Patrons can find an instructor whose expertise, identity and teaching style fit their learning preferences.
  • 15,000+ International Collection Courses: offers thousands of courses taught by instructors in their native language, going beyond traditional content dubbing and video captions, helping libraries reach their diverse communities. Languages include Arabic, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.
  • Unlimited Access, Anytime, Anywhere: patrons can upskill flexibly on their schedule with unlimited access via computer, tablet or smartphone. Available on iOS and Android, the Udemy app allows patrons to download courses to view content offline, listen with podcast-style audio and stream content using Chromecast or AirPlay.

Calcasieu Parish Public Library currently offers Gale Presents: Udemy and says its variety of subject areas and the quality of courses is what keeps their patrons engaged and interested. In 2023, Gale Presents: Udemy was one of their resources that saw the highest usage increase with 66% more course enrollments than 2022.

“Gale Presents: Udemy has proven versatile in its uses to serve our patrons,” said Sheryl Chaisson, collection and computing services director at Calcasieu Parish Public Library. “Our library system is currently planning makerspaces, and the resource is making it easy to curate tutorials for patrons to use with the spaces’ offerings. The frequency of additions to course content also allows our patrons to stay up-to-date in their learning at a pace our print collection is not always able to keep up with.”

“We partnered with the State Library of Louisiana because we mutually believe that public libraries transform communities and play a vital role in skills development for lifelong learning that sparks economic growth,” said Shawn Clark, senior vice president of Gale’s domestic learning business. “The diverse range of educational resources and online courses that Gale Presents: Udemy offers helps Louisianans remain adaptive and competitive in a rapidly changing economy as well as supports their career growth and personal development, creating a culture of learning.” 

Gale Presents: Udemy is available to any Louisiana resident with a public library card through the Louisiana Library Connection.

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

Current issue of Equity & Access:


Equity & Access - Issue 28

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