This Is The Time to Upskill and Upgrade

As you work from home or adjust to being furloughed for the foreseeable future, use this time to improve your skills, learn new ones or further your education. We are committed to serving our community of lifelong learners. We want you to thrive!

Let us introduce you to Kent! Kent is LCL's Adult Services Coordinator. He has a passion for our community, providing you with useful resources and all things Tolkien. While Kent has been staying home, he has been gathering some great information for you. He plans to update this list regularly, so check back often. 

Upskill Your Citizenship:

Census 2020:  The 2020 census is open and ready for submissions. Results from the census are used to determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives; is used to draw congressional and state legislative districts; and the distribution of billions of federal funds. Make sure Licking County gets fully counted. You can complete your questionnaire online, by phone or by mail.

Ohio Secretary of State Voter Toolkit: The Ohio Secretary of State website has a voter toolkit that allows you to check your voter registration, find your polling location, view a sample ballot and track your absentee ballot.

Absentee Ballot Form: All Ohio voters whose registration information is up-to-date have the opportunity to vote in any election from the convenience of their own homes by requesting an absentee ballot. Absentee voting has many benefits -- you can vote early, it is convenient, it reduces the chance of lines at the polls on Election Day AND absentee ballots are the first votes counted on Election Night.

Newsbank: Stay up-to-date on the 2020 U.S. Presidential race and explore detailed coverage of political parties, debates, ballots, issues. Includes coverage from the Columbus Dispatch.


Upskilling with Nature:

BBC Earth - YouTube: BBC Earth is the official channel of well-known Sir David Attenborough series such as Planet Earth, Frozen Planet and Blue Planet. It is also where you can find fantastic nature and wildlife documentaries such as Life of Mammals and classics like Planet Dinosaur.

All About Birds: For a really great way to relax and get in touch with nature, visit this site maintained by The Cornell Lab (Cornell University). The live bird cams are wonderful, and there are also great resources for bird identification, attracting birds, and bird songs. There are some free and paid courses on this site as well.

Explore - Livecams: Yes, more wildlife webcams. This is one-stop shopping for live-feed cams from around the world, arranged by animal categories. My personal favorite is the River Wildlife Cam in Kenya.

Encyclopedia of Life: Here is an ambitious collaboration between several authoritative entities (Smithsonian, Harvard and others) with a defined goal to provide, “Global access to knowledge about life on Earth.” The scope of this database is truly massive and constantly growing. Explore detailed articles and data cards in all manner of life on Earth, be it flora or fauna.

Sea and Sky - Astronomy Calendar: Here is a great site for locating key astronomical events for the whole year. The “Explore the Sky” section includes all sorts of information…including an astronomy reference guide for backyard stargazers.

Upskilling with Media Downloads and Resources: 

Your Library on the Go: Through Licking County Library’s partnership with the Ohio Digital Library, browse and download more than 2,000,000 eBook, digital magazine and audiobook titles. Tumblebooks allows access to a wide range of interactive picture books. And Hoopla provides access to a massive library of streaming movies, music, comics, audiobooks, eBooks and television shows.

Project Gutenberg: A library of more than 60,000 free public domain eBook titles that can downloaded in a variety of formats, including epub, Kindle (mobi) and pdf.

Internet Archive: The Archive is a simply massive free digital library of sites and “cultural artifacts”, including books, images, magazines, audio recordings…even software. There are literally millions of files, and there’s always something to surprise you. New things are added almost every single day. There is a general search option, and files are organized into categories and collections for browsing. Each category has a “This Just In” section.

Open Library: This is a sub-site of Internet Archive but totally worth mentioning on its own merits. Open Library focuses on free downloadable books and audiobooks and is organized like a traditional online library catalog. It offers category browsing as well as title/author/subject searching. With a free account, titles can be borrowed and reading lists can be saved.

Library of Congress - Digital Collections: An elegantly crafted and infinitely engaging collection of digital materials for home use. It’s easy to get lost in this vast collection of historical materials: photos, videos, audio recordings, manuscripts, presidential papers and periodicals.

Upskilling with Online Learning: by LinkedIn Learning: We'd be remiss by not mentioning this great resource again. Through the Licking County Library's access to LinkedIn Learning, you can develop or hone a wide range of skills. There are literally thousands of tutorials. Don't forget to check out the IT library. There are some great Excel training videos.

EdX: Access to a centralized collection of more than 2,500 online courses from institutions like MIT, Harvard and Oxford. When you register, it is free to audit most of the courses. If you want a verified certificate of completion, you will have to pay. Many are self-paced. Some of archived. And some have a defined schedule.

Conversation Exchange: This free site makes it SUPER EASY to find a language practice partner. Based on reciprocal learning, it matches you with somebody who wants to learn your language. Conversation Exchange allows the user to establish a learning focus: find a penpal to practice reading and writing or find a speaking partner through voice or video chat. The only drawback is that it doesn't offer its own integrated chat function.

Open Culture: Open culture offers an extremely rich index of free "Massive Open Online Courses" (MOOCs) from colleges and universities all over the world. You have to see it to believe everything that's available. Academic topics range from art to writing...and everything in between.

Khan Academy: When discussing personalized, free, online learning, it's hard not to mention Khan Academy. Most of what they offer is K-12, but there are some adult learning options. And many of their courses on math and science are always great for review and polishing up those skills.

Upskill at Home: 

Home Improvement Reference Center:  A fine collection of articles on a wide range of home repair and project topics: lawn and garden, plumbing, electrical, woodworking, painting, decorating, windows and doors, and so many more. Articles are concise and easy to follow. They can be downloaded, emailed or printed. There is even a "Toolbox" section filled with How-To videos, DIY measurement conversion charts, and tips of working with contractors.

Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center:  A very rich set of detailed tutorials covering a breadth of crafting topics: beading, ceramics, glass work, knitting, metal working, leathercraft, model-model making, and scrapbooking—just to name a few. For STEAM family activities at home, there is a separate section on "Science and Technology." There is also a section dedicated specifically to Kids' Crafts.  

All Recipes: This site offers an enormous database of free recipes, many of which include easy to follow videos. The site can be searched or browsed by dozens of categories. There are helpful categories to browse by ingredient, a "Quick and Easy" section, and even one for "Cooking for Kids." They recently added a separate Quarantine Cooking section with useful tips on stocking your pantry.

Ohioline:  A great resource for all Ohioans, brought to you by Ohio State University Extension. A huge library of fact sheets created by experts for home or business use. Read up on everything from beekeeping to food preservation. There are sections on lawn and garden, food, horticulture, insects and pests, energy and environment, and farm management.

Homesteading Blogs:  There are so many great blogs detailing the individual experiences of intrepid homesteaders who made the leap into self-sufficiency. Not only are they online diaries of their day-to-day trials, but they often provide insight into specific questions or common problems. Many of these bloggers have a passion for sharing their ideas, and much of the time their information is free of charge. While I don't endorse specific blogs, some of my personal favorites are The Prairie HomesteadThe Self Sufficient Home Acre (great for small plots) and Chicken Mama. Just explore online and search for "homesteading blogs" or "homesteading website" to find something of interest to you.

Upskill & Upgrade: COVID-19 Small Business Resources and Tools

  • by LinkedIn Learning  Through the Licking County Library's access to LinkedIn Learning, business owners can take advantage of hundred of self-paced online courses taught by expert instructors on subjects including, planning, cultivating a virtual presence, online marketing and sales, branding, just to name a few. All you need is a library card.

  • U.S. Small Business Administration  Detailed information on debt relief, the Paycheck Protection program, loans/grants, including SBA low interest loans.

  • Ohio Chamber of Commerce COVID Resources  Excellent clearing house for information on executive orders, regulation waivers, state legislation, assistance programs, and recommended strategies.

  • SharedWork Ohio  Through Ohio Job and Family Services, SharedWork Ohio is a voluntary layoff aversion program. It allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, the participating employer reduces affected employees’ hours in a uniform manner. The participating employee works the reduced hours each week, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours. 

  • TechCred  TechCred is an online tool managed by the State of Ohio designed to help Ohioans learn new skills and help employers build a stronger workforce. TechCred can be utilized by employers and employees while they may be unable to perform their typical day-to-day duties. 

  • How to Save Your Small Business  Free live-stream webinar on April 14, 2020 hosted by Cultivate. Learn how to create a cash forecast for your business to survive. Cultivate will send you our cash projection/business forecast template prior to the event to help you use these business tools to navigate business survival. Cultivate is an Ohio 501c3 non-profit, providing incubator support for growing businesses.