Funding for Niche Academy was provided by Friends of the Library. Friends president Irwin Henderson, shown here with Laura McCallum, at a book sale at the Nellie McClung branch last year. (Black Press Media file photo)

Greater Victoria Public Library offers new online resource service to cardholders

Friends of the Library provided funding for the service

It’s easier than ever to find your niche in the digital world of your local library.

A new service called Niche Academy provides assistance for people looking for help as they explore digital library resources such as books, magazines and movies.

Thanks to funding from the Friends of the Library, the service is now available to all Greater Victoria Public Library cardholders.

Users can choose from a range of video tutorials selected by librarians to learn how to get the most out of the GVPL’s digital content. Borrowing and downloading ebooks, taking classes on Lynda.com, streaming movies and music and learning a language with Mango Languages are features available through the Niche Academy.

“it’s a great way to be introduced to streaming movies and television shows,” said Tracy Kendrick, co-ordinator of public services for the GVPL. “A lot of people aren’t aware that we do that.”

READ MORE: Greater Victoria Public Library

Increasing users’ access to the growing number of online collections is an important way to provide more library services, said Irwin Henderson, president of Friends of the Library. Funding for the Niche Academy and other initiatives comes from volunteer-run book sales and Friendshop, which started seed-funding the library’s digital resources in 2017.

Friends of the Library is a group of volunteers who promote the library through a variety of programs including the Summer Reading Club, the Indigenous Reading Club, and a digital lab for teens. Friends has raised more than $850,000 since 1999.

Maureen Sawa, CEO of the GVPL, noted the importance of assisting GVPL users on how to get the most out of digital content, especially considering the significant increase in online usage during the pandemic.

Niche Academy is available at gvpl.ca/help. You can get a library card in two minutes or less at gvpl.ca, and explore GVPl’s digital services at gvpl.ca/digital.

rick.stiebel@goldstreamgazette.com


 

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