How to Grow Your Professional Skill Set With Library Tools

At the beginning of a new year, many people are excited to turn over a new leaf, re-evaluate habits and look for ways to grow their careers. Luckily, you don’t have to look any further than your local library. 

“Besides providing thousands of books on all kinds of subjects, many libraries offer services that can assist in personal development,” says Tameka Lee, communications director at the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS). 

CALS and many other libraries provide free access to services like Universal Class. This program gives access to more than 600 lifelong learning courses in more than 30 subject areas including accounting, business, history and psychology. Another great example is Mango Languages, a website and mobile app you can access with a library card that offers courses teaching more than 70 languages. 

Another way to upgrade your professional skills is through LinkedIn Learning, a popular service included free with many library cards. This software offers more than 16,000 video courses and tutorials taught by industry experts in technology, business and creative skills. With self-paced courses, LinkedIn Learning is perfect for those looking to update their resumes or build up their professional skills. 

According to Lee, LearningExpress Library is another service popular with patrons that offers career preparation courses, job accelerator tools, personal success skills and computer skills courses.

Plus, your local library can be a quiet space for a virtual meeting or interview, as many libraries offer free WiFi, private study rooms, laptop checkout and printing services. 

When in need of a little self-care, the library is also a great way to cultivate a hobby or accelerate creative interests outside of work. Next time you’re at your local library, inquire about circulation items beyond books. Many libraries have items for checkout that offer hands-on opportunities for exploration of a new hobby such as tools, telescopes, birdwatching kits, seeds and more.

Depending on your professional (or personal) needs, whether to get that promotion or find your dream job, inquire about your local library’s services and discover the resources available through your free library card. Visit to find your nearest library. 


The Central Arkansas Library System is the largest public library system in Arkansas. Pulaski and Perry County residents, excluding residents of North Little Rock, can get a free library card at or in person at any CALS location.


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