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Back to Work with LearningExpress Library

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We have looked at and Hoopla thus far.  Today, we’ll checkout the first overall educational online resource from the library: LearningExpress Library.  This resource has full tutorials on a variety of subjects to take at your own pace. There are also a variety of study guides and practice tests. Plus ebooks are in this resource as well.  Similar to Hoopla, everything in this resource is available for unlimited, instantaneous access.  The one difference from Hoopla is that the ebooks in this resource will remain in your ‘My Center’ until you choose to return them by deleting them from your account.  There is no set checkout time period and no set checkout amount limit.  

Learning Express Library is set up with Centers.  When you login, it will always open to your My Center page. Here you will see what practice tests you’ve tried and how you scored.  Also, the tutorials you have started. And this is very handy as you can click on the tutorial’s name to start back up where you left off!  Any ebooks you choose to read will be listed here for downloading.  There’s also a section for any computer courses you are viewing, a career dashboard where you can see resumes and more that you choose to create and save in this resource.  

To add things to your My Center page, you need to visit the other centers of Learning Express Library. 

  • Career Preparation  
  • Job & Career Accelerator  
  • High School Equivalency Center  
  • College Admissions and Test Preparation  
  • School Center (Elementary, Middle, and High School) 
  • College Students  
  • Adult Core Skills  
  • Computer Skills Center  
  • Recursos Para Hispanohablantes (Center filled with materials for Spanish Speakers) 

In the Career Preparation center, you will be able to learn more about a selection of careers, including Transitioning Military careers for veterans. Also, there is a Job and Workplace Skills section with some very useful tutorials for all jobseekers: 

  • Change Careers 
  • Conduct a Successful Job Search 
  • Create Great Resumes and Cover Letters 
  • Interview with Confidence 
  • Accept a Job and Negotiate Your Salary 
  • Learn Important Social Networking Skills 
  • Strengthen Your Business Writing Skills 
  • Succeed on the Job 

Note that they cover Social Networking which is a very important part of today’s job world.  Employers search for the social media pages, such as Facebook pages, of prospective job applicants that they are thinking of hiring.  So, it is very important before you start job searching that you make certain there is nothing on your social media pages which might cause an employer to decided not to hire you! Many years ago, there was a story that made the national news about a woman who posted a picture drinking alcohol at a college party on her social media account.  That photo was involved in causing her teacher’s license to be denied.  Here’s a link to the storyTeachers’ Virtual Lives Conflict With Classroom.  And there have been countless newstories in recent years about people losing their jobs over something they wrote online on Facebook or Twitter. 

In addition, you might think that you have no need to learn Business Writing because you’re not thinking about going into a business career.  However, in today’s job world, almost all communication with your co-workers and supervisors is done through email.  Those emails are Business Writing!  You need to be professional in how you type your emails.  If you use all caps, that is shouting in the online world.  I work with many of the Youngstown job help agencies, and one of their trainers told me of a co-worker that made the mistake of sending an email in all caps.  That co-worker was sent to their human resources department and had to take a course in who to do proper emails.  Another way to get in trouble with emails is to send one without using proper capitalization and punctuation – no grammar used at all.  In the online world, that is seen as being disrespectful to the person you are sending it to.  Finally, be extremely careful of sharing jokes in emails.  What you think is funny may be extremely offensive to the co-worker you send it to.  This can lead you to be sent to the human resources department and may cost you a job. 

That last section of the Career Preparation center is full of practice tests for various jobs.  There are lots of jobs that require you to pass a test in order to be hired.  If you want to work for the post office, you need to pass the Postal Worker Exams.  If you want to be certified as a STNA, you will need to pass the Nursing Assistant/Nurse Aide test.  And there are many more here, including the WorkKeys Assessments tests which some employers who work with Ohio Means Jobs require job applicants to take. A neat feature of the tests in the Career Prep center is that there are 3 test modes: 

  • Learner – take all the time you need and receive answers as you go through the test 
  • Practice – test will show the time it takes, and answers are given at the end 
  • Simulation – timed tests end when the timer runs out, simulates taking the test in the real world 

For those with test anxiety, you can work your way through the different test modes, improving your speed at answering the questions, and then hopefully will not freeze up when you take the real test and they tell you it’s time to start.

The next center is the Job & Career Accelerator.  This center opens to a Career Dashboard page where it gives you access to resumes you have saved and coverletters as well. In the Build Resumes and Job Letters section, you will find tutorials on how to write a resume or create a coverletter, along with tools which will help you create resumes and coverletter step-by-step.  Next, you can go to Career Match and take Interest Matcher and Skills Matcher tests where they will ask you questions about your interests or skills, and at the end of the test, it will tell you what jobs best match your interests or skills. From there, you can Explore Occupations.  I highly recommend looking at the In-Demand Occupations to see what jobs are expected to have lots of openings. And for any military veterans, there are tutorials here to transition into College or Civilian Careers. This center includes a Search for Jobs and Internships section which allows you to search for current job openings posted on Indeed and the federal USAJobs search sites.  In addition, there is a tutorial on helping you learn how to find your next job. Next you will see the Prepare for an Interview which includes not only a tutorial on interviewing but also one on job offers and negotiating your salary!  Plus, lots of ebooks with sample letters related to the job interview process.  The last section useful to all jobseekers is the Career eBooks library which has a variety of ebooks, such as 100 Conversations for Career Success. 

For any jobseekers who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent, Learning Express Library has a High School Equivalency Center.  It provides study material and practice tests for all 3 exams used to qualify for the High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma.   

These 3 tests all cover the same subject knowledge.  The main difference between them is the price of taking the test and whether they allow the option to take portions or all of the test on paper instead of only on computer.  NOTE: Ohio now only allows the GED or the HiSET tests to qualify for the HSE diploma.  Also, first-time test takers can qualify for an educational voucher which vastly reduces the price of the tests.  Contact your local Career and Technical Planning District for this voucher.

For those who are curious, the reason this diploma is now called a High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma instead of a General Education Diploma (GED) is because the publisher of the GED test, Pearson VUE, purchased all the rights to the GED acronym.   

The next useful center for many jobseekers is the Adult Core Skills center.  Here you will find helpful tutorials to refresh your math, reading and writing skills.  Plus, for any jobseekers needing to obtain U.S. Citizenship, there are study guides and practice tests available here in both English and Spanish. 

Finally, there is the Computer Skills center where you can take courses in basic computersinternet and the computer operating system, along with software courses, such as Microsoft Excel. Of note, when you take these courses, they are all video-based, unlike the other tutorials in LearningExpress Library.  If you are a visual learner, these may be a great fit for you! 

In conclusion, Learning Express Library is always updating and adding in new tutorials and ebooks!  It seems like every time I visit this resource they have added in some new tutorial that will be especially helpful for job seekers, such as the newest one on how to accept a job offer and negotiate your salary.  

For more about using this great educational resource, check out:

Come back next week to learn about the library’s online resource which has fully accredited, self-paced online courses on a wide variety of subjects!

Sara Churchill

Sara Churchill is the Digital Services Specialist and Assistant Supervisor in the Information Services Department at Main Library. A major fan of technology devices and computer research resources at work, she enjoys helping everyone learn to use their devices and the library's many online resources.  She loves reading Science Fiction/Fantasy books, British cozy mysteries, True Crime and other true stories, plus a past reader of horror fiction by the likes of Stephen King and John Saul (among others).  Also, she’s a big fan of Sci-fi, action, horror, spaghetti westerns, and based-on-a-true story movies.  Her blogs are for adults and the entire family to enjoy reading and trying out the many online resources free for PLYMC library cardholders to use.