Increasing Access to Upskilling and Professional Development

Promoting lifelong learning and facilitating success beyond the classroom is a core mission that is shared among many industries including higher education institutions, public libraries, and various government agencies. With the shared goal of connecting individuals to the right learning path for their individual needs, industries across the board can work together to develop the workforce and increase economic growth. 

For instance, public libraries advocate for equitable access to information and learning resources for their community members to be informed, productive citizens. With the boom of online learning in recent years and the increase in demand for non-traditional learning, access to quality educational resources is imperative. Therefore, partnering with public libraries to offer opportunities for individuals to upskill and further their professional development can have long standing benefits for today’s economic environment. 

A recent example of a successful partnership of this kind is the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) collaborating with Gale, a division of Cengage Group, to provide public libraries across Texas with access to Gale Presents: Udemy via TexShare. This partnership directly supports workforce development and lifelong learning by connecting public library cardholders to a quality online learning platform.

"Texas is committed to developing its workforce and bringing more jobs to the state, and this resource supports that priority,” said Gloria Meraz, Director and State Librarian at TSLAC. “We want to make sure that anyone who wants to grow their professional skills can. Gale Presents: Udemy is an accessible, easy way to upskill.”

Gale Presents: Udemy is a digital learning platform that connects Texan public library cardholders to over 19,000 continuously updated, on-demand video courses that span a variety of subjects such as business, technology, design, and personal enrichment. The platform boasts courses taught by expert instructors and holds space for a customizable educational experience, empowering individuals to acquire new skills and remain relevant in their industry of choice. Additionally, nearly half of the course collection is taught by subject matter experts in their native language, which enables Texas residents to learn and upskill in their preferred language.

Gale Presents: Udemy features:

  • Unlimited, On-Demand Access to 19,000+ Curated Courses Across Many Categories: access to high-quality, in-demand content covering technical and business skills. 
  • Current and Relevant Courses: provides the most up-to-date content available on the market. Courses are updated or replaced regularly with new material on emerging topics, ensuring learners are developing skills in the most relevant, in-demand areas. 
  • World-Class Instructors: users are taught by leading experts who are world-class thought leaders, subject matter experts, bestselling authors and award-winning professors that are making advancements in their fields. 
  • 10,000+ International Collection Courses: offers thousands of courses taught by instructors in their native language, going beyond traditional content dubbing and video captions. Languages include Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. 
  • Smart Recommendations: gives users course suggestions based on previous interactions with the platform. 
  • Supplemental Course Resources: 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 a variety of learning styles. 
  • Variety of Course Topics: courses cover content on leadership and management, coding, design, marketing, IT operations, data science, project management, human resources, sales, accounting and finance, productivity and more.
  • Anytime, Anywhere Access: with the iOS and Android apps, users can download courses to view offline, listen with podcast-style audio and watch using Chromecast or Apple TV.

“In today’s economic environment, it’s never been more important for businesses and individuals to prioritize learning so they can continue to keep pace with innovation by upskilling themselves and their workforce,” states Cody Crnkovich, Vice President of Partners and Business Development at Udemy. “We’re thrilled to be working with Gale and TSLAC to democratize access to critical skills and education, ensuring every Texan can take control of their professional development and help steer companies forward.”