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Books turn electronic; readers have something new to learn

'E-book readers' are touted as being one of the hottest gifts this Holiday season - but what to do with it, once it's unwrapped and charged up?

E-book readers are great devices, but we realize that downloading e-books can require a learning process.

Setting up your device to check out and then download library books can seem labyrinthine! In response, the Multnomah County Library staff has developed a number of classes to help the smooth the way for library patrons.

Starting in January, every Wednesday evening the Sellwood Branch Library will be offering a drop-in lab called 'Is this Thing On?' for help accessing the 'Library2go' collection of digital titles. Other branch libraries offer similar assistance.

If you are not sure how to get started using library resources with your device, you can drop in for some help. Please bring along that e-reader, and any other equipment you need to download and/or transfer to your device - like the cord!

Another class being offered in January at the Sellwood Library is the 'Personal Tablets, Personal Finance' class for Seniors on Thursday January 19th. Here's a chance to raise your technological know-how and your financial know-how at the same time.

Everyone learns best by doing, so attendees will practice using the new touch-screen tablet computers by exploring the 'MoneyTime Learning Lab', a tablet-based guide that is full of information to help you achieve a secure financial future. Along the way, you'll view videos, read articles and browse websites - it's a fun and easy introduction to computing - and it could help your pocketbook too.

This Smart Saving program is made possible by The Library Foundation, with a grant from FINRA Investor Education Foundation through 'Smart investing@your library'®, a partnership with the American Library Association.

The Sellwood Branch Library also offers two weekly drop-in computer labs, on Wednesday afternoons 2-4 pm, and Saturday afternoons 3-5 pm. These first-come-first-served computer labs provide access to library laptops set up in the meeting room space. Volunteer lab assistants are available to help beginners practice their computer skills.

You may also ask for basic assistance writing reports, creating résumés, establishing an e-mail account, preparing research projects, filling out online application forms, and locating library and Internet resources.

Yes, books are still available bound and printed on paper. But if you want to give the new e-readers a try, every branch of the Multnomah County Library is ready to help you do it.