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Free help available on using electronic devices

Several librarians are offering their assistance in the use of a variety of electronic devices


by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - Monica Smith, childrens and reference librarian, assists Sandy area resident and library patron Dan Beltrami with the use of an electronic tablet. Library staff members are planning a class to help people learn to use various electronic devices.Library staff members are thinking that some people who live in the Sandy area aren’t certain how to tweet, blog, email, communicate with Facebook, take photos with a phone or tablet computer, upload photos, research information on the Internet and access specific applications.

At the Sandy Library, a new program called “Technology Tools Tutoring Tuesdays” will help people learn how to use their devices to the best advantage.

The class will be one-on-one or small groups, depending on the number of people requesting help on specific skills, said Monica Smith, reference and children’s librarian.

The class is scheduled at 4 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month, with the first class Tuesday, Oct. 1, in the Sandy Library.

But before the first class, library staff members would like people to contact them by phone or email to identify the types of devices where help could be needed.

A little lead time will help them prepare for the first class.

Scheduled to teach the classes are Library Director Beth Scarth, Children’s and Reference Librarian Monica Smith and Reference Librarian Maureen Skinner.

“We’re all professional librarians,” Scarth said, “and we’ve had a lot of experience with the electronic tools, databases and the things that people will be asking about.”

The idea for the class came to the fore because there have been a number of people who were frustrated because they couldn’t figure out how to access information or communicate with the new devices.

Skinner admitted the staff members aren’t information technology specialists, but they do know enough to help with common everyday tasks.

“Patrons request help with their devices quite often,” Skinner said.

“Working together in a group will be fun, and we can learn from each other.”

Scarth says she gets requests for help on loading books on a Kindle such as books on the Library2go website.

“We like to show people the databases that we have access to,” Scarth said. “Some people come in and don’t know anything about computers, but they want to put something on Craigslist — so we help them.”

The Internet, Scarth said, can be a bit frightening to someone who has not used it previously.

“The unknown can be kind of scary,” she said. “So, this is just a way to help people over that initial unknown part.”

The Sandy Library has 23 computers for free public use, including 12 notebook computers that can be used on a table and 11 other computers on desktops.

Among the skills the librarians have are how to use a computer, Kindle, Nook, iPad and cell phone.

They also are familiar with using the following websites or skills: Craigslist, Facebook, Google Earth, Twitter, Library2go, loading photos, Internet searches, creating email accounts and attaching photos or documents to emails.

They are not limited to just these skills and knowledge, so Scarth wants to hear from library patrons who would appreciate help.

It’s all free; just give them a few ideas where help could be beneficial and show up at the first class at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1. The library is at 38980 Proctor Blvd.

For more information and to offer help-needed suggestions, send email to the library at saref@lincc.org or call the library at 503-668-5537.

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