Free Computer Classes at the Library

In our Computer Training Center, you’ll learn from experienced trainers in a private room that’s outfitted with 16 computers as well as two large monitors attached to the trainer’s computer for in-class demos. More than 300 individuals use the library to learn computer skills at 30-40 classes each month. With summer almost here, maybe you’ll find yourself with a little more free time. Invest it in yourself.

Kay Coward and her husband, Terry, were motivated to start attending our computer training classes so that “he won’t mess up my machine,” Kay said.

With the library’s help, he’s now computer literate, he got his own email address (he was just using his wife’s) and now he even has his own laptop. He wanted something that “would work a little faster,” she said.

Kay has signed up for some of the more advanced classes, including Word: Graphics (so she can “make documents look more professional”) and Word: Mail Merge & Mailing Labels, along with Editing Digital Photos (see list of all computer classes). Register for a class today. Call 785-580-4606.

“I went to a class today, and I learned three things that made me say ‘yes! This is great,’” she said. “The fact that these classes are free is extremely valuable for the quality of teachers. The instructors are clear and go at a nice pace. They don’t make you feel stupid.”

Instructors Kate Hughes and Becky Hinton say people shouldn’t assume anything about who takes computer classes at the library. From people trying to bridge the digital divide to students right out of college, all kinds of people sharpen their tech skills, upgrade their job skills or simply connect with their family and friends in our classes. The trainers say they even see working professionals come in, some encouraged by the bosses to figure out something new for the company.

“It’s becoming more and more important on all jobs to be computer literate. And it’s important in day-to-day life,” Kate said.

From doing your taxes to filling out a job application, being able to operate a computer is now the rule instead of the exception.

“It’s frustrating for some who are looking for a stocking-type job, and they’ve never used a computer,” Kate said.

She and Becky teach the majority of the library’s computer classes and say there are many rewards that come with the territory. “We love it when they call us and cancel a class they signed up for because they got a job,” Becky said.

If it’s not a job, then it’s the getting a grandma using Facebook so she can see pictures of her grandchildren or even teaching her how to Skype video chat.

“It’s rewarding to watch someone download a free eBook onto their new Kindle for the first time,” Kate said.

The offerings range and sometimes change with the community’s needs, but it’s all free and people can take the same class as many times as they like. “Knowing that helps the customer relax. A large part of what we do is help them relax,” Kate said.

They also offer Computer & Gadget Help sessions. People come and go as they please during these drop-in sessions offered once or twice a week. The trainers see any number of computer issues, from how to list something on Craigslist or to how to convert a Word document into a pdf. People bring in cell phones, tablets, ereaders, and laptops for some assistance with basic functions or preferences.

“We consider what we do another form of literacy.”

Sign yourself, or someone you know, up for Computer Training Classes and get a leg up on technology. Call 580-4606 or sign up here. Follow that link and you can also see handouts from the classes.

About the Trainers:

Becky Hinton

Becky Hinton

Becky used the very first computer the library ever purchased. It was a 1981 IBM PC. Shortly thereafter she started training the staff on computers. In 1999, the library started offering public computer training and she’s been doing it ever since.

Kate Hughes

Kate Hughes

Kate is a computer native and she’s been training the public on using computers for five years. Her specialty is literacy, learning styles and staying up on current trends and the latest versions of software or browsers.

 

A public relations professional, editor and writer, Lisa shares the library story in her blog posts, in the bimonthly Library News, and media interviews. A self-described social media and news nut, Lisa harnesses that passion to raise awareness and understanding of the library's vital role in this community.

  • Sharon Dechand

    I received my email today. I missed the classes on windows 8. Please inform me when next classes are earlier. I need help. Thank you.

  • Lisa Coble-Krings

    Hello Sharon, thanks for the comment. You can book by calling 580-4606. There are openings at our Windows 8 class May 23 at 1pm. There are also openings in the following June classes: June 18 at 9:30am, June 24 at 7pm, July 12 at 9:30am and July 23 at 1pm. We’re here to help.

  • Sharon Dechand

    Thank you for your answer so quickly. This has been a busy month. I need classes in evening. I run a daycare and it is very hard to get away during the day.I can not go to the June 24th. Looking forward to something later. Thank you Lisa
    Sharon Dechand