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Computer Training

Although we do not offer live computer classes at ARLS, we do have a variety of resources and recommendations for community members looking for technology training. The categories below offer advice based on type of skill and level of ability. We will add to this list as we find new services or become aware of computer classes elsewhere in the community. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Keyboarding/Mouse Practice
The library offers 2 hours of computer and internet use per day (at Hopewell and Prince George, and unlimited time at the other county locations) to patrons who can utilize this equipment to access keyboarding/mouse practice exercises and games online. These websites are generally free and meant for beginners. A librarian would be delighted to direct you to these websites and help you get started. With keyboarding and mouse skills, practice is often the best teacher. Though a librarian can answer questions about left and right mouse buttons and what certain keyboard key abbreviations stand for, your proficiency is going to largely depend on how much practice time you are willing to dedicate to improving your skills. This is an area in which self-teaching is best put into use.

Computer Basics
The library invests in print and A/V materials that can help get you started with basic computer skills, which are best used in conjunction with an actual computer for practice. If you don’t have a computer at home, we are happy to assist you in signing on to one of the library’s. Though we are unable to sit down for extended periods with a patron, there is always a librarian close by to answer questions. Self-taught computer skills require commitment on the part of the user, but can certainly be very successful if you are willing to put in the effort. Below is a partial list of some items that you may find helpful:

Computer Basics: Absolute Beginner’s Guide (Windows 8 Edition) by Michael Miller 004.16 MIL
Easy Computer Basics: Windows Edition by Michael Miller 004.16 MIL
Computers for Seniors and Dummies by Nancy Muir 004.16 MUI
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to PC Basics by Joe Kraynak 004.16 KRA
Windows 7 Basics: A Step by Step Guide For The Computer Shy (Part 1 and 2) DVD 001.64 WIN
iMac for Dummies by Mark L. Chambers 001.64 C355

We also offer computer classes online through Gale’s Testing & Education Reference Center on our website. Here you can find a basic course on Microsoft Windows 7.

If you are a job seeker looking for help with basic computer skills, internet, email, and online job applications, the Virginia Employment Commission offers classes every other Monday. You must be registered with the VA Employment Commission to participate, but there is no charge for the classes.

Internet and Email Basics
The library invests in print and A/V materials that can help get you started with internet and email skills, which are best used in conjunction with an actual computer with internet access for practice. If you don’t have a computer or access to the internet at home, we are happy to assist you in signing on to one of the library’s. Though we are unable to sit down for extended periods with a patron, there is always a librarian close by to answer questions. Self-taught internet skills require commitment on the part of the patron, but can certainly be very helpful if you are willing to put in the effort. When it comes to the internet, experimentation and practice are the best teachers. Some of the resources available to you are listed below:

Computer and Internet Basics Juv DVD 004.67 COM
Windows 7 Basics: A Step by Step Guide For The Computer Shy (Part 1 and 2) DVD 001.64 WIN
Computers for Seniors and Dummies by Nancy Muir 004.16 MUI
Easy Email: A Step by Step Guide for the Computer Shy DVD 004.692 EAS

Office Software
The library has an array of books for people interested in learning about Office Software, such as the popular Microsoft Office Suite. Whether you are looking for something for a beginner, or more advanced skills, we continue to purchase the most up to date resources on Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and many others. We keep books on older versions of these programs as well, so if you have a previous version of Office at home (Office 2000, Office 2003, etc.) we are able to find you the appropriate material for your situation.

Easy Microsoft Office by Tom Bunzel 005.369 BUN
Microsoft Office 2010 and 2007 for seniors 001.64 MIC
Microsoft Office 2010 for seniors for dummies by Faithe Wempen 005.508 WEM
Office 2007 all-in-one desk reference for dummies by Peter Weverka 005.5 WEV
Microsoft Word 2010 : basic 001.64 AXZ
Easy Microsoft Word 2010 by Sherry Kinkoph Gunter 005.52 GUN
How to do everything with Microsoft Office Word 2007 by Guy Hart-Davis 005.52 HAR
Easy Microsoft Excel 2010 by Michael Alexander 001.64 ALE
Using Microsoft Excel 2010 by Tracy Syrstad 005.54 SYR
Easy Microsoft Office 2010 by Tim Bunzel 001.64 BUN
Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 step by step by Joyce Cox 005.58 COX

We also offer computer classes online through Gale’s Testing & Education Reference Center on our website. You can find beginner level courses on Microsoft Office 2010 programs including Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint.

Misc. Computer Skills
Occasionally, miscellaneous computer classes about such things as digital photography (their most recent class) can be found, at the community center in Hopewell. The cost is generally minimal, about $5, and is open to anyone though may require registration. Call 804-541-2353 or 804-541-2304 for more information. These miscellaneous topics are also very popular in community colleges as well. A librarian can help you look up a course catalog at a community college in the area if you are interested.

Advanced Computer Skills
Classes on advanced computer skills would generally be available at local community colleges and universities, or by paid computer courses online. The library maintains a collection of materials on such topics as C++, Facebook and Social Networking, Quicken, Jquery, Photoshop and other Adobe Suite programs, PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, etc. which are available for checkout by our patrons who are interested in self-teaching. If you are interested in taking a higher education course, a librarian can help you research what courses are offered at local colleges and universities as well as contact information needed to register or apply to that college.

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Keep in mind that technology is an ever evolving field and there may be some topics that we do not cover in our collection. If you are interested in learning about a software program or technology topic that we have no books on, please let us know…we are usually able to get you what you need by purchasing an item for our collection by patron request, by borrowing the item from another library through interlibrary loan, or by finding the material from an online source. Likewise, if there is a DVD or CD title on a topic that you heard or read about that is of interest to you, we are happy to take your requests. Also, though there are plenty of computer classes on all topics for all skill levels available online, some are more credible than others. A librarian can help you find the reputable services (see below) that are available on the internet to assist you in avoiding scams and classes taught by those who may not be entirely qualified.
Goodwill Community Foundation – Computer Classes Online

 

 

Free Computer Classes in the Area

VA Employment Commission
Tri-Cities – Local Office
5240 Oaklawn Blvd. Hopewell, VA, 23860
http://www.vec.virginia.gov/
804-541-6548
Basic computer skills, internet and email, Microsoft Word, resumes and cover letters, job applications

Petersburg Public Library
http://www.ppls.org/library-services/computer-training-courses/

Chesterfield County Public Library
http://library.chesterfield.gov/screens/classes.html

Salvation Army
Community Education Center
1228 South West St.
Petersburg, VA 23803
office 804-732-8449 ext 204
fax 804-733-2977
Basic Computer Training, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Resume Writing

Goodwill Virginia Workforce Center
Phone: 804-321-5690
http://www.goodwillvirginia.org
Computer Basics and job skills

Permanent link to this article: http://www.arls.org/services/adults/computer-training/