Tech Help @ MCLS

September means back to school, so now is a good time to take a closer look at the many opportunities Mercer County Library System offers to those who wish to learn a little more about various technology and computer topics.  From classes to one-on-one help and special technology-based programs, MCLS offers something for everyone.

The Lawrence Headquarters Branch has a full-service computer classroom that was recently refurbished with new computers and, starting this month, the branch’s computer classes will be based on Windows 8 and Office 2013.  Beginners can start off with a mouse basics class and work their way up to the Office programs.  Classes on using the internet and setting up an email account are offered each month, along with Microsoft Word and Exel.  Advanced classes such as Excel 3 & 4, Word 3&4, PowerPoint and Publisher are also offered on a regular basis, with special classes in topics such as digital photography or how to use the library databases offered occasionally during the year.  PC Basics, PC Essentials, and PC Advanced help students learn more about their computers, with a new focus on understanding the Windows 8 operating system.  The computer training staff also run open lab sessions a few times a month, where patrons can work on skills or ask for help outside of a structured class.

The Hopewell Branch, West Windsor Branch, Ewing Branch and Hickory Corner Branch also offer classes on a monthly basis, using Office 2010 and Windows 7.  In addition to the basic classes in Word and PowerPoint, each branch offers some unique classes.  For example, the West Windsor Branch offers an Excel Macros class in which students learn how to create their own macros and maintain a macros notebook.  Both the Hopewell Branch and Hickory Corner Branch have offered special iPad programs and Hopewell has Skype and the popular Seniors Connect classes scheduled for the fall.

The Twin Rivers Branch offers occasional programming, such as September’s class on using Facebook.  Similarly, the Robbinsville Branch will be hosting a workshop on Twitter and Facebook in September and one on digital cameras in October.

In addition to the classes and special programs, most branches offer one-on-one technology help.  Some, such as Tech Talk With Jay at the Ewing Branch, are scheduled sessions while other branches offer help to drop-ins or by appointment.   It is best to consult with the branch staff to see what time help is available.  Finally, our Information Technology Department offers Geeks and Gadgets at a different branch each month.  This program allows for drop-in help with using or troubleshooting gadgets and online services.  In the fall, the program will be visiting the West Windsor Branch in September, Ewing in October and Robbinsville in November.  All of these programs are listed on the library system’s website, under adult programs and computer classes

- Laura N.


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