Archive for Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Library classes help adults remain computer savvy

January 3, 2007

Your kids are doing it, maybe you should too.

That's just a suggestion from the Basehor Community Library, which is offering unique computer classes for adults who want to keep up with all the computer programs younger generations are utilizing.

A few community members took advantage of the Instant Messaging class offered last Thursday evening. Jenne Laytham, assistant director of the library said the class was formed to show adults what Instant Messaging is and how to get started.

"I think all ages would take advantage of it if they knew how," Laytham said. "It's nice to be able to talk back and forth. It's like talking on the phone without the long distance."

Amy Schaffer, director of teen services at the library, taught the class that went over the different servers that offer instant messaging, such as AOL, Yahoo and MSN, how to add a buddy, how to chat with a buddy and how to edit personal preferences. She also sent an instant message to a friend at home to demonstrate chatting to the class.

"If you're going to chat with somebody chances are they're going to have one, two or all three of these," Schaffer said about the three main servers that offer Instant Messaging. "Who are you going to be chatting with? You need to get the same one that they have. Most people I know have AOL."

People signed up for the class for various reasons. A few were already a little familiar with Instant Messaging, but needed some help with the logistics of the programs. Others were just getting started. Patsy Lohuis said she became interested in Instant Messaging when she saw her son-in-law, who works for an oil company in Siberia, chatting with her daughter, who was in Baton Rouge, La.

"I saw them chatting back and forth and I thought it was just great," she said. "My children live out of state so I would talk to them."

Lohuis also commented on some of the other computer classes offered through the library such as, Computer Basics, Do You Blog Yet?, E-mail Basics, PowerPoint Presentations That Wow, How to Bank Online and Microsoft Word Basics. Most of the classes are an hour and a half long and are offered for various skill levels. Lohuis, who said she used to be fairly computer literate as an administrative assistant, uses the classes as a refresher.

"It's great to brush up on skills," she said. "It's a great thing that they're offering all those free classes."

Laytham said different classes are offered throughout the rest of the winter and into the spring. The classes are free, but registration is required due to limited computers available. She said they fill up fast and there is not a waiting list, but each class is usually offered several times throughout the season.

"I didn't know if people would sign up for these classes, so we were really pleased," she said about the usually full classes. "People have been really receptive to learning new things."

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