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Onalaska library to offer computer classes

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By Sherry Brecheen
Library Director

Technology has made the world increasingly connected. It’s easier than ever to stay in touch with loved ones and find information on everything from health to consumer advice. While some people have grown up with technology at their fingertips, it can be challenging for others to stay up to date. Fortunately, there are free computer classes that can help you master the digital divide. Our volunteers will show you vital skills and explain how technology offers benefits for us as we age gracefully.

Once you learn to navigate apps like Zoom, you’ll be able to stay in touch with loved ones from the comfort of your own home with just the click of a few buttons. Staying connected is one of the most important things you can do for your mental and physical health. That means socializing is easier than ever, even if you have a medical condition that makes travel difficult. Computers help you stay active and can reduce feelings of isolation. In addition, computers can make it easier to attend to medical needs. Instead of arranging medical transportation to see a doctor, you can simply schedule a virtual visit with a healthcare provider, so you don’t have to leave your home. You can also order groceries and pay your bills. Instead of leaving your house or mailing forms, you can simply take care of these tasks online using a home computer, or on the public computers at the library.

Onalaska Library offers fun updated classes designed for beginner to intermediate users and focuses on fundamental skills, including how to navigate a website, and file management. This means tips on the proper ways to copy, delete or rename files. By mastering these skills, you can use a wide range of programs that enable you to connect with your doctor, join virtual events, or video calls with loved ones. The first computer class doesn’t offer specific advice on using different apps or programs. It’s a good choice for beginner users. Following ones take a deeper approach and use specific software that is available for all to use daily in the library.

And let’s not forget that computers are a lot of fun, too. You can access games and puzzles that can provide entertainment. You can play games with your friends and family and enjoy using social networks like Facebook. No matter your skill level or how much time you have available to commit to learning new computer skills, there are plenty of ways you can educate yourself. The best part? The computer classes at the library are free! You only pay for printing.

We offer key online instruction that will teach you everything you need to know to get started. In less than two hours each time, you’ll learn how to use a mouse, open and close software files, connect to the Internet, and print or copy/paste files. The lessons are about 90 minutes each, so you won’t feel overwhelmed, and you’ll be able to digest new information a little bit at a time. In-person classes are a valuable resource for people who prefer hands-on learning. Stop by, visit the librarians, and see if these classes fit your needs. These friendly volunteers can help you start the assessment process and get you registered. Make sure to pay attention in class – there’s a quiz at the end! And certificates are provided, so you can show off your new skills.

For additional information, call the Onalaska Public Library at 936-646-2665.

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