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Library Computer Classes

posted: , by Samantha Soucy
tags: About the Library | Programs & Events | Adults | Teens | Seniors

Happy spring! As we welcome the warmer weather, the Public Computing staff would like to update you on upcoming courses for the season. Check out these classes in April, May, and beyond:

Basic Computing 1 alternating Wednesdays (next is 4/15), 5-6pm

Our introductory class is designed to be a supportive learning enviornment for patrons who are totally new to computers. This course covers the fundamental skills necessary to get a handle in the computing world, including identifying the basic parts of the computer and their most common functions.

Basic Computing 2 alternating Wednesdays (next is 4/22), 5-6pm

Are you beginning to familiarize yourself with computers, and ready to take your knowledge a little further? In this class, patrons will apply the skills learned in level one to creating word documents and navigating the Internet. Prerequisite: Basic Computing 1 or equivalent experience

Intro to Gmail Wednesdays 4/15 & 5/9, 3-4pm

Gmail is Google’s highly customizable and easily navigable email service. This class focuses on email basics and is intended for patrons who have not yet registered for an email address. Participants will be guided through creating accounts, and then we’ll cover the ins and outs of sending, reading, and attaching files to email messages. Prerequisite: Basic Computing 2 or equivalent experience

Online Job Searching Wednesdays 4/22 & 5/16, 3-4:30pm

Finding a new job is stressful enough, but as more and more employers are advertising job openings online, learning to use the Internet for your search can be overwhelming. The main goal of this course is to acquaint patrons with popular job search engines and introduce the tools necessary for a productive job hunt. We’ll also take a quick look at Optimal Resume, a résumé-building service available to PPL cardholders. Prerequisite: Basic Computing 2 or equivalent experience

One-on-One Tutoring Fridays 12:30, 1:00 and 1:30

Whether you’re struggling to master social media, have a question about downloading ebooks, or want help practicing some basic computer skills, our half-hour tutoring sessions might be the place to turn! If you have your own computer or tablet, feel free to bring it in; otherwise, we can work together on one of the library’s laptops.

All current computer classes at PPL are:

  • free and open the community
  • taught on laptops running Windows 7
  • stand-alone, one-time classes, though prerequisites may apply to some
  • limited to six people and require registration to guarantee a spot

To sign up for any of these classes or a tutoring session, call 871-1700 ext. 708 or stop by the Public Computing desk. We plan to expand our offerings in the near future, and are always glad to hear from you if there is something you’d like to see added to the list.

-Hazel


Guess the New Tool Coming to PPL!

posted: , by Samantha Soucy
tags: About the Library | Library Collections | Programs & Events | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Science & Technology

In anticipation of the Library’s maker fair happening later this month, our staff have been hard at work getting together an arsenal of tools to unveil. While a few of them will stay complete surprises, we can’t contain our excitement over our newest tool. It is currently living in the IT department, getting polished and prepped so it can be wheeled out into the community on April 25th.

Here are a few clues about this new piece of our technology collection. Read the clues below to try and figure out what we’ll be introducing,

  • The ink for this machine is known as filament
  • The creation of a raft is a necessary step before your project really begins with this tool
  • The first commercially available model of this tool was called Cupcake
  • File format .STL is the most compatible format with this tool
  • Different tools vary slightly on the process for utilization, PPL’s new tool uses fused deposition modeling

If you think you correctly guessed the new tool using these facts, email: soucy@portlandpubliclibrary.org to verify, and then come to the maker fair on 4/25 to claim your prize!


Printing in the Second Dimension

posted: , by Samantha Soucy
tags: About the Library | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Careers & Jobs | Science & Technology

Back in November, the Library upgraded its public printing system to include a slew of services… never before seen at PPL. By way of late introduction, we would like to share a little more about what that looks like for our patrons.Where we once offered a simple black and white printer, and a single-function copier, we’ve installed something a little snazzier, higher functioning, and of the twenty-first century. It’s the Lexmark X790, it’s here to help, and we are here to help to you use it.

Never fear, the new machine is capable of the same basic tasks as our old ones. We’re assisting patrons who need to print and copy everything from asylum applications and résumés, to guitar tabs and holiday cookie recipes—not much has changed in that department. The main features that are newly available are: color printing, faxing, wireless printing, and scanning.

First up, at twenty-five cents a pop, you can now print and copy in color at the library. Whether you want to print out your favorite digital photos or spruce up your event poster to catch a few more eyes, you can graduate from gray scale for half the price of a postage stamp. We are also pleased to be able to provide faxing capabilities to library users. You can print your document and fax it out in one fell swoop. The first page costs a dollar, and each page after that is an additional twenty-five cents. It’s a quick and user-friendly process that the staff on desk are glad to walk you through.

Wireless printing is also a newcomer on the Public Computing scene. As more and more people are hooked up to their own tablets, laptops, and smartphones, it can be a hassle to print documents from one of the library’s public desktops. It is now possible to cut out the middleman by sending files from your personal device right to the printer.

Finally, behold: the power of scanning! The world is increasingly turning to scanning over faxing, and with good reason. Scanning is an efficient way to digitize and store important documents in one convenient, portable location that makes sharing easy, and best of all, it’s free. Our new machine allows you to scan directly to—and also print directly from—your own flash drive. Don’t have one? We have some for sale ($7) at the Public Computing desk, as well as a few for patrons to borrow in house.

And if all this new equipment is just a little too flashy for your taste, the old black and white copier is safe and well upstairs in the Portland Room, while its twin still reigns supreme in the Reference area on the Lower Level. To learn more about any of these options, check out this page for more information.

-Hazel

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