This fall Parsons Public Library will host a third series of “Tech Tips”, free digital literacy workshops on a variety of technology topics. The workshops are scheduled during September through December and will include sessions on eBooks, eAudiobooks, the job search process, digital photography, open source software, cloud computing, and online shopping.
The first workshop, “eBooks: 3M Cloud Library” will be presented by library staff members Samantha Graven and Julie Kent on Thursday, September 4 at 6:30. The 3M Cloud Library is an online collection of digital books, or eBooks, which can be downloaded and read for free from the Kansas Digital Book eLending system sponsored by the Kansas State Library. Ms. Graven and Ms. Kent will be on hand to answer questions and provide help with installing the necessary apps, downloading, and reading eBooks. On Thursday, October 23 at 6:30, they will present a workshop on “eAudiobooks: OneClickdigital”. OneClickdigital is an online collection of digital audiobooks which can be downloaded and listened to for free. For both sessions, class attendees are encouraged to bring their own tablets or other devices in order to receive personal assistance.
Ms. Graven and Ms. Kent will also explore the role of technology in landing a job in two workshops. The first workshop, “Get That Job! Online Applications and Resumes,” will provide instruction on creating an email account, which is usually required in online job applications, and writing a resume. Online resources for examples of effective resumes which can be used as models will be presented. Handouts will include a resume builder form which participants can take home, fill out, and bring back with them to the second workshop. The workshop will be presented on Tuesday, September 23 at 2:00 and repeated on Thursday, September 25 at 6:30.
The second workshop, “More Get That Job! Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviewing” will continue looking at effective resumes and will work with the completed resume builders that participants bring with them. Templates and tips for writing winning cover letters will be included, and tips for interviews, including telephone, Skype, and face-to-face interviews, will be covered. The workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7 at 2:00 and will be repeated Thursday, October 9 at 6:30.
Four digital photography workshops will be presented by local photography enthusiast Paul Milks. The first workshop, scheduled for Thursday, September 11, at 6:30 pm, is “Outdoor Photography: Turn Your Snapshots into Great Shots!” Photographing the outdoors is a joyful celebration of light, composition, and the world we live in. Mr. Milks will provide tips on the most useful camera techniques and settings to help you turn average outdoor shots into great shots. General tips on shooting flowers, birds, wildlife and landscapes will be included.
The second photography workshop, scheduled for Monday, October 20, at 6:30 pm, is “Take Aim at a Moving Target: Action Photography.” Whether you’re shooting bucking broncs at a rodeo, a hawk diving for a meal, or a child on a merry-go-round, your goal is to freeze the moment while still conveying motion. In this workshop, Mr. Milks will give tips on shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and depth of field that will help you capture action.
The third workshop, scheduled for Thursday, November 6, at 6:30 pm, is “Say Cheese! Taking Photographs of People.” Taking pictures of your loved ones can be one of the great joys of photography. This year, be prepared for Thanksgiving family gatherings and Christmas morning by learning the most useful settings and techniques for capturing those once-in-a-lifetime memories of people.
The fourth workshop, “Choosing a Digital Camera”, is scheduled for Thursday, December 4, at 6:30. Shopping for a new camera can be overwhelming, with so many available features and unfamiliar terms that it’s easy to get confused. If your Christmas list includes a new digital camera for yourself or someone else, this workshop will provide information that will help you decide what type of camera will fit your needs and your pocketbook.
Two workshops on free alternatives to Microsoft Office software will be presented by Library Director Jean Strader. Microsoft Office programs, such as Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, are costly for users who only need to use them occasionally, and the programs have become bloated with numerous advanced features that many people do not need. These two workshops will explore some free alternatives to Microsoft Office. The first workshop, “Open Source Software,” scheduled for Thursday, September 18 at 6:30, will present some examples of computer software that have the look and feel of Microsoft without the cost. The second workshop, “Beam Me Up Scotty: Cloud Computing”, scheduled for Thursday, October 2 at 6:30, will provide an introduction to the “cloud”, and some advantages and disadvantages of using the cloud for file storage. Ms. Strader will include a brief overview of one cloud service that is rapidly gaining in popularity, Google Drive, which can be used for word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.
On Thursday, November 13 at 6:30, just in time for Cyber-Monday, Kanak Patel will present the workshop, “Shop with Confidence.” Following best practices, users on the Internet can overcome their fears. Mr. Patel will discuss some of the things that you can do to protect yourself while shopping online.
The presenters for this season’s “Tech Tips” have a variety of backgrounds. Ms. Graven attended Labette Community College, and has been employed at Parsons Public Library for 8 years. She is currently the Interlibrary Loan and Cataloging Specialist.
Ms. Kent received her Bachelor’s degree in General Studies from Pittsburg State University and worked as a trainer for Tri-Valley Developmental Services in Chanute for 7 years before being employed at Parsons Public Library as a Circulation and Young Adult Specialist.
Mr. Milks received a Master of Science in Environmental Biology from Emporia State University, has taught computer classes at Labette Community College, and has been an avid photographer for the past fifty years. He has photographed with black-and-white, color, and color reversal film, as well as digital images. Paul enjoys all sorts of photography, but is especially passionate about wildlife photography.
Ms. Strader received her Master in Library Science from Texas Woman’s University and a Master in Business Administration from Pittsburg State University. Prior to becoming the director at Parsons Public Library, she served as Library Director at the New Mexico State University branch campus in Alamogordo, was the Government Documents Librarian and Head of Technical Services at the South Dakota State Library, and spent 15+ years in corporate information technology as a programmer and systems analyst.
Mr. Patel, who received his Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from Pittsburg State University, is Vice President in Charge of Operations and Information Technology at Commercial Bank. He has worked in many areas of the bank, but IT is his primary focus. He currently develops policies and system configuration guidelines to secure the bank systems.
Each workshop in the series will last 1 to 1 ½ hours. Patrons may attend any or all of the workshops. Everyone, regardless of skill, age or experience level, is welcome to attend. Registration for workshops is strongly encouraged. To register, or for more information, simply call the library at 620-421-5920. All workshops will take place at the library, 311 South 17th St. During periods of inclement weather, patrons are encouraged to call the library and check for cancellations. Activities are listed weekly on the library’s website, www.parsonslibrary.org, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/parsonspubliclibrary.