Residents of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights can soon head for the library this winter and spring for free instruction in the use of computers.
The Dearborn Public Library is signing up people to take the first of its winter/spring computer workshops at the Henry Ford Centennial Library, 16301 Michigan Ave. Dearborn Heights City Libraries are registering people for the first free introductory class this Saturday at the Caroline Kennedy Library, 24590 George St. Another class for computer beginners will lead off the winter/spring 2016 Saturday-morning offerings Jan. 23 at John F. Kennedy Jr. Library, 24602 Van Born Road.
“We service anyone who wants these classes,” Dearborn Heights Library Director Michael McCaffery said. “We target the beginners in using computers, but anyone is welcome.
“We teach the basics to those who are just beginning to use computers,” he said.
The Henry Ford Centennial Library will be registering for the first workshop in Computer Basics until Jan. 17. People can come to the Henry Ford Centennial Library Adult Reference Desk or register over the phone during registration dates for the 2-4 p.m. Tuesday classes, which will be held Jan. 19, Feb. 23, and April 5. The registration dates for the latter two class dates will be Feb. 16-21 and March 30-April 3 (starting at 9:30 a.m. each day of registration).
Registration will begin Jan. 16-21 for the Internet Basics workshop, followed by registration dates on March 1-6 and April 2-7. The class dates will be 10 a.m.-noon on Jan. 23 and April 9, with the March 8 class being 2-4 p.m.
The Computer Basics class covers many basic features of using a computer, while Internet Basics teaches exploring websites, shopping on-line and using browser tools. The former class is promoted as good for beginners and recent learners.
All classes are held in the training room on the first floor of the Henry Ford Centennial Library, and basic computer skills are required for all workshops (except for these two basic computer courses). Nicole Lane, a staffer who mans the Henry Ford Centennial Library’s Adult Reference Desk, said that a sign inside the library entrance will direct people to turn through the corridor coming off the Rotunda Gallery, where the Friends of the Library Dearborn hold their monthly book sales.
One brand new class being held by the Henry Ford Centennial Library from 10 a.m.-noon on Feb. 6 and 2-4 p.m. on March 15 will be Windows 10 Demonstration, which will show how Windows 10 “represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows.”
“The class goes over what Windows 10 is, what they can expect to do with it, the basics, that type of thing,” Lane said.
Other classes sponsored by Friends of the Library Dearborn during the winter/spring 2016 computer workshops:
- Introduction to E-mail. Register Jan. 19-24, Feb. 20-25 and April 12-17 for the Jan. 26 and April 19 (2-4 p.m.), and Feb. 27 (10 a.m.-noon) classes. The class will teach how to create a free e-mail take home account, and begin e-mailing in class and beyond (cell phone number is required to set up account).
- Introduction to Microsoft Word. Register Jan. 23-28, Feb. 9-14, March 5-10 and April 16-21 for the Jan. 30, March 12 and April 23 classes (10 a.m.-noon), or for the Feb. 16 class (2-4 p.m.). Learn the basics of Microsoft Word for business and/or personal use.
- Introduction to Microsoft Excel. Register Jan. 26-31, Feb. 6-11 and April 19-24 for the Feb. 2 and April 26 class dates (2-4 p.m.), and Feb. 13 (10 a.m.-noon). Learn the basics of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.
- Working with Digital Images. Register Feb. 2-7, March 12-7 and April 23-28 for the Feb. 9 (2-4 p.m.), and the March 19 and April 30 (10 a.m.-noon). See how to transfer pictures from a camera to computer. Edit pictures by using basic enhancement features like crop, highlight and other ones.
The Henry Ford Centennial Library will also continue to use the first floor computer lab from 2-4 p.m. every Friday to offer free drop-in tech assistance.
“That’s not so much a workshop, as it is a drop-in session if people have questions on their tablet, or on how to set up an account on Facebook,” Lane explained.
Attendees may bring any device on which they need assistance on (please bring USB and/or power cables for tablet, ereader, camera, laptop, etc.; Apple device users may need their Apple account credentials). Help with ebooks requires a valid library card, as Kindle device users may need their Amazon account credentials. This workshop is intended to help with learning new skills, not repairing equipment.
At the Caroline Kennedy Library, patrons are to come to the circulation desk or call to register in advance, with the first course this Saturday taking place from 10:30-12:30 p.m. In the “Introduction to the Internet and Email” course, attendees will be taught the basics of efficient searching, setting up email, and operating a browser. The class will also survey “some interesting sights that might be useful to you.”
Another basic course in the January-June 2016 computer classes at Caroline Kennedy Library has changed considerably from the past, McCaffery said.
“We basically combined the introduction to computers with the Internet Basics,” he said. “We used to have separate classes Internet Basics I and Internet Basics II, but now we have one basics class which has more content and is more comprehensive.”
Students in The Introduction to Computers and the Internet Basics class will cover the very basics of computer usage (how to turn the computer on; how to reset the computer; and where to plug in the mouse, keyboard and speakers). Also, students will learn keyboard basics, mouse basics, and task manager.
This Introduction to Computers and the Internet Basics course will also run 10:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m. on Saturdays. The Jan. 16 Introduction to the Internet and Email class will also be held March 12 and May 14. The Introduction to Computers and the Internet Basics class will be held Feb. 13, April 9 and June 11.
Patrons of the Caroline Kennedy Library will also register in advance for these other free Microsoft classes from 6:30-8 p.m. Mondays:
- Microsoft Excel for Beginning Users. Jan. 25. Students learn the basics of a spreadsheet program to create a family or personal budget.
- Microsoft Excel for Intermediate Users. Feb. 15. Students learn more ways to work with Excel and use data, graphics and charts. They will create customized toolbars and more.
- Microsoft Publisher. March 14. Participants will learn who to create, customize and publish newsletters, brochures, flyers, banners, websites and other documents.
- Microsoft Word for Beginning Users. April 11. This course introduces basic word processing, covering terminology and skills (including text creation, formatting, printing and saving).
- Microsoft Word for Intermediate Users. May 16. In this course, students will learn how to add tables, headers and footers, insert symbols, and other commands to enhance a document.
- Microsoft PowerPoint. June 13. Create full-featured presentations and memorable slide shows with Microsoft PowerPoint 201. People will learn how to tweak PowerPoint for their own needs.
Still more computer courses will be held in Dearborn Heights’ south end this winter and spring. Eileen Coleman, who teaches these courses at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Library (another JFK staffer attends to technical assistance on the computers), said that these classes have a different instructor and different learning materials than the Caroline Kennedy Library classes.
“But we both pretty much learn the same things, turning on the computer and looking at what documents say, getting on the Internet and doing a Google search,” Coleman said. “I work when the library is closed in the morning.”
These 10 a.m.-noon Saturday classes start with an Introduction to Computers & Internet Basic I on Jan 23, and Beginning Microsoft Word on Feb. 6. She said it is preferable that participants in the second class should be comfortable with using the computer, keyboard and mouse before they take that class, though Coleman is more than willing to briefly cover the basics. The Basic Computer and Internet Class covers the very basics of computer usage much more thoroughly, though she said computer basics was what her class was originally limited to (Coleman has since combined the basics class with practicing on getting on-line, she said, when she found people wanted to go right to getting on the Internet).
The first class will teach computer users how to perform an Internet search, do evaluation of information, and bookmark frequently-used sites. The Beginning Microsoft Word course will present an overview of Word, as students practice formatting documents (selecting text, changing font size and style, and doing cut/copy/paste).
Both of these classes will be repeated again later (Intro to Computers and the Internet Basics I on March 5 and April 16, and Beginning Microsoft Word on March 19 and April 30. April 2 will be a new course, Intro to Social Networking. The course will cover social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, YouTube, Yelp, Flickr and more.
“Most of these social networks we will do briefly on what they can do, not going into signing up for them,” Coleman said. “Though we’ll cover YouTube and Facebook more in depth, see what each network is and make students aware of what they do.”
Registration is required for these classes as well. Dearborn Heights City Libraries can sign up people for classes at both desks of the Caroline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy Jr. Libraries, McCaffery said, regardless of whether the classes will actually be held at the library where the registration is done. Dearborn residents can also attend these Dearborn Heights computer classes, and Dearborn Heights residents can attend the Dearborn computer classes, as long as they have library cards from the other city (for Dearborn residents to get library cards in Dearborn Heights and visa versa, they have to bring their driver’s license to prove residence, McCaffery said).
The registration can be done by going to the circulation desk or calling during opening hours. The libraries are open on Friday and Saturday (10 a.m.-9 p.m. for Caroline Kennedy, noon-8 p.m. for John F. Kennedy Jr., with only Caroline Kennedy being open on Sunday from noon-5 p.m. Caroline Kennedy is open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, while John F. Kennedy Jr. is open from noon-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
To sign up or for further information on the computer classes, call the Caroline Kennedy Library at (313) 791-3800 or the John F. Kennedy Jr. Library at (313) 791-6050. To register for the Henry Ford Centennial Library workshops (please specify the name and date of the workshop if you call), visit or call the Henry Ford Centennial Library Adult Reference Desk at (313) 943-2330. Call the same number, or visit www.dearbornlibrary.org for further information on the Henry Ford Centennial Library computer classes or drop-in tech assistance.
The Caroline Kennedy Library is located across George Street from Dearborn Heights City Hall, and is located four blocks west of Telegraph Road, and two blocks north of Ford Road. The John F. Kennedy Jr. Library is located in front of the Dearborn Heights DPW Yard, west of Telegraph Road and east of Beech Daly Road.
The Henry Ford Centennial Library is located on the eastern edge of the city’s municipal complex on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Greenfield, flanked to the east by the Dearborn Police Headquarters and 19th District Court, and The Ford Community and Performing Arts Center; and to the west by an athletic field and the Dearborn Administrative Center. It is on the south side of Michigan Avenue (U.S-12), generally across from Ford World Headquarters and just east of Exit 6 off the Southfield Freeway (M-39).