Autumn sure didn't skip a beat! Already a damp chill seems to have settled in and the sun seems to packed up and left town. It's tempting to bundle up in front of the TV, curl up with a book, and ease into Fall passively but here's a challenge for you - shorter, colder days that draw you indoors are also a great time to learn something new or brush up on your skills.
Like it or not, computer skills are a must in the 21st century. You may only need the basics - how to use a mouse, how to type, perhaps how to check email and search for Web sites. You may have enough interest in online research, banking or shopping to want to go further - you may even need advanced computer skills for your career. For people like me, computer skills even factor into our social lives and entertainment, whether its watching videos and cartoons online, playing games, or keeping up with friends via social networking sites.
No matter how much or how little you need to know, the Library has lots of ways to help. If you like learning in a formal, classroom setting, sign up for our free computer classes - here's the current schedule. Register online, stop by the Reference Desk or call to register at 847-376-2841.
Feel like you've got a good sense of the basics but need some individual, personalized help? Try our Open Lab sessions - find upcoming dates. These are not classes and you do not need to register. Stop in during the Open Lab session and bring your specific computer-related questions: How do I upload my resume to a job site? How can I format this document to look more professional? How do I sign up for a free email account? The Open Lab sessions also give you an opportunity to work in the quiet of our computer lab, helpful when you have a particularly important task.
Finally, if you like learning new things online but find it helpful to have an expert around for advice, try the new "Adult Learning Center," part of our HelpNow service. (You will need your library card to access this from home.) Go to the "Adult Learning Center" and you will find live online tutoring from experts on Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint. If you've been trying to use those programs on your own but need help mastering all the features and options, this is a great, FREE opportunity for you. Try it out! You've got nothing to lose, and can gain valuable skills for living and working.
If you'd rather learn about the clouds gathering overhead, here's a neat article from "Wired," "Weird, Rare Clouds and the Physics Behind Them." Enjoy!