Livingston — At the age of 51, Dale Kelley headed back to the library to learn some new skills for a new sales job.
Kelley, of Watson, watched as Livingston Parish Library Associate William Burke used a computer mouse to highlight and drag an icon onto a desktop computer, showing Kelley how to move computer documents around the screen and better organize his digital files.
The Monday session at the library’s South Branch was among the free computer basics classes offered at the library system’s branches to help residents become computer savvy.
“We’re teaching people how to use the mouse, use the shortcuts and how to turn the computer off and on,” Burke said.
Kelley said the information he learned is crucial for new job. He said he needs to learn how to operate the laptop and iPad he received from his new employer.
He said that while his wife has taught him how to do some things on the computer, “sometimes learning from a third party is easier.”
In addition to the computer basics course, the library system branches offer email basics, Excel basics, Internet basics, PowerPoint basics and Publisher Books, Burke said.
The classes are offered at least once a month at locations throughout the parish.
The most popular classes are Word basics and Internet basics, Burke said.
Burke said that while most people know how to use a computer, the Internet intimidates many people who attend the Internet basics class.
“Had I known I would be using computers (in my new job), I would have been working on this a long time ago,” Kelley said.
The Livingston Parish Library started offering computer classs 15 years ago with the help of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant. “The Livingston Parish Library recognized the need to help patrons learn computer skills to assist them both at home and at work,” Communications Coordinator Emma James said.
In 2012, 75,747 patrons used the Livingston Parish Library computers and an average of 33 people enrolled in computer classes each month.
For a schedule of upcoming computer classes, log onto http://www.mylpl.info.