Learning To Use Computers

Public Computer Services
Computers can be intimidating, especially to those who didn’t “grow up” needing to be technologically savvy. The Regional Library Computer Center offers quality computer classes with beginner courses designed for those who don’t even know how to turn on that darn thing. After you get started familiarizing yourself with the computer and the software available, you will find that you have some knowledge of what a CPU is, surfing the Web, and typing with more than two fingers.

We will offer the Core Courses (Keyboarding, Basic PC, and Basic Internet) in January. However, you don’t have to wait until next year to learn how to work on the computer. Here are a few things you can do:

Learn how to type on the keyboard and how to handle the mouse.
Learning to type will take a lot of self-discipline and patience. It is also important that you establish the foundation of having the correct technique rather than speed. Speed and accuracy are results of establishing a good technique. You can try these tutorials:

Learn the basic parts of the computer.
  • Computer: The computer unit is known as a CPU (Central Processing Unit). This is the “brain” of the system.
  • Monitor: The monitor is the visual display unit of your computer. The screen or the “eyes” of the computer allow you to see the programs in your system.
  • Mouse: The mouse is your input device. It allows you to go on the screen where you want to go. It has a left button and a right button. Most of the time you will click the left mouse button.
  • Keyboard: A keyboard is the set of typewriter-like keys that enables you to enter data into a computer. The standard keyboard is known as QWERTY.

Learn to surf the Web.
Finally, let's check out the Internet.
  • You will need to make sure you have a plan with an Internet Service Provider like AT&T, Verizon, or Charter, to name a few. This will allow you to access the Internet.
  • Your computer will need to have an Internet browser like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome. This allows you to peruse websites.
  • If you want to search for something in particular, there are search engines you can use like Bing, Yahoo! or Google.

These basics will hopefully alleviate some trepidation about learning to use computers. You are always welcome to come by the Public Computer Services areas, the Computer Commons in the East building and the Regional Library Computer Center in the Linn-Henley Building, to ask staff for clarification or assistance as you begin your journey into the digital era. Keep checking our blog or Birmingham 365 for information about our classes and when they are offered.

Farah A. Ferguson
Public Computer Services
Central Library