Technology programs

Keep pace with technology @BPL

tech programsYour technology needs are important to us—and we know your needs are constantly changing. BPL is a community-led organization, so this means that we work with you to provide what you want and need. Here's how we're helping you manage the technology in your life through library programs.

When it comes to technology, older adults have very particular needs. Getting personalized help is a top priority, so for you, we created the Teen/Senior Tech Meet Up. This is a program that pairs each older adult with a teen who helps them with their specific questions and their specific devices. It’s great not only for technology, but as a wonderful inter-generational program as well.

Adults have told us that they are looking to learn specific skills, either for work or personal use. For you, we continue to run our popular Click! classes that focus on Microsoft applications and basic computer skills. You also want to learn different social media applications like Facebook and Skype, but you don’t want to sit through a class. We understand—life gets busy. To answer that need, we’ve recently added Self-Directed Click. This is where you work through an online tutorial at your own pace and our staff are there to help you out and answer your questions.

Many of you also have devices that you want to explore. You’ve asked for help with your iPhones, iPads and Android devices. For you, we started the iPad Bootcamp and the Android Bootcamp.

For those with a special interest in genealogy, we offer a workshop to learn the Ancestry Database. For those who want to learn to use our laser cutter—to create objects in our makerspace—we have Laser Cutting classes and 2D Design with Inkscape to help you with your laser cutting creations.

The top priority for teens: learning what they need to know to secure a bright future. Teens, you want more leadership opportunities and you want to work closer with us to create programs, so for you we started two Teen Tech Advisory Boards, one at Central branch and one at Alton branch. At these meetings teens work with us to create workshops that focus on their particular interests. We also heard that the most important thing we can do for you is to help you learn to code. For this highly skilled work we have partnered with a local technology educator, Code X Art, in pilot workshops designed to teach code through various design projects. Our aim is to teach teens with the same tools used by professional coders. 

Tweens – we spoke with both you and your parents. We want to help tweens learn to think in ways that will help them be nimble with technology and to explore basic science, mechanics and electronics. We now have tween coding clubs, Hour of Code, as well as different rotating science and basic engineering programs.

For kids, it’s all about training the brain. Our conversations with parents tell us that the library plays an important role in helping to train young brains, introduce important concepts, and to push children to further develop great spatial and small motor skills. These are the building blocks to working successfully with technology. To create this solid foundation, we have Blow off Some STEAM, Science May-hem, Tinker Lab, Messy Mini Makers, Sat-ART-Day, and a host of other art and craft programs designed to build problem solving, and encourage process thinking and small motor skills.

It’s important that we continue to work together to develop programs and services that help you use today's technology with confidence, and build skills for the future.

What's your greatest technology need? Let's talk about it. Contact Shelley Archibald, community librarian, at 905.639.3611 ext 1303.