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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Potsdam Library continues to grow classes offered at Public Computer Center

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POTSDAM - An enthusiastic group of people gathered in the Potsdam Civic Center’s Community Meeting Room earlier this month to attend a presentation sponsored by the Public Library’s Public Computer Center. Heidi Ames from the St. Lawrence County Planning Office addressed the participants who represented a large variety of non- profit and municipal entities with many interests.

The topic of the presentation was “Grants 101,” which covered areas related to preparing to apply for funding through a grant. Apparently this topic is of interest to many groups and individuals as there is now a second full class of 25 participants scheduled for April 24, and a third class will be offered fairly soon.

Historical associations, local townships, the St. Lawrence County Fair, a local museum, Tupper Lake’s Wild Center and many more organizations were represented and took back information regarding how to start a nonprofit 501(3) organization, how to write a grant proposal, and sources of funding. Comments regarding the meeting included “very informative,” “all of it was useful,, and “It was exactly what I was looking for”.

This class’s subject illustrates one of the goals of the Public Computer Center, namely to present a variety of information to local residents which they need and will use.

Other classes of this type which have already been held include “buying and selling on eBay” and “using Craigslist,” and future classes include using the internet to research genealogy and QuickBooks.

The focus of the majority of the center’s classes is helping people to learn to use technology, so classes such as “Introduction to Computers,” “Introduction to iPad,” “Ask about Apple Products” and “Using your smart phone” have been popular and well-attended. All classes can be scheduled again in the future, depending on whether they are requested, so if you’re interested in a particular topic, contact the Computer Center to discuss your interest.

Also, if you have an area of expertise which you’d like to present, library officials would be happy to speak with you. As a public facility, they cannot endorse products or services or present information which does this, but if you’re an expert on preparing for job interviews or creating a power point presentation, for example, and you feel qualified to help others with your topic, please let us know.

In addition to classes, the center offers individualized instruction for specific technology-related questions and problems. All classes and individual sessions are by appointment only; contact the Computer Center at pcc@potsdamlibrary.org or 265-7230.

If you or your group needs a meeting space, the Computer Center has small private rooms accommodating two to three people and a larger room, which accommodates eight to 10. If your non-profit group is larger than that, they might be able to arrange for the use of the Community Meeting Room. These rooms are available for non-profit groups or individuals but must be reserved in advance by calling or emailing the Center. We have a projector and laptops which can be used by groups with prior arrangement for this.

Videoconferencing is also available through the Computer Center, again with advanced notice, so if you are travelling to meet with others, perhaps a videoconference could be arranged instead.

Finally, the center’s computers can be used for checking your email, searching the internet for information, or creating a document which can then be printed. This computer usage also must be reserved ahead of time. Services of the Computer Center, including classes, individualized instruction, meeting space use, and conference use are provided free of charge as part of the community-centered services of the Potsdam Public Library.

Information regarding upcoming classes can be found on the Library’s website. Click on “Computer Center” and then on “Class Schedule”, or simply check the “calendar” on the Library’s homepage. In addition, local radio and news publications include lists of classes or those seeking this information could simply contact the Center using their email address or phone number.

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