The thing about our public computer training sessions is that they are attended by the public. Real people, people from outside libraries, who have real lives and urgent things they need to do on computers. This is very good.
For example, I do a session on shopping online – “get the bargains and stay safe”. I prepare a plan of attack, based on my own experience, feedback from previous sessions, together with some essential stuff about safety on the Internet.
I’m not at all bad at this preparation, but after a few minutes of interaction with the people who turn up to the course, things start to fizz. Your average punter doesn’t want to know about online commerce in any theoretical fashion – he/she wants actual fashion, specific goods and the best possible service. It’s all very well me using Amazon as an example, although it’s a very useful example. If someone has heard that Etsy is the go-to place for retro dresses, that’s what we talk about.
I’m not going to give you a lot of coy stuff about not being an expert on retro dresses, because that’s not the point. I can probably help the frock-hunter to search out what they’re looking for, and I can use any selling website to demonstrate how you can protect yourself against unnecessary risk.
I always have a Powerpoint slideshow of screen grabs in reserve, in case we run out of genuine requests and questions. I don’t often have to use it.
“Adventures on the Internet”, a series of six public training sessions starts at Mayfair Library on Tuesday 25 November, at 11.00am. And if you miss any of those, we will be doing them all again at Church Street Library in March and April!