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December 30, 2020
As we usher in 2021, some of us are learning how to use new gadgets we were gifted over the holidays (or bought for ourselves!). Others are setting resolutions to learn something new. If there’s one certainty about the year ahead, it’s that technology will continue to change and impact our lives. With a wide array of materials to borrow, online learning resources and live virtual classes, the public library is committed to helping you with all things STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).
The public library’s book and magazine collections offer diverse titles covering a substantial range of science and technology topics. Customers can easily search the catalog for current books on tablets and smartphones, software guides, coding and much more. If you’re unable to visit one of the library’s 27 branches, you can access eBooks and current magazines in full color on your computer or mobile device. With OverDrive, Hoopla, Flipster and PressReader, library users of all ages have several options for their technology-related reading. To learn more, visit HCPLC.org/Books.
If you’re interested in taking continuing education classes on technology, the public library has you covered. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, Lynda.com offers self-paced online classes covering many areas of technology. Taught by industry experts, the courses and learning paths explore the latest versions of software, tech careers and emerging fields such as altered reality and artificial intelligence. After completing a class, you can showcase your new skills by uploading a certificate of completion directly to your LinkedIn profile.
For a more traditional class structure that includes lessons, assignments and interaction with an instructor, Universal Class is a great option. With this service, you can learn about Microsoft and Google applications, digital photography and cybersecurity while earning continuing education credits (CEUs). Both Lynda.com and Universal Class can be accessed from anywhere for free with your library card. To find out about all the tech topics offered through these self-paced learning resources, please visit HCPLC.org/Research/Online-Learning.
The library also offers live, online enrichment and instruction. Library card holders can schedule virtual “Tech Rescue” appointments. January appointments can be made for Jan. 11 and Jan. 25. These 30-minute sessions provide exclusive access to library staff who can help with technology troubleshooting. January also marks the beginning of our online “STEAM Topics” classes. All ages are welcome to attend these quick and fun online sessions covering all aspects of STEAM. You can register for these and other events at HCPLC.org/Events.
Whether you’re looking for an article about robotics, a how-to guide for using Windows 10 or live assistance with basic tech questions, the public library is ready to help you fulfill your “new gear” goals in 2021!
*All photos provided by Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library.
About the Author:
Chris Sturgeon is a Learning Experiences Consultant for Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library. He enjoys reading history books and learning new things.