Cultivating Computer Community
In the spirit of our Cultivating Community effort for this year, I thought I would share with you some of the computing resources that the library and the community both have to offer. There’s more help available to you than you think!
First off let me start by telling you about the Fredericksburg PC Users Group. Their website is http://fpcug.org/. They can also be found on Facebook and Meetup.com. The FPCUG provides a variety of meetings and speakers for beginners and veterans alike. If you want to learn more about your new PC or are having difficulties with it, there’s a good chance somebody at the FPCUG can help!
If you are a Linux user, there is the Fredericksburg Area Linux Users Group that meets twice monthly at the Headquarters and England Run branches. If you’re interested in free software and learning how to use it, this is a group you should definitely check out. Open Source, and Linux especially, can be intimidating to new users, so it’s nice to see an active group supporting Linux in the area.
Apple Macintoshes have grown enormously in popularity over the last decade. While I am unfamiliar with any active user groups for Macs in CRRL’s service area, you can find groups in neighboring areas of Virginia by going to the Apple User Group Resources site. You may even want to apply to start your own Apple-recognized user group. By the way, if you are familiar with an Apple User Group in the CRRL service area (Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Westmoreland) please let me know so I can update this article!
Finally, let me pitch the library’s Training on Demand service. We have librarians on staff at most branches who can provide 30–45 minute individual training sessions on topics like computers for beginners, Microsoft Office, social networking, ebooks, and more. Call the adult reference desk at your local branch to sign up for one of these sessions!