Internet savvy

Published 12:55 am Wednesday, April 9, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Are you looking for information about the Chicago White Sox, or maybe just wanting to learn more about Mozart?
Eight senior citizens participating in the Niles District Library's internet workshop during this year's National Library Week found that information, and much more.
John Elder signed up for the internet class last week and Tuesday was his first time receiving instructions how to use a computer and the internet, he said.
He said before the workshop, he had just been playing around with computers himself.
Elder, who spent most of his time during the workshop looking for information about Mozart and classical music, said when the library offers more workshops in the future, he will sign up and learn more.
John Smith, another senior participating in Tuesday's workshop, said he is always trying to learn new things.
Smith said he has been critical of computers and the impact modern technology has had on society in recent years.
He said since computers arrived, people aren't talking to each other as much as they used to and many people are sitting at home, with the computer their only window to the world.
But Smith admits, with computers also come advantages.
A big Chicago White Sox fan, he found lots of information about his favorite team during the workshop.
It wasn't just men, however, doing Tuesday's internet workshop.
Jean Baber was one of the many women who signed up to learn more about the internet and computers in general.
Usually she comes to the library for quilt classes, but said she now has a new excuse to visit.
Having worked on computers on her own before, Tuesday was her first time taking an organized class.
Enjoying what she did Tuesday, Baber said she will be back for more lessons as soon as the library offers them.
The workshops are designed so that people can work on the computers on their own as much as possible, but library staff is always there to assist if a problem occurs.
Vickie Semrinec, a library reference assistant, was in charge of Tuesday's first workshop.
Semrinec said they try to teach seniors how to recognize credible Web sites, how to print and e-mail, as well as explain the difference between web sites and web addresses.
During last year's National Library Week at the Niles library, 98 seniors received internet and computer training, and Semrinec said it's never a problem to fill up the classes.
For those interested, however, there aren't many available internet workshop spots left in planned workshops this year.
Mickie Spencer, a reference librarian, said Tuesday at noon there were only two spaces remaining in the internet workshops.
With only eight spots per class, those wanting to learn more about the internet should call the Niles District Library as soon as possible to find out if there are any vacant spots, she said.
There will be two workshops on Thursday. The first workshop is from 10 to 11 a.m. and the second one will run from 2 to 3 p.m.