Library offering computer help

Duane Hicks

Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre patrons wanting individualized, introductory training on using a computer or the Internet need not look further.
Community Access Program co-ordinator Rob Matheson is on the job.
“I pretty much give computer lessons,” said Matheson, who started a couple of weeks ago.
“I am available for one-on-one lessons to help people learn basic Internet skills, or they can learn advanced programs like Photoshop, Microsoft Word.
“Pretty much any software that we run here,” he noted.
“I am here to teach as much to the community as possible, and get people using computers,” Matheson later added.
Those who want his help can make an appointment by calling the library at 274-9871, or just drop in.
Appointments can be booked for one hour at a time, but Matheson said if he has the time, he’ll continue to help a person as long as they need it.
So far, Matheson said he’s been helping people who are brand new to computers and want to learn how to use one.
“I’ve been helping people with Photoshop, transferring their pictures from a camera to a computer and uploading them, editing the photos,” he noted.
“I’ve been helping people with basic Internet skills, like using government online services like the federal tax programs and stuff like that.”
Matheson also will help the vision-impaired to read.
The new library has an adaptive technology area, sponsored by the local Voyageur Lions Club, which has computers that either magnify text so the vision-impaired can read it or even read text aloud for them.
Joyce Cunningham of the Fort Frances Public Library board said she feels it’s important for people to get comfortable with the adaptive technology available at the library, noting it could be daunting for a vision-impaired person to come in, sit down, and start using it on their own.
But with Matheson to help them, they can be comfortable learning to utilize the adaptive technology with someone right there to answer their questions.
Matheson said he also will help people troubleshoot their computer problems, adding they can feel free to bring in their laptops to have him take a look.
Matheson was hired thanks to a Community Access Program grant from Industry Canada. His contract runs until the end of March.
Born and raised in Fort Frances, and having returned after completing the three-year aviation management program at Georgian College in Barrie, Matheson said he’s impressed with the new Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre.
“I am enjoying the advances in technology here,” he remarked. “I can see it’s starting to move away from books and into audio books and e-books.
“They’ve got computers in almost every department now. You can’t walk around here without seeing a computer,” added Matheson.
“With the Shaw room now, the Smart boards, it’s starting to turn more into a technology centre than a library.
“And that’s where it’s pretty much headed,” he noted.