New tech co-ordinator at library here to help

Duane Hicks

Do you know how to download an e-book? How about use e-mail, or search for something on the Internet?
Do you know about all of the technological services your local library provides?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” don’t worry—the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre has a new technology co-ordinator to help patrons.
Charlotte Anderson arrived in Fort Frances four weeks ago, moving here from Campbellton, N.B.
A recent graduate who earned her Master’s in Library and Information Studies at Dalhousie University, Anderson saw the job posting online and applied after noting it was a perfect fit.
As technology co-ordinator, Anderson is responsible for overseeing the technology centre, assisting staff, library customers, and businesses to adapt to new information skill sets, acting as liaison with the Rainy River District Future Development Corp. and the business community, planning and hosting workshops and tutorials, and assisting with webinars and videoconferences.
In simplest terms, Anderson is the library’s “tech guru.”
“I am here to help with any computer issues you have, even if it’s printing something out or if you want to figure out how to borrow the e-books that we have at the library,” said Anderson, adding an e-book showcase will be held at the library this Friday (Oct. 21).
To provide more examples, Anderson said she can help the public with computer applications, like the Microsoft Office suite (Word, PowerPoint, etc.).
Or if people bring in MP3 players, digital cameras, or similar devices, she also might be able to help them—as long there’s time.
“If they have technology questions about anything, I can try to help,” she remarked. “If I can’t, maybe I can direct them to a website or another service that helps them better than I could.”
Anderson said she’s planning beginner courses for computer users, as well as those on social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and the various Google features.
She also will be looking to bring in local businesses and help them with any computer-related or technology-related services the library can provide.
What’s more, Anderson can aid patrons with using the adaptive technology at the library.
This technology, which was sponsored by the Voyageur Lions Club of Fort Frances, ranges from TOPAZ (a desktop video magnifier that magnifies printed materials up to 82 times) to JAWS (screen reading software where a computerized voice reads out the contents of the computer screen, whether it’s a newspaper article or anything else).
Anderson is fulfilling the remaining nine months in a two-year contract position, which was left open after Raj Sritharan, who started here last July, left Aug. 30 in order to start a new job at the Lethbridge Public Library.
“We’re pleased to have Charlotte join our staff for the next nine months,” said chief librarian Margaret Sedgwick.
“We’re pleased that once again we’ll be able to offer technology training for the public, both on an individual basis and on a group basis, as required,” she added.
 “We think that the public will enjoy her warm and gentle personality.”
The technology co-ordinator position was made possible through a grant from the Ontario Library Service North and Southern Ontario Library Service awarded to the local library and the Rainy River Public Library.
Because the grant was awarded to the library here and the one in Rainy River, Anderson will be spending each Friday in Rainy River, providing training to staff and patrons with new technologies.
Anderson said the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre is a “beautiful facility,” and that she’s “incredibly impressed with the collection and amount of books available—not just physically but online; we have a fantastic collection of e-books, as well.”
“I really enjoy that we have all the DVDs for television shows, and I am going to start watching those as soon as possible, once I have spare time,” she smiled.
As for her first impressions of Fort Frances, Anderson said “it’s a lovely community.”
“I’ve been out on the lake, and I thought it was fantastic out there,” she enthused. “I love water and I am coming from a coastal community, so I feel comfortable being so close to the river and the lake, and I am really happy they’re there.
“I went shopping last weekend, and you have some fantastic stores downtown that I think I’ll enjoy going into frequently,” Anderson added.
“I am a shopper.”
Find out more about the library and its technological services by dropping by or checking out