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Increase Your Digital Literacy at Personalized Tech Training Sessions August 28, 2015

Having basic proficiency in computers and Wifi-enabled devices is becoming increasingly important in our daily lives, yet learning to use technology can be intimidating for new users. To address this, the ORL will be conducting free personalized technology training at its libraries throughout this fall. Anyone can sign up to join a 45-minute session to spend with a library staff member trained in the use of various devices and computer programs; classes are capped at three participants so each learner will have the opportunity for one-on-one assistance.

Armstrong library’s Community Librarian Julie White has witnessed the need for digital literacy firsthand.

“We often get asked to help with things like uploading or downloading pictures, post a classified ad, or reserve airline tickets or hotels”, she says. “But these kinds of tasks can be very confusing without knowledge of how to use a computer or Wifi device, or understanding tech terminology.”

Time-allowing, ORL staff are always happy to assist customers, and these personalized tech training sessions will also help customers understanding of how to use today’s technology.

“It can definitely enhance one’s life with learning some basic proficiency. My favourite example is being able to Skype the grandkids”, White adds.

ORL staff will be conducting personalized tech training sessions at library branches from Golden down to Osoyoos beginning September 1 until October 30. Call or visit your local library branch to find out about training sessions in your area and to register, or check their branch webpage.

 

Lego at the Library: Building Blocks of Creativity August 18, 2015

Each month dozens of boys and girls meet up at libraries throughout the ORL region, not to read or listen to storytime, but to play with Lego! The interlocking blocks were invented in Denmark over 50 years ago and the company's name translates to “play well”. Despite the rise of digital devices and games, the hands-on creativity of Lego remains popular with both boys and girls with most attendees in the 6-9 age group.

Kim Klonteig, Assistant Community Librarian at the Mission branch runs a popular Lego Builders Club.

“Parents tell me that when they buy Lego kits in stores, the children end up making the piece according to directions and then don’t want to take it apart. Whereas here at the library we have so much bulk Lego it’s all about their imaginations. And it also helps the kids develop their fine motor skills.”

Klonteig adds that the participants are very diligent, often working together to help one another find just the right block and come up with names for their creations. The Lego masterpieces are then put on display until the next session when they have to be taken apart.

“We do take photos and keep a weblog so children can see their creations online. It really gives them a sense of accomplishment.”

Several libraries in the Okanagan Regional Library system will be starting or re-starting their Lego programs during the school year including Peachland, Mission, Salmon Arm, Westbank, Vernon, Rutland, Lake Country, Lumby, and Osoyoos. Check with these branches for more information.

Introducing the eReading Room for Kids! August 18, 2015

The ORL eBooks collection now features an eReading Room for Kids! Much like the children’s area of the library, the eReading Room provides a safer searching and browsing experience for kids when they are looking for eBooks and eAudiobooks. The eReading Room for Kids site filters the overall ORL eBooks collection to show Children’s content only. Other than that, the browsing and borrowing procedures and policies are just the same as for the ORL eBooks collection. Great for those days you can't make it to the library! You can find the eReading Room for Kids here.

Maker Party at the Downtown Kelowna Branch on August 15 August 6, 2015

The downtown Kelowna library at 1380 Ellis Street will host its first ever “Maker Party” on Saturday, August 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a free drop-in event for all ages to explore their inner artist and engineer. It is part of a world-wide movement to inspire people to explore DIY (do-it-yourself) and DIWO (do-it-with-others) techniques.

As Reference Librarian Christine McPhee explains it, “A Maker Party is an opportunity to meet and learn from ‘makers’ working with a huge range of materials – from pen and ink to the Internet, from wood to 3-D printers, from paint to wool to electronics. There will be opportunities to try a variety of arts, crafts, and technologies and engage your hands and brain in some playful learning.”

Exhibitors on-site will include the Ponderosa Spinners and Weavers Fibre Arts Guild, the Kelowna Calligraphers Guild, the Okanagan Men’s Sheds Association, the Innovation Learning Centre, the Okanagan Makers Group, and the UBC Okanagan Faculty of Education.

The party will take place on the second floor of the Kelowna library where fiction stacks have recently been moved out of, creating a large open space for more community programs and collaboration. For more information, call the branch at 250-762-2800 or visit their branch webpage.

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