Off the Shelf and Into the Future: Free Technology Training at HCPL

140/365 Computer Magic by Sarah G. courtesy of the artist and Flickr Creative CommonsYou want the latest Janet Evanovich? You go to the library. You have a big report due?. You go to the library. Your grandma always said you have royal blood and you want confirmation? You go to the library. But what if you want to get your hands on an iPad before you sink your cash into one? What if you need to learn Microsoft Excel and get some help polishing your resumé? What if somebody said, “Just google me” and all you could do was blush?

Answer: You go to the library.

While Harris County Public Library continues to fulfill its traditional duties as the go-to resource for research and homework help, and as provider of current and classic books, music and movies, customers’ needs are ever-evolving. More and more, those needs involve new and emerging technologies.

HCPL is meeting those needs:

  • Since March of this year, Harris County Public Library has provided over 31,000 contact hours of free technology training to over 17,000 customers.
  • While many in our community feel very much at home in the Digital Age, there are many others who, because of lack of access and other factors, are at risk of being left behind. For them HCPL offers beginner level classes ranging from workshops in keyboard and mouse skills, to email account setup and internet safety.
  • For job seekers (and those who just want to polish their skills), HCPL offers multi-session courses in the Microsoft software that employers value most including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Publisher, in addition to online job search, resumé writing and interview skills training.
  •  For the more advanced users, HCPL branches offer classes in digital photography, file and folder management, social media, and genealogical research among many others.
  • The new technology is no doubt exciting, but the sheer number of choices can be daunting. HCPL’s Technology Petting Zoo gives customers hands-on experience with some of the newest gadgets on the market before they buy, including Apple iPad and Android tablets, and a range of eReaders like Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Sony Reader.
  • With HCPL’s Digital Media Catalog customers can download over 14,000 eBooks, eAudiobooks and music titles to their home PC, Mac, eReader, smartphone or tablet anywhere they have an internet connection

All programs are free and open to the public.  For more information about the branch closest to you, call 713-749-9000 or log on to

Photo Credit: 140/365 Computer Magic by Sarah G.


Is there a link on the web

Is there a link on the web site to see which branches offer computer classes and when they are in session?

The Events Calendar can give

The Events Calendar can give you the information you want in a few quick steps:

  1. Click on the Events Calendar link on the HCPL homepage (the link is located at the very top of the page above the Harris County Public LIbrary banner).
  2. On the Events & Programs page click on Search Events and Programs
  3. On the Search page, you can choose the month or date range.
  4. By clicking on the boxes next to the branch names, You can select just those close to you, or leave them as is to list computer classes at all branches.
  5. In the Event Types box, 'uncheck' all the boxes by clicking the check by ALL LOCATIONS. Then, click on the box next to Computer Class (in the second column).
  6. Click the Find button.

This will give you the list of the technology classes you want.

I hope this helps. It looks a lot more complicated than it is, but if you have any problems you can call me at 713.749.9000 and ask for David Cherry.

Thank you.

LOL--thanks, Dave! No, not

LOL--thanks, Dave! No, not complicated, but that's an awful lot of steps. :o} Very glad to see the classes available. My sincere thanks for making this known.

Glad to help. Thanks for

Glad to help. Thanks for writing in.