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Technology has become a staple to just about every part of daily living. Now, you can access the answers to all your nagging questions with the press of a button. However, many people do not have access to home computers, even in today’s “plugged-in” society. Libraries around the world have long been known for providing much needed resources to communities, through books and technology resources such as computers and research databases. Libraries have also long provided resources through live programming. This is still true today, even though the mediums have changed.

The Harris County Public Library employs a variety of professionals who not only service the community within our walls but also beyond. Over the course of the pandemic, we have taken the extra step of reaching into your homes to continue our services.

For the sake of pushing on with life, librarians have crossed their comfort boundaries to get in front of the camera. Programming staff have adapted both old and new programs to meet the challenge of no-contact interaction, and they have created routines and workshops to support the need for more resources in our challenged economy. All of our branches have volunteered their efforts and time, innovated programs and systems, lead activities and lessons, and brought their passions to all who wish to be taught.

This short blog series will highlight a few key programs offered at the Clear Lake Freeman Branch Library as well as offer insight into additional resources such as books to help you on your technology journey! While the programs offered by various HCPL branches differ by location, they all come together to bring the most helpful resources and ideas to our communities.

Web Design & Blogging on WordPress.com for Beginners, found on our Events Calendar for Clear lake Freeman Library (Click on Monthly Calendar and filter your location to see a full brochure of what our libraries offer), is a workshop lead by Vernitra Jones. She teaches the basics on how to design a website using WordPress.com and start blogging. She also teaches a WordPress.com Web Design & Blogging workshop, a more advanced class to be taken once a student has completed the Beginners class. (Be sure you look at the difference between the two when signing up.) Historically, the class was taught on-site in the Freeman Library computer lab, but it has fully transitioned to the online Microsoft Teams virtual video-chat format.

A note from the class instructor:

“In today's digital world, having a homepage is a necessary tool for anyone with something to promote, whether it is a service, product, or idea. Hiring a professional to build a website is an expense many people either can't afford or wish to avoid. I enjoy teaching these free classes at the library, because I get to equip creatives, business owners, and influencers with the skills they need to create a website and express themselves without incurring the cost of hiring someone else to do it for them. For people with a D.I.Y. mentality, taking the class is a great way to learn the basics of web design and blogging on the WordPress.com platform. I get students of all ages, from all walks of life, and helping them realize their website visions is very fulfilling.”

                                                                                             ~Vernitra Jones

Testimonials:

“There were some loose ends that I wanted scientists to investigate after I retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Vernitra Jones helped me set-up a web page as part of HCPL library courses.  After a number of weeks of work, it was made public. I quickly got comments from MIT University in Boston and General Atomic Co. in San Diego. Great work HCPL!”

                                                                            ~MJH,  retired nuclear scientist

“I LOVE to read blogs; so many of them from cooking, crocheting, crafting, and story time ideas. I read them and think to myself, I can write a blog, I WANT to write a blog, I have so many ideas, I can do this! Wait! How do I do this? Since working from home during this pandemic I'm constantly looking for new things that aren't just trainings to listen to when I stumbled across this virtual program on how to make my own blog. Since I've always wanted to make one, but never knew how, I figured it couldn't hurt to check it out and I was completely entertained and well taught. I left the Beginners class with my page created, titled, and first blog posted. Woo-hoo I was now a blogger!! I attended the next workshop and made many changes to my theme, titles, style, and homepage and I was officially ready to launch my page. One recommendation was to think of a niche that your blog could focus on. Turns out that I just started a new business venture with my sisters, so I had a plan and ran with it.  I would absolutely recommend this class for step by step instructions on how to start your own blog, and make it uniquely your own. https://garciagirlsglamnails.wordpress.com/

                                                                       ~Michelle Garcia, Children’s Program Specialist

Getting started:

Here are a few multi-media resources to get started! Click on the pictures for more information!
Learning Web Design

 

Confident Web Design

 

Web Design for beginners

 

Web Design Tips and Tricks

 

Creating a Website

 

Maximum Accessibility

 

Web Design demystified

 

Build a Website

 

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