JEFFERSONVILLE -- The manager of the Twiggs County Public Library said hes teaching people long out of school to successfully use a computer, the Internet and email in a few hours.
Skip Disbennett said one 82-year-old woman who often reads in the library was among nearly 100 patrons whove built computer skills in the last month.
She has a computer at home. I think she was given a computer by her children, just wanted to learn more how to use it, Disbennett said.
The free classes typically last a little more than an hour and are available with a library card. Disbennett said Twiggs County is the first library besides Washington Memorial Library to offer the free computer classes pioneered at the main Macon library.
Disbennett offered his 12th class on Friday. A retired Hewlett-Packard programmer and project manager, he said hes glad to be able to give back.
I do enjoy it. All my career, Ive had mentors, people who helped me get to where I was, he said.
Though many of the students have been senior citizens, Disbennett has also gotten interest from county courthouse employees, Georgia Forestry Commission workers and others. He said he can tailor the classes for groups of people.
Disbennett said his classes, typically offered on a weekday at 1 p.m. or 5:30 p.m., begin with an introduction to computers, including how to hold and use a mouse. Follow-up classes teach how to use the Internet and email. More advanced classes include Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Disbennett hopes to offer some other courses, such as genealogy research through the computer.
The Twiggs County Public Library has 10 positions available in each of the free classes, using funds from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
For information about the classes or to sign up, visit the library or call 478-945-3814. Participants must have a PINES library card, which is also free.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.