Because computer technology has come to influence so many aspects of our lives, learning to be familiar and comfortable with it has become a near necessity. However, given the rate at which such technology can change–just think of how many gadgets come out in a single year–it’s easy for anyone to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of learning and relearning new skill sets.
At the County Library, we understand how difficult it can be to “catch up” (or even “get started”) on developing these new skills, which is why we offer “Technology Help” every Friday from 1:30-4:30 pm. All of our assistance is provided on a one-on-one basis, and we focus on what you as a technology user would like to discuss. Would you like to learn how to operate that new eReader or tablet? Bring it along, and receive an interactive, individualized tutorial. Are you a job-seeker who’s new to the process for applying for jobs online? Stop by for tips on navigating the application process, as well as using Microsoft Word or Google Docs to develop a résumé. Of course, if you’ve not had much experience with computers at all, our “Technology Help” sessions are the perfect means of learning the basics, from using a mouse to searching an online database.
Keep in mind that our “Technology Help” sessions take place on a first-come, first-served basis. Depending on the number of people who stop by on any given Friday, library staff may need to shorten individual sessions in order to accommodate everyone. Moreover, while we are more than happy to introduce you to the “ins and outs” of technology, we are not in a position to troubleshoot or repair any devices. We are here to help you learn at a comfortable pace, so give us a try! If you have any questions, please contact us at 540-984-8200.
“Women’s Education, Women’s Empowerment”
This year The National Women’s History Project (NWHP) celebrates those women who have “inspired innovation through imagination”. They recognize in particular eighteen women with major achievements in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and provide a timeline of women who have been awarded the Nobel Prize in the Sciences.
In January, young girls and women in our area could find inspiration in the pages of a local newspaper that recognized the achievements of two young women [see JMU’s website] who—along with 10 recipients statewide—were honored with the 2013 Outstanding Faculty Award by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. It is not only their gender but also their fields of study that are particularly inspiring to women: Olga Pierrakos is an associate professor of engineering and Laura Taalman is a professor of mathematics and statistics. Both their careers and their achievements are perfect examples of those women featured this year by the National Women’s History Project.
The Library of Congress has also established a webpage to celebrate Women’s History Month. Their focus is on “education as the empowering force behind the advancement of women”. The editors of the site and NWHP note that women now outnumber men in American colleges nationwide and that this reversal of gender gap is a very recent phenomenon. In fact, it is important for all of us to remind ourselves, our daughters, and our granddaughters, that the right for women to vote in a Federal election was granted by the 19th Amendment in 1920, when many of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers would finally have been eligible to register and to proudly hang this paper banner [shown at right] in the front window of their home.
We encourage you to visit the library and check out our many resources on notable women. There are role models from literature to real life…Anne of Green Gables to Hermione Granger…Rosa Parks to Hilary Clinton. And then, to test your knowledge of the achievements of the many American women who have made significant contributions to our nation and to all mankind, we challenge you to take this quiz provided by The National Women’s History Project. YOU CAN DO IT!
Close to home is an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of writers, the writing process and the joy of reading. The Virginia Festival of the Book is a 5 day festival of literary events open to the public that, with the exception of a few ticketed events, are free of charge. Produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) and held throughout Charlottesville and Albemarle County, the purpose of the Book Festival is to bring together writers and readers and to promote and celebrate books, reading, literacy, and literary culture.
Programs for adults and children are held in more than 50 venues throughout the region and include traditional author readings, book signings and a book fair. Also included is panel discussion on how to publish a novel; a beginning a book club; a workshop on book-binding, a special traveling exhibit of miniature art books and numerous other selections. Popular authors making appearances include C.J. Box discussing his novels (a paid, ticketed event) and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, reading from her latest collection, Thrall. Rita Mae Brown will be a special guest speaker for the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, where authors included in the 2013 Blue Ridge Anthology will read from their work. Children are treated to a StoryFest day of children’s authors and storybook characters on Friday, including a 50th birthday celebration for Clifford.
To plan your literary adventure, visit www.vabook.org to explore the events schedule with times, locations, and ticket information.