Library schedules free computer classes
Local adults can upgrade their computer skills at no cost, thanks to free 90-minute sessions at Catawba County Library. Pre-registration is required. Sessions on the roster include:
Internet Job Searching— Learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to finding employment through on-line channels. This workshop begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 2 at Conover and again at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 3 at Claremont.
Scrapbooking with Publisher–Learn how graphics functions can help you create eye-catching pages. Class begins at 10 a.m. Friday, April 4 at Southwest.
Resume Building (all day, by appointment)—Free individual instruction on how to best sell yourself on paper. Call ahead for your time slot on Wednesday, April 9 in Conover or 1-4 p.m. only Thursday, April 10 at Claremont.
Intro to Word–See how easy it is to create, store and retrieve documents using this basic program. Offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 9 at St. Stephens.
Intermediate Word—A continuation of the class on April 9, or for those familiar with the Word software. The class starts at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 16 at St. Stephens.
Intro to Computers— A how-to class for the PC novice who wants to learn the basics. Session starts at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 10 at Newton.
Intro to eBooks— A beginner’s session for navigating through the world of electronic reading. Held 10 a.m. Friday, April 11 at Southwest.
NCLIVE Job Skills—Check out the options available on this gigantic data base that’s free to NC residents. The learning begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 16 in Conover and again at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 17 at Claremont.
Browsing NC LIVE—Get oriented to this awesome on-line data base to view videos and artwork, do family research, locate articles and much more. This sessions will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 23 at Newton.
Intro to Windows 8 Tablets—The Windows 8 platform has been optimized for tablet devices. See how it can best be used in the class beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 24 at Newton.
Appy Hours: Apps for Recipes—Become acquainted with shortcuts to great recipes on the web. Be ready to learn at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 23 at Conover and 2 p.m. Thursday, April 24 at Claremont.
Learning Express NC LIVE-- Tap into this data base offering practice tests for the GED, SAT and more computer skill building. Session scheduled at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 30 at St. Stephens.
iPad for Beginners– See how to use your Apple tablet to access email, the web and more. Scheduled at 10 a.m. Wednesday April 30 at Conover.
To sign up, contact the appropriate location: Conover, 466-5108; Newton, 465-7938; Southwest, 466-6818; St. Stephens, 466-6821.
Fiction can make us better thinkers
Catawba County Library has the very thing to make you a better thinker: fiction books.
According to recent research by University of Toronto scholars, people who have just read a short story have less need for what psychologists call “cognitive closure,” or reaching a satisfying conclusion to an ambiguous situation. Compared to those who read an essay, the fiction readers showed more comfort with disorder and uncertainty—attitudes that allow sophisticated reasoning and greater creativity.
And who doesn’t want to be sophisticated and creative?
Creativity Research Journal reported last year that exposure to literature may offer a way to help open our minds. Engaging in fiction, the researchers say, doesn’t necessarily lead a reader to a decision, but it can encourage the impulse to calm anxiety that can lead to snap judgments, rigid thinking and bad decision-making.
The Canadian researchers didn’t specify what kind of fiction produces the creative results, such as a romance novel, for example versus western. And they don’t know how long the effect might last, although the more one reads would suggest that the more fiction one reads the more cumulative the effect.
Boning up on fiction need not be costly. The county library has a world of fiction titles in print, audio books and eBooks available for free checkout. You pick the genre: literary, fantasy, romance, western, science fiction, thriller, historical, inspirational, mystery and more.
The main message to the study is that reading about characters, even those we despise, can help us open our minds to new possibilities, empathize with people who are different from us. In short, reading fiction can make us more insightful.
So the common assumption—fiction is fluff, nonfiction isn’t—may be faulty reasoning. At the very least, the Toronto study begs the question of the true value of humanities education and libraries in general. And in an era of cost-cutting and realigning priorities, those are important considerations indeed.
Read more about the study at http://www.salon.com/2013/06/15/book_nerds_make_better_decisions_partner/
Programs announced for Conover, Claremont
Conover and Claremont Library Branches will offer free programs for youth and adults during April.
Downton Abbey enthusiasts are invited to an evening of drama on April 8 in Conover. The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with a viewing of the “Downton Abbey Christmas Special,” followed by rounds of Abbey bingo. Abbey addicts should bring their own tea. The library will provide “biscuits” (cookies).
Sidewalk Poetry is planned for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 15 when teens will chalk their favorite poetry and art. Photos will be made to display inside the library. The event is geared to middle and high school students.
The Book Thief will be shown on Tuesday, April 22. Ages 13 and up are invited to the 5:30 p.m. program. The World War II drama was made into a movie in 2013 and is based on the acclaimed novel by Markus Zusak. The film is rated PG-13.
Tim Peeler will read from his work at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10 at Claremont. A past winner of the Jim Harrison Award for contributions to baseball literature, Peeler directs the Learning Assistance Program at CVCC in Hickory. He has published more than 600 poems, stories, essays, and reviews with both university and small presses including Checking Out poems published by John F. Blair of Winston-Salem. Books will be available for sale and signing.
Catawba County Agricultural Extension Agent Kelly Groves will be on hand to discuss spring gardens. Her talk begins at 5 p.m. April 24 at Claremont.
Questions should be directed to Librarian Brytani Fraser at 466-5108. Conover and Claremont branches are part of the Catawba County Library System.