Free computer training
The Grand Rapids Public Library offers free computer training for all levels—novice to advanced. These free classes are offered September through May and cover a wide range of topics. The library also offers Speak to the Geek: One-on-One Computer Sessions that provide individualized learning during an informal, drop-in time.
Open Lab – Bilingual Computer Help
Need help with your computer, tablet, or smartphone?
We’re here to help. Stop by during our drop-in computer help sessions.
Wednesdays, 1 pm – 3 pm | Main Library
- December 5, 12, 19
- January 9, 16, 23, 30
- February 6, 13, 20, 27
- March 6, 13, 20, 27
- April 10, 17, 24
- May 1, 8, 15, 22
Bilingual computer training sessions
During Open Lab sessions, GRPL is also partnering with Comprenew to offer computer literacy training designed to help members of our community learn to operate technology and acquire a home computer. Those that complete at least 8 sessions will have an opportunity to receive a discounted and warrantied computer from a Comprenew store. To enroll in the Comprenew Connect program, stop in at one of our Open Lab sessions.
Building Basic Computer Skills
Are you often confused by computer terms and lingo? By learning the key concepts and basic terminology used in technology, you can build a foundation for digital literacy that will last a lifetime. In this class, you will begin the process of developing the skills you will need to navigate the Internet, mobile devices and many types of software.
Tuesday, January 8, 1 pm – 2:30 pm | Main Library
Thursday, March 7, 11 am – 12:30 pm | Main Library
Monday, April 8, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm | Yankee Clipper Branch
Discovering the Internet
Using the Internet can be an intimidating experience for many people. In this class, you will learn how the Internet works and basic definitions for the most common Internet terms. Discover tips and tricks on how to protect your information and identity while searching, shopping and surfing the web.
Tuesday, January 15, 1 pm – 2:30 pm | Main Library
Thursday, March 14, 11 am – 12:30 pm | Main Library
Monday, April 15, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm | Yankee Clipper Branch
Exploring Social Media and Email
The Internet and social media have made it easier than ever to keep in touch with friends and family. Beginning with a brief introduction to email, this class will teach you how to communicate with others online and offer tips on how to be safe while doing so. You will learn the basics of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Find out what you need to get started with Skype and Google Hangouts and other video calling services.
Tuesday, January 22, 1 pm – 2:30 pm | Main Library
Thursday, March 21, 11 am – 12:30 pm | Main Library
Monday, April 22, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm | Yankee Clipper Branch
Managing Your Digital Footprint
Have you ever forgotten a password? Do you wish you had a plan to manage your online information and protect your privacy? Managing your digital footprint may seem intimidating, but with a plan and the right tools, you can stay safe and get the most out of your experience online. This class offers methods and tools you can use right away to begin managing your online profiles, passwords, and information.
Tuesday, January 29, 1 pm – 2:30 pm | Main Library
Thursday, March 28, 11 am – 12:30 pm | Main Library
Monday, April 29, 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm | Yankee Clipper Branch
Internet Privacy: Protecting Yourself in the Digital Age
It seems every day we hear about how governments, corporations, and hackers are gaining access to individual accounts and personal information. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to minimize risk as you go online. Join us in learning how to secure information and manage your digital footprint. Topics include securing your Internet connection and browser, creating and managing effective passwords, and using email aliases to keep your information more secure.
Thursday, January 10, 11 am – 12:30 pm | Main Library
Tuesday, April 9, 1 pm – 2:30 pm | Main Library
Social Media Privacy: Taking Control of Your Profiles
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have revolutionized how we communicate and relate to one another. But at what cost? In this class, we cover how social media uses personal information and how you can regain some control over your online profiles. We also discuss important settings and features that help you control your social media profiles and online identity.
Thursday, January 17, 11 am – 12:30 pm | Main Library
Tuesday, April 16, 1 pm – 2:30 pm | Main Library
Basic Computer Maintenance
Have you noticed your computer is slowing down? Have you had a virus or malware infect your machine? In this class, we demonstrate a few basic things you can do to keep your desktop, laptop or mobile device running smoothly and efficiently. We also discuss various problems and threats that can completely disable or reduce the lifespan of or your machine.
Thursday, January 24, 11 am – 12:30 pm | Main Library
Tuesday, April 23, 1 pm – 2:30 pm | Main Library
Backup Basics: How to Secure your Data
Whether it’s your family photos, business documents or digital media collection, your digital data is valuable. In this class, we discuss how to ensure your digital data is kept safe and secure. From thumb drives and hard drives to cloud storage, find multiple ways to backup your data, whether you use a traditional computer, smartphone, or tablet.
Thursday, January 31, 11 am – 12:30 pm | Main Library
Tuesday, April 30, 1 pm – 2:30 pm | Main Library
Streaming Television and Movies without Cable TV
Have you been thinking of canceling your cable TV subscription? This program will show you how to stream the content you want while saving money on your monthly bill. We will discuss the devices you need to begin streaming TV and movies. You will learn how to find content from providers such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon. We will also show you how to use Hoopla and Kanopy, two streaming services you can use for free with your GRPL library card.
Getting Started with Lynda.com
Need advanced-level help with Excel? Want to learn how to use new Adobe software? Interested in travel photography? With Lynda.com and your library card, you can pick up a new hobby or begin training for a new career with the help of engaging online tutorials from industry experts. Tutorials cover a wide range of skills and topics in the fields of business, technology, and the arts. This introductory class will walk you through the steps of signing up for this service and allow you time to explore all that Lynda.com has to offer.