Library prepares tech-check, e-reader sessions

So alone.

That’s the feeling many people get this time of year after finding fancy new electronic gadgets such as iPads, tablet computers, Nooks and Kindles under the tree, then being left to their own devices to figure out how to use them.

Mesa County Libraries are here to help, and they have a slew of tech-based training sessions and workshops scheduled through January to do just that.

“E-readers are increasing in popularity, and we see a surge every holiday season,” library spokesman Bob Kretschman said.

Because all the different types of devices deal with downloading content differently, the library is sponsoring seven separate e-reader workshops in January, at branches across the county.

“They’re a good way for people to see a demonstration, and hear a discussion, of how to do it,” Kretschman said.

The workshops are scheduled for Jan. 7 and 24 at the central library, located at First Street and Gunnison Avenue; Jan. 8 at the Fruita branch; Jan. 11 on Orchard Mesa; Jan. 17 in Collbran and Palisade; and Jan. 29 in Clifton.

It’s not necessary to bring your device to the workshops, as there will be limited time to do actual downloading. Attendees will, however, get an up-close look at how to download e-books through the library’s Overdrive platform, across devices.

And that can be a complicated thing. An information page on the library’s website — http://www.mesacounty — for downloading to an Android phone or tablet includes no fewer than nine separate, detailed steps about how to get ebooks onto the device.

If you don’t get the individualized attention you require at one of the e-reader workshops, you can always book a half-hour one-on-one appointment with a librarian by calling 243-4442, Kretschman said.

He added that when the library held the first of these e-reader workshops after Christmas last year, more than 100 people showed up for the demonstration.

Another new resource for library users to get their tech questions answered are Tech Table Tuesdays — also scheduled each week through the month of January.

These are meant as sessions led by librarians to help people answer questions about their digital gadgets.

“We have people coming to the library all the time, asking how do I get this on my laptop, or on my iPad, or on my e-reader, or even on my phone,” Kretschman said.

“Tech Table Tuesdays really help you understand how to access library materials on all of these different devices.”

The sessions are on a drop-in basis and will be from noon to 2 p.m. at the central library on Jan. 8, 15, 22 and 29.

And, as Kretschman said, users should bring their questions, and if staff can’t provide a specific answer, they have a knack for pointing people in the right direction.

“The thing about librarians, if they don’t know the answer, the chances are they know where to look to find it,” he said.

“They are great resources to better understand your device and maybe get more out of it.”

ASPEN — Aspen Skiing Company officials say an on-duty ski patrol member has died in an avalanche, becoming the first reported avalanche fatality so far this winter.

The Snowmass employee, 49, was killed when the avalanche carried her over a cliff Sunday. She was skiing alone in an area known as the Ship’s Prow Glades. Her name hasn’t been released.

Experts say the season’s dry start could mean increased avalanche danger later. Brian Lazar with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said that a weak base layer has been topped with more snow than last season.

Last year’s first death of seven came in January.

DURANGO, Colo. — Authorities say one person was killed and two others were seriously injured in a head-on crash near Durango.

A female passenger in a sport utility vehicle headed west on U.S. Highway 160 near Elmore’s Corner on Saturday afternoon was killed when the vehicle struck another SUV headed in the opposite direction.

The drivers of both vehicles involved were injured.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis declined to release the victims’ names until their families are notified.


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