Representatives from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) came to Boston last week for Cyber Week, the first location for the National Cyber Security Awareness Campaign – STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ Boston was selected because we have “demonstrated (our) understanding of the importance of cybersecurity and – through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – are a member of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. coalition. The week started with a Town Hall Event in the Rabb Auditorium led by DHS Director of Cybersecurity Coordination, Michael A. Brown. Representatives from many influential organizations attended, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education, the U.S. Secret Service, the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Stop Badware project at Harvard Law School. The President of RSA spoke. On Tuesday DHS conducted a train-the-trainers discussion for Librarians as well as a Cyber Security for Seniors program for the public. A public training on how to stay safe online will be conducted at Copley on Wednesday, November 30 (2:30-3:30). As with all public trainings, staff are welcome to attend and participate as long as space is available. For more information, please contact Clayton Cheever.
The November calendar of Technology Trainings at the BPL Central Branch at Copley has just been published. No prior registration is currently required for any of these courses. Please note that some courses have prerequisites: for example it is expected that students who wish to participate in the “Use your Gmail account” class (on Tuesday, November 29) will already have a Gmail account. Several others expect some internet experience and familiarity with a mouse.
In the third quarter of 2011 (July, August, and September), 290 Technology Trainings were offered and 831 hours of instruction were delivered to 708 students. Across the City laptops were loaned 3,718 times. It is the library’s goal to offer at least one class a week at every branch and at least an hour of training every day at Copley. Many branches are coming close to meeting this goal!
The best place to find out what courses are being offered around the city (including classes conducted by the Boston Housing Authority and the Boston Centers for Youth and Families) is this online calendar.
Patrons and staff with questions, comments, suggestions, and needs should contact Clayton Cheever, project manager for the Library’s contributions to this important city-wide initiative.
Every Massachusetts resident can obtain a library card for free. A library card is the ticket to gain access to so many amazing resources and now laptops have been added to the long list. People who wish to borrow a laptop must have leave photo identification on deposit for the duration of the loan and sign a contract accepting responsibility for the laptop while checked out to them.
Every Boston Public Library branch has laptops available for library card holders to borrow for up to 2 hours of in-library use. For details about how to borrow a laptop, read the borrowing guidelines and contract (PDF).
Community Computing Centers are now up and running at BCYF’s Mildred Ave Community Center in Mattapan, BCYF’s Condon Community Center in South Boston, BCYF’s Cleveland Community Center in Dorchester, BCYF’s Jackson Mann Community Center in Brighton and BCYF’s Leahy-Holloran Community Center in Dorchester.
The grand kickoff event at the Mildred Avenue Community Center was covered by Boston.com on August 24th. It’s a good article, and showcases the current and future possibilities of this program.
The enhanced computing centers will include desktops open for free use and a variety of classes and after-school programs with new software, from job readiness to basic computer skills, Spanish to English for speakers of other languages. Software funded by the grant includes Windows 7, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, Family Tree Maker, and Adobe Photoshop.