File photo by Deb Jacques

West Bloomfield library adds to its offerings

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published December 15, 2017


WEST BLOOMFIELD — The West Bloomfield Township Public Library has been a place where patrons can learn about computers in programs and workshops, but now the library is letting patrons take their learning into their own hands.

In January, the computer tutoring program will be revamped with the addition of Lynda, a database of videos on many different topics, like business and photography, that patrons can use to teach themselves. 

“We will be doing some workshop series featuring Lynda tutorials that allow participants to work together,” said Eric Schoenbaechler, adult services coordinator at the library. “They’re a little bit different from workshops we’ve hosted in the past. It’s a little bit self-directed: following along and working with other class participants.” 

Lynda workshops will be geared mostly toward adults. 

“At least for young adults and younger kids, we like to do more hands-on learning with instructors there to lead them through activities,” said Steve Ketcham, youth services coordinator at the library. “(But) Lynda is such an amazing resource. When we are doing computer classes, we tell people they can go to Lynda for further learning.” 

For patrons who prefer taking classes, the library also hosts programs led by real people, either librarians or professionals. There are workshops ranging from the Microsoft Office suite to coding classes. 

“We try to think about what popular programs (there) are and do workshops for those, including the productivity tools everyone seems to be using,” said Schoenbaechler. 

Computer tutoring workshops are open for teens and adults with library cards. For those who want some one-on-one time with a librarian, the library offers computer tutoring appointments.

For those patrons on the go, the library offers tablet tutoring to teach patrons how to use library resources on a personal tablet. 

“We have a lot of resources that are available, and it can sometimes seem daunting,” said Schoenbaechler. “That way, we can really give personalized answers and solutions.”

For people wanting to take computer learning a step further, the library offers coding classes. The library has a coding club for teenagers and coding workshops for families, which both meet once per month.

For basic technology support, librarians are always available. 

“If someone has a computer issue, we could meet with them,” said Steve Ketcham, youth services coordinator at the library. “We do that stuff on a daily basis, with people of all ages who might have a quick question. A big part of our job is tech support.” 

Computer learning for patrons takes place on-site; the library doesn’t have computers or tablets that can be borrowed and taken home.

For more information and a calendar of upcoming programs, visit