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Roseville library, others offer device assistance following holidays

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 6, 2020

 Library staff, including staff members at the Roseville Public Library, pictured,  often can help patrons set up or use a new electronic device.

Library staff, including staff members at the Roseville Public Library, pictured, often can help patrons set up or use a new electronic device.

Photo provided by Tracy Wilson

ROSEVILLE/HARPER WOODS — Getting a new electronic device under the Christmas tree can be great.

Learning how to use it, however, can be another story.

Devices such as eReaders, tablets and laptops offer many wonderful opportunities, but many people struggle with figuring out how to use the devices. Several local libraries offer services that can walk people through that process for no charge.

“Sometimes people get a new device for Christmas and they need help setting it up, or they used to use a Mac and just got a Microsoft product and need help navigating the differences,” said Kristen Valyi-Hax, director of the Harper Woods Public Library. “We are here to give people a hand and give them answers when they need them.”

The services offered depend on which library people go to, but many will assist their patrons in a variety of ways in regard to new devices.

“We can help people set up cloud services, help set up new smartphones, eReaders or laptops. Anything you can bring in to the library, we can help with,” remarked Tracy Wilson, adult services coordinator at the Roseville Public Library. “We can’t help with more complicated measures, such as setting up a network or virus protection, but how to set it up and use it is something we can help with. We also can’t help fix devices — only show you how to use them.”

Valyi-Hax said the Harper Woods Public Library can assist anyone who comes in and brings the device. Patrons can find more information by calling the library at (313) 343-2575.

“We don’t have anything like a formal program, but people can bring in their new device and our librarians can help them set that up,” she explained. “If people come in, we will do our best to help them in the moment. We’ll do everything we can to help with a better understanding of their new device.”

Wilson said the Roseville Public Library can help people if they schedule appointments for one-on-one sessions. They can do so by calling the library at (586) 445-5407 and selecting option 3.

“We do have library lab appointments,” Wilson said. “They are 30-minute, one-on-one assistance appointments. It would consist of the basics of getting set up and starting up a device. If it’s an eReader, for instance, we would show them how to turn it on, set it up and download some books.”

Often such assistance is available throughout the year, but libraries see January as the most common time for these kinds of requests.

“It’s something we do throughout the year, but it’s something we see a lot of at the start of the year after people get new devices as gifts during the holidays,” Wilson said. “A lot of people are looking for this kind of help during this time of year. I was talking with my mother-in-law on Christmas about her getting a new laptop and how she needed help. We offer a lot of answers to questions like that.”

The Eastpointe Memorial Library does not offer such assistance. However, both Valyi-Hax and Wilson advised residents of other communities to check with their local libraries to see if they offer similar services. They want people to know that libraries are there to assist people in a number of ways, not just with checking out books.

“We are always the place to go and answer questions,” said Valyi-Hax. “As time has gone on, libraries and staff here have gotten more expertise in using technology, and we are a great place to search for answers for no charge, and that includes with new devices.”

“It’s a great resource,” said Wilson. “There’s no cost; all you have to do is schedule an appointment. Hopefully, people can get a few of their questions answered.”