One of the most rewarding parts of my job is the afternoons I spend running Silver Surfer sessions.
These are short one-to-one lessons in basic computer skills for the over 50s. We sit with someone who isn’t yet comfortable using computers, but wants to figure them out, and take them through the basics. Some take to it like a duck to water, once they’ve got someone patient enough to show them, while others need more time to build their confidence.
But they’re all a pleasure to work with.
As someone who grew up using computers (and if you’ve found our blog, I’m guessing you’re fairly au fait yourself), I often take it for granted how easy it makes certain things. Helping someone find out how easy it is to use a search engine and how much information can be found, reminds me of just how lucky we are to have access to this immense wealth of information, people, and pictures of kittens.
I always hated the ‘surfing the web’ analogy, and particularly the ‘silver surfer’ pun, until I started watching people learn how to use the internet for the first time. From those first tentative toes in the water, a few scared paddles, to finally riding a wave when it all clicks.
It feels like helping someone reach out for an extra, new kind of freedom.
The first thing most people do is send an e-mail to a child, nephew, niece or other family member. It’s great to see people reaching out.
It’s all the great things about the library at once. Broadened horizons, closer communities, and access to information and enjoyment.
And it’s free.
Alex – Library Officer
To sign up someone you know for a Silver Surfer session, call up your local Brighton & Hove library. For Jubilee, call 01273 296961, for other libraries, check the website. MyGuide sessions are also available for absolute beginners aged 18+.