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Computers for Beginners  

Originally developed for use in the basic computer classes taught at the library, but great for anyone who wants to work on basic computer skills.
Last Updated: Jul 29, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Library Computer Classes

End your fear of computers with us at Berkeley Public Library!

We have Free drop-in Classes for beginners

Learn in a relaxed, self-paced class.

Mondays 6-7 pm
Thursdays 10-11 am

Central Library Electronic Classroom, 3rd floor


Computer Books

Browse the library shelves for books and materials on computers around the call numbers 004 - 006.

Featured books about basic computer skills are listed below. Search for additional materials here:

Cover Art
Is This Thing On?
Call Number: 004.16 St67i

Cover Art
Switching to the Mac: the Missing Manual
Call Number: 005.4465 M238p 2012

Use A Computer at BPL

Berkeley Public Library has PCs available for patron use at the central library and in each of the neighborhood branches. BPL also has wi-fi access available to anyone in our buildings. Learn more about these services:

Featured Resource

  • Popular Software Tutorials on Learning Express
    The Learning Express system has many interactive tutorials to help you learn computer skills in their Popular Software Tutorials section. Self-paced courses include WordPerfect, Windows and Mac operating systems, and courses on Microsoft Access, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.

    Although registration is required, you may put any words in these fields. Providing an e-mail address is optional. Keep track of your user name and password and Learning Express will keep track of your progress.


  • Get an E-Mail Address
    This link will lay out the basic steps to get an e-mail address and tell you how to send an e-mail.
  • Find a Local Computer Class
    This is a guide to free and low-cost computer classes in the Berkeley area.
  • Apply for a Berkeley Public Library Card
    Any California resident is entitled to a free Berkeley Public Library card. To get a card, fill out the online form, then come to the checkout desk at any branch and present a photo ID and proof of your current address.
  • Facebook for Beginners
    New to Facebook? Use this guide to help you get started.
  • Online Resources from the Library
    Get access to online resources like research materials, music streaming, job search help, language learning, and more, all for free with your Berkeley Public Library card.

Buying A Computer

Before you buy a new computer, read the buying guides put together by and Consumer Reports. Then check the editorial and consumer reviews they provide.

Can You Trust that Website?

Computer Class Bookmarks

These are some of the computer class teachers' favorite sites; we have them bookmarked on the computers in our Electronic Classroom.  Some of these sites require you to register, so they can keep track of your progress.

  • Mouserobics
    Learn and practice using the mouse.
  • Mousercicio
    Mousercise en Espanol.
  • New Computer User Tutorial
    A tutorial designed for brand new computer users.
  • Cursillo Nuevo Para Usuario
    "New Computer User Tutorial" en Espanol
  • Learn to Type Online
    Ten lessons that introduce typing skills.
    You may choose from over 20 different keyboard layouts. Great for typing in another language/alphabet.
    This typing program features several languages. There are typing lessons and practice games.
    Learn to use the keyboard and the numeric keypad. Test your speed, get a typing certificate.
  • typeracer
    Typeracer – You can improve your speed on this site by entering typing races with your friends or others from around the globe. If you are motivated by fun and competition then this is the site for you.

Recursos en Español

More Web-Based Tutorials

  • GCF Learn Free
    From Computer Basics to Microsoft Office to Apple, the Goodwill Community Foundation learning site has a wide range of free computer tutorials to choose from.

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