George Garrett considers himself a technophile, which is an enthusiast of all things technical, but even more specifically Garrett calls himself the ''TIPL Tech,'' referring to the classes he teaches at some of the local independent libraries in the area.
''Different libraries have their own needs, and I try to tailor my classes to them,'' Garrett said.
One example is the impromptu classes Garrett sometimes gives when someone comes into the library at needs help downloading books to an electronic reader.
Girard Community News / Bob Coupland
George Garrett of Girard, computer instructor at the Girard Free Library, assists Sandy Phillips of Mineral Ridge with a computer program during a recent computer class at the McKinley Birthplace Home.
''As the price of e-readers keeps coming down, more and more patrons are buying them and they don't realize we have 70,000 e-book titles for patrons to use and 5,000 audio books for people to use and those numbers are growing every day,'' he said.
Garrett travels to four libraries throughout the week, including the Girard Free Library, where he will be teaching Nov. 14 and 28 and Dec. 19. Garrett also will be conducting classes on Saturdays, Nov. 10 and Dec. 18.
When he's not at the library in Girard, he is either at his day job at Mathews High School, where he teachers freshman and junior English, or he is at one of the other libraries he serves, including Niles McKinley, Hubbard and Newton Falls. Prior to becoming part of the ClevNet Consortium, Girard and other independent libraries in Trumbull County had their own consortium they called the Trumbull Independent Public Library Consortium, or TIPL.
Garrett offers various computer courses that include Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Google Docs and also classes on building resumes and job searching. He also offers several unique classes such as social networking, online shopping, and how to purchase e-readers and tablets, giving buyers a general knowledge of these devices before they buy.
Garrett also offers a three-class beginner course that begins with basic computer knowledge and moves on to Internet search and ends with email and Internet functionality.
''I think the service I do at the library as a one on one basis is very beneficial to people who have unique problems,'' Garrett said. ''It gives one on one contact for those who may not know where else to go.''
The library has added a part-time computer to its equipment to enable Garrett to be available three Wednesday evenings and one Saturday a month for classes and individual instruction. Garrett also is available for one-on-one instruction on the days he is at the library. One hour time slots can be reserved for the time he is not teaching classes. Garrett is usually at the library beginning at 3 p.m., however, to ensure a time slot, registration is required.
The first three classes are patterned after the Connect Ohio program and teach the basics of computers, email and the Internet. Classes will be about one hour long and class size is limited to approximately nine people. Registration is required by calling the library reference desk at 330-545-2508, Ext. 301.
The class schedule through December is as follows:
Classes will continue in January 2013. For information or to see updates to the class schedule, visit the library website at www.girard.lib.oh.us.