We introduced you over the last couple of weeks to two people who have been involved in the Libraries’ Get Online service. Joyce Young recently completed a series of sessions with volunteer Emily Johnson, learning how to use her iPad. We discover here the benefits to the volunteer too.
Have you enjoyed the sessions Emily, and do you feel they have a real benefit from the volunteers’ point of view too?
Emily: I think I’ve found one of the best things about volunteering is that it takes me away from studying all the time; I’ve found it all very relaxed because we’ve chatted a lot too about what Joyce wanted to learn or was interested in; that’s been a big part of it and it’s been really enjoyable. Apart from that though thinking ahead for me, even with a degree, there is so much competition for jobs out there you really have to have different things on your CV – so this kind of volunteering is an example of the sort of thing that just might make you stand out to an employer. So, it is certainly beneficial to me as well and, in fact, thinking about the sessions, I thought I knew the iPad really well but there were things I discovered and things I worked with Joyce on where we had to refer to Google or Youtube or whatever to find out how to do something. So, I was learning sometimes too and Joyce was learning how she’d be able to find things out on her own. I think that all helps to give the person confidence.
Overall then Joyce, you think it has been a worthwhile process?
Joyce: Definitely. You see, I think when you are older, you think things are going to be more difficult than they turn out, and that’s where the help I’ve had was so important. When Emily showed me how to send a photo, I took notes and did it for myself and I couldn’t believe how easy it was compared to how I thought it was going to be. I always thought it was going to be really complicated, that I’d just find it all too difficult to understand but really, after being with Emily, and being shown things properly, it’s a lot easier than I expected it to be. I’m thrilled with what I’ve learnt
Emily: Do you remember the time we were looking at your email and working through how to use it . . . . . . ?
Joyce: Oh yes (laughing) when I discovered that when I send an e-mail, I just put in the first letter of the person I want to send it to and the address goes in for you. For a long time I had a wee book with email addresses in it! There’s times when you could feel a bit foolish but working 1:1 with someone it really doesn’t matter; we often ended up just laughing about it!
Joyce: ” I always thought it was going to be really complicated, that I’d just find it all too difficult to understand but really, after being with Emily, and being shown things properly, it’s a lot easier than I expected it to be”.
As I said before it’s made a big difference to my life and I now also enjoy just ‘pottering about with it’ sometimes too, just looking at photos and places or finding things on the internet – the time I’ve spent with Emily means I can do that and I’ve lost the worry about doing something wrong and breaking it. It’s been great and I’m going to continue using my iPad and learning more.
If you are interested in finding out more about Get Online in the libraries or you would like to book a place click/tap here. We will be running groups over five weekly sessions at Portobello, Stockbridge, Leith and Central Library between now and June. Please note that these are for any device (laptop, iPad, tablet or smartphone!)