Catalina Island News

Digital Seminar Explored Free Eduation Through the Avalon Library

Los Angeles County Public Library

The sixth digital seminar was held at the library on March 14, and covered all aspects of using the public library for a multitude of free electronic services. This seminar featured extending education through free on-line classes courtesy of the library system.

"Mango Connect for languages is amazing," said Morgan Pershing, the new Avalon librarian. "Mango has 72 languages. Even 'pirate' and sign language are ones you can learn through our on-line classes." Pershing reminded the audience that she is available to help access any electronic function and will even help with computer instruction--just stop by the library and ask.

" has many, many on-line courses, like Photo 101 and blogging, for example. Career Transitions, Gale Courses and Writer's Corner are three amazing ones," added Pershing. "You could look for jobs related to your background if you are looking for a job. Writer's Corner helps you format and epublish your own book. It gives you all the steps you need and helps with organizing and outlining your work. It also tells you all the formats needed to have a manuscript accepted for epublishing."

Other great things are the tutoring programs through the library. "We actually have LIVE one-on-one tutoring help at," she said. Pershing reminded the audience to stop by the library for help to access these and other databases. "We have a gazillion of them," she laughed.

There are also free museum passes through the library in the "Discover and Go" heading, under "services" on the library homepage. "Free Southern California museum passes are available--for example, the LaBrea Tar Pits--through  "They put out a certain amount of free passes every month, so I check all the time," said Pershing.

The six digital seminars were part of a grant written by the Friends of the Avalon Library expressly to help the public become acquainted with the wide variety of free services and activities through the library. As incentive, the Friends purchased six new mini iPads and drew one name each seminar.

Avalon resident Gloria Alvarez won the final iPad.

"The library is a great place for so many things," said Judy Grear. "Our great new librarian will be glad to help you with your devices and will even teach some computer classes if you stop in and make arrangements. The WiFi has been increased and is available 24 hours a day. The landscaping is being redone with electrical outlets for charging and will have wonderful seating for events we put on here all the time. Our next event is the USED BOOK SALE ON APRIL 8, from 10-2. We hope everyone will stop by and pick up a book or two. Also, the sale is one way the Friends raise money, so donations are always welcome."

The Friends membership drive has experienced a setback with a library p.o. box mix up--so if your letter to the Friends has come back, resend it. Our Post Office Box is still 2190. "You may also drop any mail to us off at the library and our wonderful new librarian Morgan Pershing will be sure we get it," added Grear.  "It took two years to find the right person, and we feel lucky that the LA County Library system brought us Morgan. So please stop in and say hello."

The Friends welcome any ideas for further seminars and appreciates all the Avalon residents who have come by during the "Learn at the Library" evenings.