Library offers free software classes to students, faculty

Free classes at the U may sound unbelievable to some, but the Marriott Library offers many free classes for U students and faculty.

Ranging from video editing, digital photography and Photoshop classes to Dreamweaver, Excel and PowerPoint classes, each semester the Library Instruction Division of the Marriott Library hosts a series of beginning and intermediate classes to help those interested get a jump start with their learning.

“The classes give students and staff an opportunity to get exposed to the software,” said Robert Stroud, a supervisor at the Multimedia Center in the library. Stroud also teaches the video editing classes. “Often after they have learned some of the basics, [the students] can go through and start tinkering with the programs themselves.”

Ben Martin, a physics major and attendee at the class, agreed. “The classes are pretty basic, but that’s what they’re there for, just to get you started,” he said.

Martin, who attended the class mostly as a hobbyist, said he has been into digital photography for a long time and wanted to learn more about video editing. “I have a bunch of family home videos that I want to convert to DVD,” he said.

Attendees can come to the classes for many reasons. Another student from the biology department dropped in just to see if iMovie could help her with her graduate project.

Chris Doenges, a multimedia lab technician, attended the video editing class just to learn more about the software so that he could help others. “It seems like a lot of people could benefit from the classes,” Doenges said. “A lot of the questions people ask [at the multimedia counter] could be answered in the class.”

However, Stroud recognizes that the classes aren’t for everyone. “They are often too basic for people,” he said.

Stroud also added that he would usually tailor the classes to the interests of the attendees and do whatever he could to help the students with their questions.

Martin is sold on the short classes offered at the library. “I’ll probably go to every single one…well, at least a lot of them,” he said. “It’s really nice that they’re free.”

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