This is about stuff I’m working on, or been involved in.

So you may find stuff here about computer technology, libraries, data wrangling, even knitting and crocheting.

Hopefully you’ll find it informative, if not interesting. ๐Ÿ™‚

I spent many years working as a Reference Librarian in Palm Beach County, where I taught computer classes and developed training programs, among other things.ย  I recently worked asย theย Technology Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Greater Midwest Region, at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

If you like twitter feeds, you could check out https://twitter.com/carolbean

(NB: the typical disclaimer applies to all content on this site. Nothing here reflects any current or previous employer’s position)


  1. Carol Bean says:

    Yep – I am another Carol Bean and although a Californian, am living and working in New Zealand as a manager for BrainFuel Ltd where we help people go online for new learning. Thanks for the inspiration especially with the older demographic.
    I am also a musician and visual artist -see my website.

  2. Pamm Clements says:

    Carol _ I saw your youtube presentation on older adults and what it feels like for them to learn new technology – EXCELLENT!!!

    I am an Australian working as a technology trainer for a public library in Northern Colorado — looks like the other CB and I – we swapped hemispheres!



  3. Carol Bean says:

    Thanks, Pamm,

    I hope you’ll enjoy part 2 once I get it up! : )


  4. Carolyn says:

    I understand that you have written an article entitled, “Technology Training for the Older Population.” May I ask you to send it to me? I found a link when I googled the topic, and your program was highly recommended, but alas, it wouldn’t open. I’m soing a library practicum this summer, and have been asked to develop such a program for seniors. Your advice for getting started, please. Are there publications you can recommend? I want to write a curriculum with objectives and activities. Thanks!

  5. Carolyn says:

    PS I’m truly DOing, not “so – so” ing my practicum ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Carol Bean says:

    Sent an e-mail, but also posted some resources in the Computers, Older Adults, and Libraries page.

  7. carmela crampton says:

    IM still soo confused I dont understand your website nor do i think older adults will Im looking for basic skills, what is a program as opposed to a website how do i use the keys on the keyboard what do the different keys mean ctrl, alt ,enter, shift how do they work? they will sell you a computer with not having a clue as how to use it or how it works what do you consider an older person ? Im 56 and totally lost, what about a person(me) whos moved to another dept at there job and must somehow all of a sudden just know how to use microsoft word,outlook, get and send emails all of a sudden?? with no knowledge of this?? I have searced the web they all want tons of money and nothing seems as elementary as I need I took a beginners course in word at the community college and that was way over my head I feel so stupid I just cant seem to get it!! got any suggestions?? I need these skills to do my current job.PLEASE HELP! thanks

  8. Carol says:

    Hi Ms. Crampton,

    I totally understand how you feel. I teach people every day who express those same frustrations!

    Much of the content on this site is for people seeking to help those like you who are new to computers. There are probably several options available to you, depending on where you live. One option would be your local public library. If they don’t have classes, or appropriate classes, you could tell them about this site, especially the link at the top, on the right, about Computers, Older Adults, and Libraries. Another option would be Seniornet, which has chapters all over the country that teach the computer skills you are looking for.

    As for your question about what I consider an older person? Anyone over 18.:-)

  9. Hi Carol:
    I enjoyed and got a wealth of information from your presentation at ALA in D.C. a few years ago. I use your handouts all the time for Senior classes. We are going to start posting the handouts online. Could we have your permission to do so?
    Barb Royce, Palatine Public Library, Palatine IL
    847-358-5881, x166

  10. Carol says:

    Hi Barb,

    I am assuming you mean the ones posted in esnips (http://www.esnips.com/user/ncrlab). No permission is needed. They are provided with a Creative Commons license:

    “Materials from the computer classes offered by staff at the North County Regional Library are provided here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. To view a copy of the license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5

    I know the Palm Beach County Library System would prefer you remove their logos if you will be using the materials for your library. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for attribution, it should be to the Palm Beach County Library System, not me, since the handouts were created for them, and are provided through their courtesy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But I really should post updated handouts, and in a better venue (like here), to make it easier. eSnips isn’t so easy to navigate and access anymore. ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. Wayne says:

    Hello Carol,

    I came across your articles about senior computer training while searching for online tutorials I could share with my parents. They are in their seventies and they struggle with the very basics and the terminology. LIke Ms. Crampton who posted here last year, I only found sites which required memberships at some cost (including SeniorNet) or else they assumed you have some basic level of knowledge. In fact, your mousing tutorial was one of the only things I found that was geared for what I think a true beginner needs. (My dad enjoyed it.)

    I’m curious if you have come across any free online tutorials specifically geared for seniors.

    Wayne H
    Wellington, FL

    PS> My parents live in South Carolina and any free classes in their area have months long waiting lists.

  12. Carol says:

    Thanks for posting the comment, Wayne.

    Online courses are probably not the best way for your parents to learn how to use a computer. The online Mousing Around tutorial is a great start, since learning to use the mouse is one of the most important steps in using a computer.

    Some people are visual and auditory learners. For them, classes, or one-on-one are usually best. Depending where they are located in South Carolina, there may be a couple viable options for learning to use the computer. The first is the local public library. Many libraries have some kind of training programs for beginners. Another option is SeniorNet, which has local classes in many places across the country, including at least one in South Carolina: http://www.seniornet.org/jsnet/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=64&Itemid=94#SOUTHCAROLINA

    Yet another option is a computer club, which usually has classes at different levels for its members. There is usually a membership fee, but in my experience it is fairly low (less than $50) and well worth the cost for the benefits. Computer clubs typically have a range of members (from beginner to expert), who are eager to share and help. Some South Carolina clubs are:


    (I am assuming they have a computer with Windows on it. There are also groups for Macintosh and Linux).

    If none of these are near your parents, I would suggest a visit to the local library, and ask them to locate a local user group for you (ask at the Reference Desk – they’re fantastic people!)

    Some people can learn just as easily using a good book. There are now several available that are geared to novices over 50, and which do a good job with basic concepts and skills:

    Windows Vista for seniors : for everyone who wants to learn to use the computer at a later age, by Ria Beentjes.
    Windows XP for seniors : for everyone who wants to learn to use the computer at a later age, by Addo Stuur.
    Easy Microsoft Windows Vista, by Shelley O’Hara (any of Shelley O’Hara’s “Easy” books are good)

    I hope this helps. It must be frustrating and difficult for both you and your parents.


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