Basic training is available at most community colleges and libraries, but classes fill up fast. Here are some suggestions:
Baltimore County Public Library: All 16 branches offer beginner's classes in computers, the Internet, and Microsoft Word. Classes are free but, registration is required. For information, call 410-887-6196 or visit www.bcplonline.org/info/comp/.
Pratt Center for Technology Training: This branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library has a lab with 24 computers at 301 N. Broadway. It offers up to seven classes of free training in keyboarding, the Internet, Microsoft Word, and other applications. For information: 410-545-0702 or visit www.pratt.lib.md.us/.
Introductory classes are also available at the Enoch Pratt's Pennsylvania branch, 1531 W. North Ave., 410-396-0399; and in Northwood, 4420 Loch Raven Blvd., 410-396-6076.
Anne Arundel Community College: The Office of Computer training offers a variety of classes with fees ranging from $70 to $150. Call 410-541-2957 to set up an appointment with a specialist to assess your needs or attend a Computer Technology Orientation Night. They're scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Glen Burnie Town Center, and Jan. 11 at the Arnold campus in the Johnson Building. To reserve a seat, call 410-541-2957. For more information, visit www.aacc.cc.md.us/
Carroll Community College: The continuing education division offers a variety of classes, including an "Introduction to Microcomputers for Those Who Are Afraid to Touch One." Fees range from $30 to $140, with senior discounts. For information, call 888-221-9748 or 4108386-8000, or visit www.carroll.cc.md.us/NavTools/fr_elwd.htm
Howard Community College: Introductory classes on personal computer use, keyboarding, Windows and computers for speakers of foreign languages. Fees range from $95 to $150. For information, call 410-772-4823 or visit www.howardcc.edu/coned/coned.htm
Community College of Baltimore County: The system offers a wide range of basic computer-related classes. For information, call CCBC Catonsville at 410-455-6122; CCBC Dundalk at 410-285-9857, CCBC Essex at 410-780-6651 or CCBC Owings Mills at 410-363-4111. Web information is available at www.ccbc.cc.md.us/coned/coned.htm
Professor Computer: Private instruction in your home, $100 for a 90-minute session. For information, call 410-321-6200 or visit www.professorcomputer.com.
For senior citizens, community groups and senior centers also offer computer training classes. There are too many to list here, but an excellent resource is the FirstGov for Senior web page, hosted by the U.S. Social Security Administration at www.seniors.gov/computers.html.