DIGITAL BAZAAR BLOG

posted on 22nd October 2014 by Christina

What a great session we had this morning:  7 of our terrific neighbourhood trainers helped 10 local people with a wide range of problems and new skills.  B…..‘s laptop is now set up ready to go – she’s had it a year but was unable to use it because the person who originally helped her got stuck with the set up process.  D…. was reminded how to use her email and Facebook accounts.  B…. can now take photos on his new mobile phone, M… knows how to get rid of spam and A.. got some good advice on buying a printer.  Just a few of the subjects you could have learned today.  You can bring in any digital device and ask a question about any device or programme, as well as learning how to use the free library computers.  Why not drop by next month – Saturday 22nd November between 10 and 12.  Our friendly neighbourhood trainers will be happy to help and you might also make some new friends!

posted on 24th March 2013 by Christina

The weather was so dreadful yesterday – snow, sleet and high winds – that we expected only a few would venture out to the Digital Bazaar® at Tate South Lambeth library.  We were wrong – 21 people came to take part in the session.  It was such fun that some were still there chatting and learning nearly an hour after the official session finished!  Sending large photo files from an iPad mini using Dropbox, learning to operate an MP3 player for the first time, discovering how to run a whole system scan on a laptop and downloading books to a Kindle were among the advanced subjects covered by our wonderful neighbourhood trainers.  Some of our regular learners managed to send an email and surf the internet on their own for the first time and one person was delighted to at last know how to put a password on her mobile phone.  The next session at Tate South Lambeth is earlier than usual, just 3 weeks away on SATURDAY 13th APRIL. Look forward to seeing our regulars and meeting some new people then.  Just drop by and have a look if you’ve not been to a DB before – it’s a great, friendly atmosphere and you can learn some cool stuff as well as the basics.

posted by Christina 9th March 2013

A wonderful session this morning at Durning library, with lots of new learners coming for the first time as well as several ‘regulars’ who are gradually updating their skills.  Subjects covered by the brilliant neighbourhood trainers included making pivot tables in Excel, learning how to answer a call on a mobile phone, transferring large files over the internet using Dropbox, setting up a Facebook page for a community project, demonstrating the iPad to someone who is thinking of buying one and showing how to transfer a CV from Hotmail onto a memory stick.  The next session at Durning Library will be Saturday 11th May 10 to 12.   The next session at Tate South Lambeth Library is on Saturday 23rd March 10 to 12.  Hope to see you then.


posted by Christina 2nd February 2013

The next Digital Bazaar® sessions will be on Saturday 9th February at Durning Library (for people who live or work in Kennington/Oval) and Saturday 23rd February at Tate South Lambeth Library (for those who are based in Vauxhall/Stockwell).  Both sessions will be from 10 to 12 and everyone is welcome.  Remember you can bring in your own laptop, mobile phone, tablet or digital camera to work with, or use the library computers as we always book several of these for each session.

 posted by Christina 9th January 2013

Happy New Year!  Looking forward to our first session of 2013, which will be at Durning Library, where we are building up an exciting new group.  If you live or work in Kennington/ Oval, we look forward to seeing you on Saturday 12th January 10 to 12.

The first DB at Tate South Lambeth Library is on Saturday 19th January  10 to 12 and this will be our two year anniversary.  Since 2011 over 180 local people have come to the sessions at TSL, 40 of whom have generously offered training.  Over 600 hours of personal, individual training have been delivered, which is a fantastic result.  Thank you to everyone!  We look forward to welcoming lots of new people as both trainers and learners in 2013, and of course to seeing our many ‘regulars’ again.

posted by Christina 8th October 2012

Another great session at Tate South Lambeth Library on Saturday 6th October.  33 local people worked together to learn everything from how to set up a website to clearing down a full hard drive.  A couple found their respective families in the 1911 census online; one learner left the library able to send texts on his mobile phone, which he had always wanted to do,  and another learned to use PowerPoint just in time to give the presentation required for her job interview this week.  The next Digital Bazaar® at Tate South Lambeth Library is on Saturday 10th November 10.00 to 12.00 and everyone who lives or works in Vauxhall/Stockwell is welcome.  This will be our last session of 2012 as we don’t have one in December.  Sessions will start again in January.

posted by Christina 30th September 2012

We are delighted to announce that we are now also running The Digital Bazaar® at Durning Library so that people in the Kennington area can enjoy a wide range of digital up-skilling.  We are assembling a new group of trainers for Durning, so if you live in the Kennington area and would like to join our friendly neighbourhood team, do get in touch using the contact form.  Durning Library is at 167 Kennington Lane, SE11 4HF.  Tel: 0207 926 8682.  The Friends website is www.durninglibraryfriends.org.uk.  The next session at Durning will be on Saturday 20th October from 10 to 12.

posted by Christina 1st September 2012

The first Digital Bazaar® of the autumn was a huge success, with 23 people involved in the lively two hour session at Tate South Lambeth Library today.  Our youngest learner was 12 years old, the oldest 89, with trainers and learners of all ages in between.  The range of subjects and questions was just as wide – from installing a new version of Microsoft Office to uploading photos from a camera onto a social networking site or how to buy and sell on eBay.  From finding a streetview of the road you lived in as a child to enhancing images with Photoshop – and saving work so you can safely find it again.  We welcomed a new trainer with special expertise in networks, security and digital cameras and new learners from as far afield Venezuela and Portugal.  And for the first time ever our feedback was 100% – many congratulations and thanks to all the wonderful neighbourhood trainers!

Since we began in 2011, 170 people have taken part in the Digital Bazaar®, we’ve been runner up in the ‘Library Oscars’  (the CILIP Libraries Change Lives awards), and 40 local people have offered training and shared their skills with neighbours. If you live or work in Vauxhall or Stockwell, why not to come and join in at the next session, on Saturday 6th October from 10 to 12 at Tate South Lambeth Library, 180 South Lambeth Road, SW8 1QH.  You can drop in any time during the two hours, or stay for the whole session.

posted by Christina 30th May 2012 

Great excitement today as it’s  been announced that THE DIGITAL BAZAAR® is one of just three national finalists for the prestigious CILIP Libraries Change Lives award.  On the CILIP website you can see the press release and a short film about the projects.    It’s lovely to see the hard work of all our great neighbourhood trainers being recognised on a national scale.  We will be off to the awards ceremony at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday 26th June, so wish us luck!  Several other library authorities have already expressed interest in trying the DIGITAL BAZAAR format in their libraries.  We hope that there will soon be a national network of these hyper-local monthly library-based events, where you can learn about anything from iPads and e-readers to how to send your first email or buy and sell securely online, or even – and this a question we are often asked – how to get photos off your mobile phone and onto your computer.

posted by Christina 22nd April 2012

Yesterday’s Digital Bazaar session was the busiest since we started in January 2011, with  15 local people offering skills ranging from great internet searching to comparing the Kindle and Kobo e-readers, from how to learn languages online to trying out an iPad.  21 people came to learn and the majority of feedback forms said 10 out of 10!  We were delighted to also welcome Praveen Manghani, Head of Libraries and Archives, who is a great fan of the Digital Bazaar, and Councillor Sally Prentice, Lambeth Cabinet Member for arts, culture and sport.  Cllr Prentice was visiting for the first time and described the event as ‘Brilliant’.   We are now planning the next stage, to take the Digital Bazaar to another Lambeth library as the first step in setting up the event right across the borough.  This will probably be in September, as we hope that the long-awaited roll out of wi-fi in Lambeth libraries will be underway by then.

posted by Christina 18th February 2012                                                                                         We had a brilliant session today – 19 local people dropped in, with a whole range of digital needs and questions.  How can I save contacts on my mobile phone? How do I view the photos I’ve taken on my digital camera?  I need an email account, can I set one up using the library computers? I was given an iPod a year ago, but I don’t know how to put music on it. I want to learn about Skype. Can you tell me how to put a blog on my website?  All these, and many other questions, were answered by our brilliant team of neighbourhood trainers, even though there were only 5 of them this time – several of our regulars have ‘flu or were busy with other engagements.  At the January session we had 12 trainers, but the 5 today still managed to satisfy every need and query, so many thanks for all the hard work.

Some people bring in their own laptops, cameras, mobile phones etc to work with, others use the library computers.  Many are surprised by the extensive range of online reference resources you can use free in the library.  Ancestry.com, the genealogy search website, is a particular favourite and is quite expensive if you subscribe at home.  Nearly half the people who came to learn today were here for the first time, the rest are ‘regulars’ coming back often to upgrade their knowledge or learn how to use a new device like a Kindle e-reader, or an iPad.  Feedback comments ranged from ‘genius’, ‘brilliant’, ‘great experience’ to ‘I want it to be at least twice in a month’ and ‘I think the Digital Bazaar is a most excellent concept and works very well (I wish it were longer)’.  My favourite comment was “It’s great!  It’s the first meeting, where I feel I can ask all the questions I normally feel embarrassed to out myself as backward.  Like ‘what is the difference between follow us on Facebook’, ‘follow us on Twitter?’”.

Wonderful to see how our ‘regulars’ are growing familiar and confident in so many areas of the exciting digital world.  Why not join us on Saturday 24th March – you can drop in for 5 minutes or stay for the whole 2 hours.  Everyone who lives/ works in Vauxhall or Stockwell is welcome.

posted by Christina 11th October 2011                                                                                        At the DIGITAL BAZAARTM on Saturday 8th October we had a great first session on using digital cameras from local photographer Tommy Candler.  Principal Librarian Michael Towsey also offered a ‘tour’ of Lambeth libraries e-resources.  Many people don’t realise how much is on offer in our libraries, for example Ancestry.com, the popular genealogy search programme which is subscription-only, is free to use in the library. Among the learners were 6 new visitors who had never used the internet and now they can!  One gentleman, recently made redundant, came because he realised he needed an email address to find a new job. So now he has email.  One lady had been up all night delivering babies in the hospital where she works but was determined to come to the Digital Bazaar to learn how to post photos on her Facebook wall, before she went home to get some sleep! Another is now able for the first time to email her family at home in Liberia.  This session was enlivened by the presence of 4 of the students from the Royal College of Art Design Interactions Department who are working on projects in this area around the theme of philanthropy.  See their fascinating blog here www.interaction.rca.ac.uk/philanthropy/ . Particular thanks to Nick for his excellent work explaining how to use a USB stick on the library computers and for making me laugh afterwards by saying “I never realised I knew so much about USB sticks!”   Hope to see you all at the next DB on SATURDAY 19th NOVEMBER and do invite anyone you know who lives or works in Stockwell and who might find it useful to polish up their tech skills or learn some new ones.

posted by Christina 11th October 2011                                                                                        At the DIGITAL BAZAARTM on Saturday 8th October we had a great first session on using digital cameras from local photographer Tommy Candler.  Principal Librarian Michael Towsey also offered a ‘tour’ of Lambeth libraries e-resources.  Many people don’t realise how much is on offer in our libraries, for example Ancestry.com, the popular genealogy search programme which is subscription-only, is free to use in the library. Among the learners were 6 new visitors who had never used the internet and now they can!  One gentleman, recently made redundant, came because he realised he needed an email address to find a new job. So now he has email.  One lady had been up all night delivering babies in the hospital where she works but was determined to come to the Digital Bazaar to learn how to post photos on her Facebook wall, before she went home to get some sleep! Another is now able for the first time to email her family at home in Liberia.  This session was enlivened by the presence of 4 of the students from the Royal College of Art Design Interactions Department who are working on projects in this area around the theme of philanthropy.  See their fascinating blog here www.interaction.rca.ac.uk/philanthropy/ . Particular thanks to Nick for his excellent work explaining how to use a USB stick on the library computers and for making me laugh afterwards by saying “I never realised I knew so much about USB sticks!”   Hope to see you all at the next DB on SATURDAY 19th NOVEMBER and do invite anyone you know who lives or works in Stockwell and who might find it useful to polish up their tech skills or learn some new ones.

posted by Christina 14th August 2011

After the success of the DIGITAL BAZAARTM session on 2nd July, we took a summer break. We are now looking forward to our first session of the Autumn on SATURDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER, when we will be joined by several new trainers – we now have over 25 local people offering training, with a fantastic range of skills, experience and equipment -including iPads, iPhones and Kindle e-readers as well as all the usual computer gear. Whatever you wish to learn, or problem you need solved, it’s likely that someone at the DIGITAL BAZAARTM will know the answer.  What makes it even better is that we are all local, living or working in Vauxhall or Stockwell, so you get to meet your neighbours as well as filling all your technology needs!

posted by Christina 7th May 2011

This was our 4th DIGITAL BAZAARTM,  and the biggest yet – 33 people involved as trainers and/or learners.   Over half the learners were coming for the first time and several had no internet experience at all.   Very popular this time was the new session on Managing Your Money using Excel. Everyone went away very excited and wanting more.    An interesting pattern is emerging with people going away, practising what they have learned, then coming across something new they need help with and finding that help at the next session.  Because our trainers have such a wide range of backgrounds and experience – they include an artist, a homemaker, a local councillor,  a musician and a tv producer amongst others – people tend to have very interesting conversations and make new friends as well as learning something new.  Sometimes it is the ‘small’ things which make the real difference: like the lady who brought in her new mobile phone complete with box and was helped to set it up by someone who had just dropped by with a friend (en route to Kazakstan as it happens) and had no intention of getting involved with the training! He was great – which goes to show that many of us know more than we think – and how valuable that knowledge is to share.   Hope to see even more of you at the next Digital Bazaar on SATURDAY 4th June.

posted by Christina 26th March 2011

Lovely to see lots of new faces at the DIGITAL BAZAARTM this morning, and many others returning for their 2nd or 3rd visit.  As well as all the usual info on internet, email, mobile phones and Microsoft office, we had another very popular session from our hyper-local Tradescant blogger, and a fascinating demo from Penny on how to make your own Google maps – lots of people excited about that!  Several people who came had no experience at all of the internet and computers and our brilliant ‘tutors’ gave individual time and attention to help each person explore and learn at their own pace. Some  brought their own laptops and mobile phones so they could sort out problems they had been wrestling with for a while – all now happily resolved. Again all sorts of friendships have started – we are all neighbours here and it’s great to have the chance to meet people who live in the surrounding streets and estates, in such a friendly and relaxed environment.  The next DIGITAL BAZAARTM is on SATURDAY 7th MAY.   We will have all the usual favourites but hope also to be able to run an introduction to video editing and some other exciting new subjects as well. More details closer to the time.

Posted by Christina 20th February 2011

“Very, very interesting”, wrote Molly (aged 10) of her introduction to Photoshop at the Digital BazaarTM on 19th February.  Dona (a bit more than 10!) learned to use Facebook and, just one day later, already has several ‘Facebook Friends’.  And Ferdy had his first experience of using Word and is looking forward to learning more.  Others explored Ebay and blogging, found out how to use Skype on laptops via a smartphone connection, used email for the first time,  learned to create a compelling blog,  search the internet more effectively,  or how to transfer photos from their mobile phone onto a computer and then email them to friends.

Half of those who braved the pouring rain to join us were returning because they had such fun and learned so many useful tricks at the first session in January.  Everyone who came this time said that they would like to return so we look forward to meeting again at the next Digital BazaarTM on Saturday 26th March 10.00-12.00.

If you live near the Tate South Lambeth Library (TSL) why not drop in, meet friendly local people and pick up some great tips.   See Get Involved for more details.

Posted by Christina 1st February 2011

What fun we had at our first session on  Sat Jan 29th.  ”I was in heaven” said one participant, who arrived with a laptop and mobile phone she’d had for months but couldn’t work out how to use properly. “Sitting down with a human being and asking questions is completely different from trying to read an instruction book.”

20 local people came to this first Digital Bazaar and 13 more offered sessions or helped with the organisation. We only advertised through a few local posters and word-of-mouth, so this was a brilliant result.

Most people came for one thing – how to set up a Facebook page perhaps, or find cheap flights and holidays online, or pick up their voicemail messages – and went away with information on e-security, or that paypal account they’ve always wanted.   Many were inspired by discovering technology, websites or programmes they did not know existed. Fired up by training from hyper-local blogger Andrew,  one went home and set up a new blog that afternoon!

‘When is the next one?’ people are asking,   so we have already set a date:  SATURDAY 19th FEBRUARY 10-12 at Tate South Lambeth Library (TSL).  See Get Involved for more details.

We are hoping to have a monthly Digital Bazaar at TSL,  as well as rolling out to other libraries with their own local communities.  If you live in Vauxhall or Stockwell and would like to get involved in the Digital Bazaar at TSL,  either by offering a skill or with a list of things you want to learn (or both!),  just leave a comment using the form below,  or drop an email to me, Christina, at the following address: info at digitaltuesdays dot co dot uk

Yes. I have spelled the email out in order to avoid the spiders – one of the things I need to learn is how to put an email form on the website!

All suggestions and comments welcome.


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