Need help laying out a floor plan for that new business or just help getting set up on Twitter? Look no further than the Destin Library.
The library, located at 150 Sibert Ave., is more than just stacks of books; it offers free one-on-one technology help.
“We have workshops and things … and tools are available for free if you just know how to use them,” Library Director Wen Livingston said.
Skylar Dennis, who mans the computer lab at the library, offers those one-on-one services.
Just recently, Livingston and Dennis got to see the library’s assistance come to fruition when local business owner Valerie Chambless was able to open a restaurant. Dennis helped her with a floor plan for the permitting process and even helped with setting up a webpage and Facebook account.
“She had found a storefront that she wanted to use and she had to do the floor plan to get the permit for it,” Livingston said. “She submitted a layout and it didn’t meet specifications and got rejected.
“So she came here and was asking if the library knew of someone that maybe could help,” she added.
Dennis and Chambless worked with a design program, got it laid out and it passed the permit process the first time.
Dennis then helped Chambless set up a Facebook page, Twitter account and webpage for her business.
The services are all free and available at the library to anyone.
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“Parts of it was hard,” Dennis said. “This is the first time I’ve walked someone through from start to finish from the business side of things.”
Doing the floor plan was new to Dennis, but they used the graphic design program Canva to put it all together.
“I had used it for other things, but not anything like that. So, it was interesting to be able to put together things I’ve done before, but in a new way,” she said.
“Valerie was fantastic and wanted to learn so she could do it on her own … and maintain it and move forward,” Dennis said.
Chambless opened her new restaurant in Destin this week.
But help with technology is offered for anyone for free.
“We help with pretty much anything,” Dennis said.
Dennis said she has helped people with patient portals for their doctor’s office and even how to Skype with their doctors.
“If I don’t know how to do it … I don’t mind researching it to figure it out,” Dennis said.
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“Pretty much any request, we can try to figure it out. If it’s something our computers are able to do,” she said.
And no tech problem is too small.
Livingston said a man came in for help on resetting his password on his email account.
“Cellphone and tablet help is something we have a lot of questions about, frequently,” Dennis said.
Just recently they helped someone with an issue of things being turned off in settings on her phone.
Dennis said she has even walked people through how to use Siri so they don’t have to type all the time.
“Just call and make an appointment … or they can come in and talk to us,” she said.
“(Dennis) wants to teach them how to do for themselves,” Livingston said. “She doesn’t want to do it for them.”
The library also offers help with scanning old documents, family histories and books.
“We have scanners and can show them how to use that,” Livingston said.
The library also has video editing software and can show people how to do a podcast.
“We can walk them through all that … and it’s a free service,” Livingston said.
Before the pandemic, Dennis was doing group sessions in the computer lab, which she hopes to start back.
“I’m just trying to figure out the best way to do it,” she said. “Everybody has so many individual questions, I’m just trying to figure out how to give individual attention and still work in a group learning process.”
For now, the computer lab is open and one-on-one technology help is available.
“That’s what we’re here for,” Livingston said.
The Destin Library is open Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesday, 1-5 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 850-837-8572 for an appointment or just stop by.