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Learn to use a computer

We offer different ways for you to learn so that you can use the free computers in our libraries, or if you prefer, your own computer at home, or in the library using our free wi-fi. We now have iPad and Android sessions too!

Poole Libraries support Learnmyway


All Poole libraries are registered UK online centres and support learning through the Learnmyway website. You can do them on your own on the library computers - just go to www.learnmyway.com, or if you need some help to get started either come to our Computer Sessions or drop in to see a Computer Buddy at any one of our libraries. You just create a free learning account on the site, then you have access to a range of courses (listed below). The great thing is, you can do them more than once and the site remembers how far you have progressed.

Android tablets and phones course - New! 

Following the success of our Android sessions we are now introducing a three session course over three weeks to cover more functions and to go into more detail than the demonstration sessions.

This course is run by Alex Savu, one of our computer buddies who specialises in Android devices. You are welcome to bring your own device and can log on to our free libraries wi-fi.

The sessions will cover the following:

  • Session 1: What is Android for mobile? - Learn how to use a mobile device from scratch, find out what sort of security your device needs and protect yourself from online fraud.

  • Session 2: Get social and organised using Android for mobile devices - Find and Connect with people you care about, learn how to use applications like Facebook and Skype, and get organised using your Android mobile device.

  • Session 3: Use Android for mobile devices with confidenceFine tune your skills in handling a mobile device. This session will cover more advanced functions like: installing/uninstalling applications, aspect personalisation, alarms, ringtones and more.

We currently have courses planned as follows:

Poole Central Library

  • Wednesday 12, 19 and 26 November 10am to 12pm
  • Monday 1, 8 and 15 December 10am to 12pm

Broadstone Library

  • Wednesday 3, 10 and 17 December 10am to 12pm

iPad demonstration session

Have you got an iPad and are now struggling to use it? Perhaps someone bought it for you with good intentions and you don't want to leave it gathering dust. Perhaps you are thinking of getting one and are just wondering what all the fuss is about, and why everyone seems to be using one.

We have a new session The iPad – what it is, what it can do

It lasts two hours, is totally free and is open to all (not just library members). It is run by a well established local company, Happy Lappy Ltd

Come to one of these sessions:

Broadstone Library

  • Wednesday 26 November 11:00am  

Canford Heath Library

  • Wednesday 3 December 2:00pm  

Poole Central Library

  • Wednesday 3 December 11:00am

You can just come along and listen, but if you have any kind of iPad, just bring it along and log on to the library's wi-fi. Either way you need to book as these sessions are popular and places are limited.

To book, ring 01202 262449 (24 hour  booking line), or ask at any library. (If you find you cannot attend, you can also use this phone number to cancel).

iPad Advanced Sessions - New!

Following the success of Happy Lappy's iPad demonstrations we are now trialling a number of advanced iPad sessions covering apps, 'Pages', photography and online shopping. Each session is charged at £10 per person or £8 for Happy Lappy members. All sessions will take place in Poole Central Library and are two hours long. See below for more details about the different topics and when they are taking place:

Wednesday 22 October - 11am

iPad Apps: A demonstration of the full versatility of the iPad as we demonstrate a wide range of apps that are fun, Productive, useful for travel, artistic and much more. It is not necessary to bring your own iPad and the session is also useful for owners of other tablets.

Wednesday 19 November - 2pm

Pages: A demonstration and lesson covering the most popular iPad Word processor called ‘Pages’.  Learn how to write letters, create flyers, certificates and much more. **Please download the ‘Pages’ app to your iPad prior to attending this session**

Wednesday 10 December - 11am

Photography: Your iPad can do much more than just ‘Point and Shoot’ while still remaining simple. See what can be achieved with different ‘Camera’ apps and then see what you can do to enhance your pictures either just for fun, appearance or for use in documents. Although aimed mainly at iPad users, owners of other makes may benefit from this sessions.

Wednesday 17 December - 11am

Online Shopping: Learn how to use your iPad for online shopping. You will be amazed at how simple it is! As always, lots of chance for questions and answers.


To book, ring 01202 262449 (24 hour  booking line), or ask at any library. (If you find you cannot attend, you can also use this phone number to cancel).


Computer sessions

If you enjoy learning with other people, we offer:

  • Online Basics. Suitable for complete beginners.There are three sessions over three weeks. Each will last two hours.

We use Learnmyway online courses (so you start using a computer right away). Volunteer help is available as before. You will do the online courses at your own pace, so do not need to worry about keeping up with the rest of the class. The sessions are open to all (not just library members). 

In session one we help you sign up to your learning account, then you move on to mouse and keyboard, internet and email courses. If you have time you  move on to the Online Plus courses (complete list below) or just repeat any of the earlier courses if you wish.

As all the courses are online, you can do them anywhere, anytime (at home or on the library computers)

Online Plus courses:

  • Using online forms

  • Job hunting online (prepares you for Universal Jobmatch)

  • Jobs and interviews

  • Understanding public services

  • Make money work

  • Shopping online

  • Facebook and socialising online

  • Online Banking

  • Staying safe online

If you complete Online Basics you will be sent (online) a certficate which you can print off.

Dates and times

Canford Heath Library

These sessions are held in a corner of the library. 

  • Monday 8, 15 and 22 December 2:30 to 4:30 

Hamworthy Library

We hold these sessions in the library meeting room

  • Monday 1, 8 and 15 December 10:00 to 12:00

Poole Library

These sessions take place in the IT Learning Room on the top floor.

  • Thursday 6, 13 and 20 November 2:30 to 4:30
  • Thursday 4, 11 and 18 December 2:30 to 4:30


Computer Buddy drop-in sessions

If you just want drop in to talk to someone about your computer problems or need guidance how to learn on your own, we now have Computer Buddy Drop-in sessions at all of our libraries. This is ideal for you if you are just starting out using a computer, but need a bit of help.

One of our volunteers will either sit with you at one of our library public computers, or you can bring in your own laptop (or other device) and the volunteer will connect it to our free wi-fi internet. They will show you websites which have a number of free online tutorials to help you learn, or they will just answer your questions the best they can. You may need to explore solutions together!

Come and meet the Computer Buddies at these libraries:

  • Broadstone Library - Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 2.00pm to 4.00pm
  • Canford Cliffs Library - Tuesdays 2.00pm to 4.00pm and Fridays 10.00am to 12.00pm

  • Canford Heath Library - Thursdays 10.00am to 12.00pm

  • Creekmoor Library - Mondays 10.00am to 12.00pm
  • Hamworthy Library - Mondays 2.30 to 4.00 pm, Thursdays 2.00pm to 4.00pm, Fridays 2.00 - 3.00pm 
  • Oakdale Library - Tuesdays 10.00am to 12.00pm
  • Parkstone Library - Tuesdays 2.00pm to 4.00pm
  • Poole Central Library - Tuesdays 1.00pm to 4.00pm, Wednesdays 1.00pm to 4.00pm and Saturdays 9.00am to 11am
  • Rossmore Library - Tuesdays 10.00am to 12.00pm

No need to book, just drop in!

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Special equipment


Big-key keyboard
Big-key keyboard

Special keyboards are available for all class sessions, as well as a trackerball pointing device, and a large monitor. We also have an adjustable desk for wheelchair users at Poole Library. If you require any of these, please tell us when you book (please note - only one of each item available per session). Each venue is fitted with a hearing loop.

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Other ways to learn 

To find a list of helpful web sites with exercises and courses to help you get started go to the Getting Started section of cyberLibrary. We recommend the guides on the Digital Unite website.

Learndirect has lots of IT courses, some of which are free. To find what you are looking for, just use the search facility on the site.

If you would rather go to lessons on a regular basis, check out what Skills and Learning have to offer. From basic computer skills, to shopping on E-bay, there's something for everyone. 

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Contact us


01202 262424

Text Relay
18001 01202 262424

Culture & Community Learning
Northmead House
30-32 Northmead Drive
BH17 7RP