Every Thursday afternoon at 3 o'clock on the second floor of the downtown library, APL hosts a computer help and job lab. If you have questions about how a computer works, we'll try to answer them (as long as they're simple, like "How do I save a file?" or "How do I set up an e-mail account?"; we're not going to be able to re-load your BIOS or troubleshoot your motherboard), and if you need help looking for a job and filling out an application or polishing your resume, we can help there, too.
Computer/job lab has something for everybody: if you know your way around a computer, we offer an uninterrupted hour of time online to search job listings and create resumes and cover letters. If you need some help, we can show you web sites that list jobs, advise you on writing a resume, and help you set up an e-mail account. If you're starting from scratch, if you've never so much as touched a mouse, you can spend the hour on a computer tutorial and we can point you toward free and inexpensive classes in Austin--including those at APL--where you'll start right at the beginning: "Lesson 1: The Computer is Your Friend!"
Usually three or four people show up. If you attend, be patient. Helping two people at the same time who are at different levels of computer expertise is a challenge; more than two is just about impossible. And it's difficult dissapointing a customer who comes in thinking that we're going to be able to fill out all his forms, buy him a suit, and send him on an interview for a job he's sure to get. What we have for him is a dose of reality, I guess, of what a lot of effort lies ahead. But we also have a place to start.