San Rafael Public Library

All Things Apple! with Beryn Hammil

Posted by bonnie on

May 10, 2018 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
City Hall Council Chambers
1400 5th Ave
San Rafael, CA 94901
Reference Desk

If you have an Apple computer, iPad, or iPhone, and aren’t sure that you’re getting the most out of it or using it properly, join “chic geek” Beryn Hammil to help you figure it out. Her classes are the perfect solution to give you the start you need and eventually take you beyond the basics, including how to protect yourself from online hackers, how to create safer passwords that are easy to retrieve, how to download and update software and apps, and much more.

All Things Apple is a series of classes for both beginner and intermediate Apple users. You’ll discover how to get the most out of your computer, iPhone and iPad by learning how to set up each device to suit your needs, and how to use your device to its best advantage to be more efficient and effective in your life, travels, work, and play by using the applications that come already installed in the device, as well as helpful third party apps.

In each of these classes you’ll learn how to navigate, customize, and function effectively with your device. Since the functionality of the iPhone and iPad is almost the same, coming to these classes will benefit you no matter which device you’re using.

Unless otherwise indicated, in these classes we’ll discuss each topic as it applies to the iPhone, iPad and Apple computer, so no matter where your interest lies, we’ll cover it.

All of these are drop-in classes with no pre-requisite or commitment necessary. And, they’re free! Choose individual classes based on your interests and needs, or participate in the entire series; you’re sure to learn something new each week including information about tech related products that might benefit you. And, each week you’ll learn new “Tips & Tricks” that make using your device or computer easier. Of course, questions are welcomed because you’re probably not alone, and everyone can learn from the answers.

PARTICIPANT ENDORSEMENT: If you’re still in doubt as to whether these classes are for you, here’s part of what a 70+ year old, retired professional says about them: “I decided to give [this class] a try, and was pleasantly surprised. Ms. Hammil has a rare gift for explaining complex subjects. Moreover, she has a great sense of humor, a commodity I find in very short supply these days.”

Comments from participants:;

“You made some very complex stuff easy to understand.”
“I continue to learn more each week.”
“There’s always something new to learn. Thank you for sharing it with us.”

Submitted by Beryn Hammil, August 4, 2017

The City of San Rafael Volunteer Office highlighted Beryn’s service to the library in their October 2017 Newsletter. Click here for the article.


PLEASE NOTE: Topic descriptions are the starting point for each class. Students’ questions about that subject are encouraged because they expand the discussion and learning opportunity for everyone.

Unless otherwise noted, all classes meet in City Hall Council Chambers, 1400 5th Avenue, next door to the San Rafael Library.

THURSDAY, February 1st iPhone & iPad Basics

1:00 – 2:00 Learn how to navigate around your iPhone and/or iPad so you can customize it to suit your needs. As well, learn how to set your device up to make it work better for you. This same technique works for both devices, so whichever one you have, you’ll learn how to use it better.

2:00 – 3:00 Go beyond the basics to learn how to find apps for your devices in the App Store. Then learn how to create folders for them to stay well organized and efficient. Can’t remember where you put that app? Learn how to find it, and anything else (on your device, not your house, sorry), easily and quickly.

THURSDAY, February 8th Mac & MacBook Air Basics

12:30 – 1:00 Beginner’s Intro to Apple: This 30 minute intro class is perfect for anyone who is new to the Apple iPhone and/or iPad. Prior to each class is a Beginner’s class to teach people who are new to the iPhone and iPad the basics of their devices. For example, what each button does, how to use the telephone function in the iPhone, etc. As with our regular classes, these classes will be open to students’ questions to further the discussion along. 

1:00 – 2:00 Learn how to set up your computer in “System Preferences” to suit your needs and working style. Get an overview of the applications that are already in your computer, and how they can work for you.

2:00 – 3:00 Discover how to acquire other Apple and third party applications in the Apple App Store so you do even more with your computer, and how to access them in your computer. Learn how to update your software and operating systems too.

THURSDAY, February 15th Camera & Photos

1:00 – 2:00 First you’ll get a quick lesson in how to take a photo with your iPhone and iPad. Then you’ll learn how to organize and edit these photos on your computer in the Apple “Photos” app. We’ll also review how to edit them in your iPhone and iPad and show you that a change to it in one device keeps the change in all of them when the devices are synced through iCloud. Don’t like the change? Don’t worry, the original of your photo is still there and you’ll learn how to retrieve it.

2:00 – 3:00 Because this is such a popular topic and has so many components to it, the discussion will continue
into the 2nd hour.

THURSDAY, February 22nd

iCloud for Syncing and Storage; External Memory/Storage Devices

1:00 – 2:00 Learn how to set up and sync your devices on iCloud so the same information from your Apple apps appears on all your devices and a change on one becomes a change on the others too. iCloud can also be used to back up your iPhone, iPad and computer. Lost your iPhone? Locate it with your computer or another device!

2:00 – 3:00 Learn how to sync your photos so they show up in all your devices with iCloud. Need additional storage for your photos and documents? Learn how to use external memory devices for your computer, iPhone and iPad. Sorry, it won’t work for your brain as there’s not port there in which to plug in the device!

THURSDAY, March 1st Maps & Travel

1:00 – 2:00 When you learn how to use Apple’s Maps app, as well as other helpful Map apps, you’ll know how to navigate your way around any city anywhere. Next, because there are many third party travel apps out there, learn which are the best.

2:00 – 3:00 Learn more about the travel apps; how to find what’s recommended as the best things to see and do in another city, and find the right hotels and restaurants based on your criteria. And, because so many of you travel, you have an opportunity to share your own experiences about various travel apps.

THURSDAY, March 8th Contacts

1:00 – 2:00 Learn how to create new contacts, add multiple phone numbers and addresses to each, as well as how to add a birthday and be reminded about it. Keep your friends, family and other contacts well organized and up to date so you can find their information quickly.

2:00 – 3:00 Have a book club, travel group, or other group that you want to stay in touch with regularly? Learn how to set up and use “Groups” in your Contact app so staying in touch with specific groups of people is easier via email or text message. Learn how to make phone calls, send texts and emails to anyone in your Contact app, and FaceTime calls to other iPhone/iPad users from your Contacts too.

THURSDAY, March  15th Calendar

1:00 – 2:00  When your calendar is up to date you’ll know when you need to be where. Learn how to not only create an event, but how to set up categories of events that let you keep track of other family members or specific types of events by color-coded calendars. Learn how to create alerts to poke you when necessary so you won’t be late for it.

2:00 – 3:00 There’s more to the Calendar app than just creating an event. For example, once you’ve set up a date, learn how to find your way to it using the Apple Maps function that’s linked to the calendar app. Then learn how to invite someone else to that event.

THURSDAY, March 22nd The  Phone Part of the iPhone and FaceTime

1:00 – 2:00 TELEPHONE– It is called “iPhone,” after all, so let’s learn how to maximize the functions built into the telephone part of this multi-purpose device. You’ll also learn how to communicate using the iPad and computer as well.

2:00 –3:00  FaceTime – Learn how to use your device and/or computer to communicate via FaceTime. This is especially useful when you travel and/or have family and friends in other parts of the country or world.

THURSDAY, March 29th Email & Messages

1:00 – 2:00 Learn how to compose and format an email, add a group from your Contacts, share photos, events, contacts, and correspond with everyone by using email efficiently and effectively in your device and/or computer. Learn how to set up alternative email accounts like GMail or other email providers on all your devices.

2:00 – 3:00 And while you’re learning how to communicate well, learn how Messages, another Apple app, lets you stay in touch, share photos and more.

THURSDAY, April 5th Photos into Slide Shows, Postcards, and More

1:00 – 2:00 Learn how to create slide shows, postcards, books, and more using Apple’s Photo software in your computer, as well as with a few easy to use third party apps that are excellent alternatives.

2:00 – 3:00 Continue the discussion about being creative with your photos and videos. Students are encouraged to share information about their favorite third party photo app experiences.

THURSDAY, April 12th How to Use Siri and More Tips & Tricks

1:00 – 2:00 The iPhone, iPad and Mac computer have a wonderful capability in Siri; you can talk to it and it will enhance your user experience exponentially! Learn what it can do and how to maximize it.

2:00 – 3:00  Continue this fun topic with all sorts of Tips & Tricks, and learn where you can learn more of them right within your iPhone and iPad.

THURSDAY, April 19th  Open Discussion Session  

1:00 – 2:00 In this class you’ll have a chance to ask whatever question is burning about things we’ve discussed and you still need more information about. As with all classes, you’ll learn how to find the answers for yourselves online.

2:00 – 3:00 Continue the lively discussions and question and answer session.

THURSDAY, April 26th: Free Library eResources

1:00 – 3:00 Downloading eBooks, music, movies, magazines and other free library eResources such as and Consumer Reports. This class will be taught by a librarian. 

The following classes are based on students’ interest in going beyond the basics of Apple apps and hardware. It’s an experiment, so be patient with your instructor!

PLEASE NOTE: Topic descriptions are the starting point for each class. Students’ questions about that subject are encouraged because they expand the discussion and learning opportunity for everyone.

THURSDAY, May 3rd: Third Party Apps

1:00 – 3:00 Beyond the apps that Apple includes in every iPhone and iPad to make using these devices efficient, there are literally hundreds of thousand of “third party” (non—Apple software developers) apps available to download. You will learn where to find these apps, how to download them, and which ones are free and which ones aren’t. You’ll also learn how to share these apps with friends and family.

In this two hour class students will be given information about some of the most popular third party apps available in Apple’s App Store. Included will be information about the following topics:

  • Parking meter
  • Boarding passes and tickets using QR codes
  • Foreign language translation
  • Recipes and cooking

To make this class more robust. students are encouraged to share information about third-party apps that they find useful.

THURSDAY, May 10th: Miscellaneous collection of other Apple related things to learn

1:00 – 3:00 Based on requests from students, today’s class will cover a variety of topics including but not limited to the following:

  • Apple TV; how to set it up and use it,
  • Video and music streaming on any of your devices, including your own TV,
  • Listening to and sharing music,
  • iTunes music; importing and creating CD’s of your own,



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