San Rafael Public Library

All Things Apple! with Beryn Hammil

Posted by bonnie on

August 15, 2019 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
City Hall Council Chambers
1400 Fifth 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.”

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 and despite it looking like a repetition of a prior semester’s class, there’s always more to discuss because of changing technology and multiple approaches to the same function.

Studentsʼ questions are encouraged because they expand the discussion and learning opportunity for everyone.

Each class will begin with a few minutes to review interesting tech items that were in the news that week. Students will also learn at least one tech tip designed to make using their Apple device easier, more efficient, or more fun, and will include an interesting 3rd party app available in Appleʼs App Store.  Additionally, the last 15 minutes of each class will be “open discussion” to answer questions that students might have on any Apple tech related topic.

Thursday, May 9th MAC & MACBOOK AIR + 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. 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.
2:00 3:00 Learn how to set up your computer in “System Preferences” to suit your needs and working style. 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. Where did that file go? Learn how to find and retrieve it if itʼs find-able.

Thursday, May 16th SAFARI
1:00 2:00 Learn how to choose which search engine is best for your needs, how to search the Internet using Safari, how to create and organize bookmarks for easy retrieval later, and how to add websites to your reading list for offline reading.
2:00 3:00 Learn how to create bookmark folders so you can keep related sites close to each other, and how to delete bookmarks or folders. Learn how to share things you find on Safari with other people using email, messages, and other sharing apps

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, computer or iPad? Locate it from another device or erase its contents if it’s gone forever!
2:00 3:00 Learn how to set up and use iTunes so you can listen to music and watch movies and TV shows when and where you want.  Learn how to import music and videos from your CD library. Podcasts are a wonderful way to be educated, entertained and informed. Learn where to find them, how to download them, and subscribe to future podcasts. Learn how to back up your iPhone and iPad on iTunes.

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 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 isn’t a port there in which to plug in the device!

Thursday, June 6th – 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, June 13th – 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.
|: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, June 20th – 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.



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, July 18th – 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, July 25th – NOTES & REMINDERS
1:00 – 2:00 These handy apps keep you well organized, but in different ways from each other. Learn how to be creative in Notes using different styles and capabilities and stay organized within the app with folders
2:00 3:00 The Reminders app is great for list makers (you know who you are!).  Learn how to create and get a reminder to do something before you leave the house or when you arrive somewhere. Or just create a list to keep track of your to-do list or your “honey do” list!

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 how you can learn more tips right within your iPhone and iPad. Learn how to set up and use Notifications.

Thursday, August 8th – WALLET, FILES, APPLE TV, BOOKS
1:00 – 2:00
Learn how Apple’s Wallet App can save you time when checking out at a store that uses this technology, when boarding a flight, and saving tickets to events. Learn how Apple’s Files app allows you to access documents on your computer even when you’re not near the computer or it’s turned off.
2:00 – 3:00 Apple TV gives you access to movies, music, TV shows, and your photos. It allows you to send images from your devices to your TV screen. Yes, it’s another device to purchase, but so worth it! Apple’s Books app is a way to read books on your devices that are available to purchase and download from Apple. There are book clubs to join and best sellers to read. Many books are free, including manuals to learn more about your Apple devices and the California Driver’s License test manual. So many books, so little time!

1:00 – 2:00
Learn how to organize and retrieve any photo and video in your computer, iPhone and iPad. If you have archived photos, learn how to change the date and location to reflect when and where they were actually taken, not installed.
2:00 – 3:00 Just like finding anything else, when your computer and devices are well-organized you’ll be able to find and retrieve any folder, document, or photo quickly and easily. Learn how to search for it and share it as necessary.

Thursday, August 22nd – iCLOUD SHARING & PRIVACY
1:00 – 2:00 iCloud offers critical functionality for storage and syncing of all your Apple related materials, as well as retrieval of all your files. It’s also necessary to help you find any of your Apple devices if they’re lost or stolen. Learn how to make iCloud work for you
2:00 – 3:00 Privacy on our smartphones has been in the news a great deal. Learn how to not only lock your devices, but your sensitive information as well. Learn how to lock notes, hide photos and more.

1:00 – 2:00 Learn the benefits of Apple’s Health App for monitoring protecting yourself. Learn about and how to sync third party health, exercise, and diet related apps. Share your own favorite health related apps with others.
2:00 – 3:00 Get a closeup look at Beryn’s favorite 3rd party apps and why she likes them. News, TV & Radio, Music, Health, Travel, Shopping, and more.

Thursday, September 5th – OPEN DISCUSSION
1:00 – 3:00 We will address whatever Apple product related questions you have. This could include Apple TV, the Apple Watch, Air Pods, computer, iPhone and iPad. You will also learn how to answer these types of questions online so you can find the help you need whenever you need it.

Beryn will be off September 12-26 so we’ll be filling in with the following programs, same time, same place…

Thursday, September 12 – Library Downloadables for iPhone & iPad with Librarian Bonnie Groshong
1:00 – 3:00
We’ll go over how to download free ebooks, eaudiobooks, TV shows, movies, music, and magazines using library Apps. If there’s time, we’ll learn about other digital resources, free with your library card.

Thursday, September 19 – Online Security with Brian O’Donnell
1:00 – 3:00 
 Not sure about clicking that link, or opening that email attachment? How do I know if I got “hacked?” Frustrated with passwords? Unclear about securing your phone or computer? Learn the “street smarts” of email and web browsing. Create strong, easy to remember passwords. Take simple steps to protect your money and personal data. Brian O’Donnell is a local retired software engineer and one of our library volunteers. He meets one-on-one with patrons as a computer tutor.

Thursday, September 26 – No Class

Thursday, October 3rd – Please call the Reference Desk for information: 415-485-3321.

Regular classes with Beryn Hammil resume October 10th.

Please see the October event calendar for topics. 

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  • Downtown Library

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