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Volunteer Spotlight: Beryn Hammil

Posted on October 6, 2017


Beryn Hammil
 Since October 2015, Beryn has been teaching a series of classes called All Things Apple! for the San Rafael Public Library.  As a self-described “Chic Geek,” her appearance belies any geekiness!  Now retired from a successful career as an Interior Designer (the “chic” part), Beryn spends time keeping up with Apple technology.

When Beryn first called, I was new to the San Rafael Volunteer Program but knew that the Library had Computer Tutor volunteers who work one-on-one with students. It was clear that Beryn could do this, but instead, she wanted to teach a class. At the time, I didn’t realize that the San Rafael Public Library classes were all taught by volunteers with passion and expertise. What a perfect fit for an Apple “Geek.”

Beryn has a passion for Apple products and apps, and teaching them to people unfamiliar with their potential. As well, she enjoys taking photographs and sharing her knowledge about how to organize photo files, make slideshows, and more.

Asked why she wanted to bring this interest to San Rafael, she replied, “The opportunity presented itself and I went for it!” Within a short period of time, All Things Apple! was so popular that it outgrew the small classroom at the Library and is now held in the Council Chambers in City Hall.  Asked what she enjoys most about teaching, Beryn said, “I love watching the light bulb go off in my students’ eyes when they ‘get it’.”  She is proud that her students are no longer afraid of technology, that they get more out of it, and that they can now share what they’ve learned with others.

Here’s what Bonnie Groshong, Reference & Adult Services Librarian, has to say about the class; “Beryn’s All Things Apple! is our most popular library class; we get upwards of 40+ attendees each week. She has a talent for keeping the class focused, on task and is able to teach to a wide variety of skill levels simultaneously. It’s amazing, her breadth of knowledge of all the ins and outs of iPhones, iPads, and Macs. She is so well liked and respected by her many returning students, who, through word of mouth, have been recruiting their friends to attend. We are so grateful to have her onboard, offering a much needed service to our community.”

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 said 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.” And other students say the following about her; “You made some very complex stuff easy to understand,”  “There’s always something new to learn. Thank you for sharing it with us.”

Come see the “Chic Geek” in action!  View San Rafael Public Library website calendar for our events (adult’s, children’s and Pickleweed’s) here: https://srpubliclibrary.org/events/ .  To get a monthly emailed version of the Library’s Events click here to subscribe.

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