Welcome Jack! You should grab a few books and get started with black and white, its really quite affordable when you develop and print yourself. I recommend H. Horenstein's a Basic Manual to black and white photography. There are tons of copies in libraries, and for cheap used on amazon. It covers much of the basics of cameras, developing, and printings, and good examples of each. There are many more great books such as beyond monochome, or the edge of darkness, that you should take a look at too if your in the same area in the library.

Plus you can always come here to ask any questions you have as well!