Bridgeport Library lends hundreds of mobile devices to residents

Bridgeport Library lends hundreds of mobile devices to residents

BRIDGEPORT — Recently, 57-year-old Vincent Calderon decided to pursue an associate’s degree in general studies at Housatonic Community College downtown.

But then Calderon realized that before getting a higher education, he needed to be trained in everyday technology that many people, including professors and students, take for granted.

“I ended up leaving (Housatonic) because using the computer was hard for me. It’s not like the good old days. Everything goes through a computer,” Calderon said. “I often felt like a ‘fish out of water’.”

Thanks to a new initiative launched by the city’s public library network, Calderon is working to improve its technological skills. Launched in early October, the digital browser pilot program lends mobile devices – Chromebooks, laptops and mini wireless “hotspot” internet boxes – and also provides individual instructions on how to use them.

“Our goal is to distribute 500 mobile devices by December 31,” Librarian Elaine Braithwaite said in a statement. “We know the need is there, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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