Bridgeport library lending out hundreds of mobile devices

BRIDGEPORT – Vincent Calderon, 57, recently decided to major in general studies at the city’s Housatonic Community College.

But Calderon realized that before getting a higher education, he needed to learn everyday skills that many people, including professors and students, take for granted.

“I ended up leaving (Housatonic) because using a computer was difficult for me. It’s not like the old days. Everything is computerized,” said Calderon. “I felt like a ‘fish out of water’ many times.”

Thanks to a new program started by the city’s public library system, Calderon is working to improve his technology skills. Launched in early October, the digital navigator test program lends mobile devices – Chromebooks, laptops and small wireless “hotspot” Internet boxes – and provides individual instruction 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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