WINDSOR, ONT. -- A $16,5000 grant will help the Windsor Public Library provide technology and instruction to local seniors.

The grant comes from the United Way Windsor-Essex County and is funded by the Government of Canada Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF). The funds will be used to make technology available to local senior citizens. Staff will also provide instruction on how to best use it, connect to the internet and communicate using the provided software.

“We have a longstanding record of implementing innovative programming for local seniors,” WPL CEO Kitty Pope said in a news release.  “Staff has identified seniors as a population which requires help navigating the challenging times we are in and this funding from the ECSF will provide critical hardware and software for us to deploy to identified seniors.   During self-isolation, seniors have become even more isolated from family and friends and this program will provide the impetus for them to re-connect.”

WPL said the COVID-19 pandemic and the isolation that came along with it illustrated that certain parts of the community, particularly seniors have struggled to maintain communication with families, worked through online shopped and “wrestled with everyday tasks that most find commonplace.”

The grant will help the library purchase 16 Netbooks, accessories and mobile internet hotspots to be loaned out similar to all library materials through the WPL Accessibility Office.