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03/30/2023 07:00 AM

Matthew Capece: Meet the New Tech Guide

As the new Tech Guide at Henry Carter Hull Library, Matthew Capece is ready to help navigate technological challenges. Photo Courtesy of Matthew Capece

“When I was younger, I definitely basically lived in the library,” Matthew Capece says with a laugh. It’s fitting then that now that he’s older, Matthew has a job as Henry Carter Hull’s new tech guide.

It’s no secret that ever since that fateful March of 2020, technology has played an even larger role in most people’s day-to-day lives than it already was. From Zoom meetings for work to online doctor appointments and everything in between, access to technology has become something of paramount importance. However, that also means that people struggling with technological issues are at a disadvantage.

To combat that, the Henry Carter Hull Library is launching a tech connection program in conjunction with Clinton Human Services.

“The human services department wanted to partner with the library to work on digital literacy. This is a brand new program here,” Matthew explains.

Matthew only began his role as tech guide/digital navigator on March 2, so he is currently working on developing what the program will look like exactly but has some ideas already.

“Right now, I’m looking at other libraries and what they offer and what we can do here,” Matthew says.

Matthew says the idea for the program came from people observing that there were significant populations in town who were underserved.

“During COVID, a lot of people noticed seniors, as well as English language learners, had trouble using the computer to sign up for vaccine appointments, so they wanted to offer something to address that,” says Matthew.

He says people who need technology help can find him on the library’s second floor on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., though he cautions those times are subject to change.

“I’m working on a curriculum where I’ll teach classes based on feedback we get for what questions people have for anything tech-related,” says Matthew.

Those potential classes will include an intro to computers that would be good for anyone who has never interacted with a computer before, as well as a general search and internet safety course. Matthew also mentions a class on tasks like how to send an email.

Matthew says a survey is also in the works to determine other interests.

“Once we get more feedback, we can tailor it to what people say,” says Matthew. “I also studied Spanish, so if there’s a large need, we can offer classes in Spanish, and I can also help people to the best of my ability.”

Teaching others is a good fit for Matthew. “I studied secondary education at UConn, and I’m an assistant 5th grade teacher in Waterbury right now,” he says.

While Matthew says he’s still trying to figure out his exact career goals, he does enjoy helping others.

“Being there for others and teaching others is something I definitely see myself doing,” he says.

While working in the library wasn’t always on his radar, Matthew says he liked coming to the library from an early age, and once he saw an opening for the tech guide position, he was intrigued.

“I love that we offer so much here at Henry Carter Hull. It doesn’t matter what area you’re interested in; we got something,” says Matthew.

In particular, Matthew says he thinks it’s great the library has a room dedicated just to teenagers and young adults.

“A lot of times, they don’t feel like comfortable places, but there’s a safe space here where they can come and be comfortable and create,” says Matthew.

You can say that Clinton is a place that Matthew knows quite well.

“I’ve lived in Clinton my entire life except for the first two months of my life,” says Matthew, a class of 2017 Morgan School graduate.

In his spare time, he can be found playing roller hockey and football or just staying active while mixing in the occasional video game.

“My favorite thing about Clinton would be the location. That it’s on the shoreline is unique. Commuting to Waterbury for work, I now realize what a privilege it is to be by the water,” says Matthew.