Festus Udeugwu. Photo: Beowulf SheehanSome people take the Library for granted. Not Festus Udeugwu, a Nigerian immigrant from the Bronx.
Udeugwu, 68, who has been taking free computer classes at Morrisania Library, still can’t believe the wealth of free resources at his neighborhood library.
“The Library has been such a help. I never thought I’d learn to use a computer,” said Udeugwu, a grandfather who immigrated to New York City three years ago to be near his daughter and grandchildren. “God bless the Library!”
Back home, Udeugwu had worked in construction and had never used a computer until he came to the Library.
Now, thanks to the Library’s beginner computer classes, Udeugwu is learning to e-mail his family in Nigeria and search the Internet.
“When I’m typing something or finding something on the computer, I’m as happy as a small child,” said Festus, adding that his family back home was surprised to get an e-mail message from him recently. “They said, ‘Wow, you are using the computer!’”
Udeugwu now goes to the Library nearly every afternoon to practice his newfound computer skills and improve his English by reading books and newspapers.
“The Library is giving people a free education,” said Udeugwu.
With talk of service reductions at libraries because of the city’s proposed $40 million in budget cuts to NYPL, Udeugwu said he hopes the Mayor and City Council realize how important Library services are for patrons who rely on them.
“I’m just praying that the Library has enough money to continue,” said Udeugwu. “Cutting the Library isn’t progress.”
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