Services for children and youth are paramount at Queens Library. The Library offers after-school activities, homework help programs, and toddler learning centers – it is never too early to begin to be a library customer.
The Connecting Libraries and Schools Program (CLASP) served 133,074 students in all seven Queens school districts. Through CLASP, teachers and parents were encouraged to make greater use of the library’s resources. It is a potent resource in the campaign for literacy.
14,286 children pre-K through high school participated in Summer Reading Clubs, improving their reading and just enjoying the world of books.
Latchkey programs at 34 branches and the Central Library served 142,437 children. 23 were funded by corporate and foundation donors, such as The J.M. Kaplan Fund, a supporter since 1991.
Pro-active collaborations with law enforcement and the community addressed the needs of teens at risk. The Homework Assistance Program at the Arverne Branch is helping students who have been identified as needing additional support to be successful in high school. Through a grant from the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation’s Weed and Seed Program which is funded through the U.S. Attorney’s Office, they are being given special tutoring and full access to the library’s resources to help them achieve. The Teen Enrichment Initiative, in partnership with the Queens District Attorney’s Office’s Second Chance Program, uses library resources to give troubled teens useful life skills, such as job interview tips, basic computer instruction and more.
The KidsWorld Queens (sm) calendar listed hundreds of free and low-cost programs and activities sponsored by Queens’ educational and cultural organizations during the summer of 1999. Some 240,000 were distributed throughout the Borough.
Every Queens Library Children’s Room computer terminal has KidsLinQ™, a special child-friendly version of the Queens Library homepage. Through KidsLinQ, youngsters are guided to educational Internet web sites, homework help from reliable sources, and where to find books and articles for school assignments through special child-friendly search engines.
Innovative programs for teens encouraged this too-often reticent group to use the library for more than homework. Activities included Open Mic Nights, young adult chess clubs, poetry “slams” and other teen-themed programs.